FOX Delays FANTASTIC FOUR, Greenlights DEADPOOL for 2016

Screenshot of Deadpool from the Movie Pitch
Credit: Fox / Blur Studio

Power to the people, everybody: Deadpool is happening.

Yes, after the Internet’s immensely positive reaction to the leaked test footage (see below) of a Ryan Reynolds-starring Deadpool movie (and Reynolds subsequently telling a reporter he’d still love to do it), 20th Century Fox has announced they are moving forward with the film. They even went so far as to announce a release date, February 12, 2016, a few months before their other upcoming Marvel X-Men flick, X-Men: Apocalypse, putting them in the position of Marvel Studios, having multiple movies in that franchise in one year.

Tim Miller, who directed the test footage, is signed on to direct, and though no deal is officially in place for Reynolds yet, the expectation is he will reprise the role he originated in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (but with a much closer-to-the-comics take this time).

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Deadpool is based on the character created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza as part of Marvel Comics’ X-Men line. The Merc with the Mouth has since become immensely popular, with his unique combination of fourth wall-breaking, intense violence, and tragic humor. Liefeld took to twitter to celebrate the news, saying, “Congrats to Tim Miller, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds for fighting for this film!!” The two names you may not recognize in the middle are the writers of the screenplay Fox has had for years, and Reese confirmed his participation as a writer/producer on the movie on his own twitter account.

Writer and co-creator Fabian Nicieza heard the news after what he called "an interesting Deadpool day for me already" on twitter. When reached for comment, Nicieza told Newsarama, "If the movie happens with the creative people previously attached as a part of it, I think it will be a very enjoyable ride!"

Fox also did some 2015 shuffling, moving Fantastic Four, the Josh Trank helmed reboot, to August 7, 2015 from its original June 19 release date. The movie takes the release date of Assassin’s Creed, which has been moved from August 7 to “TBA,” officially putting the video game adaptation in limbo.

While in the past a move from June to August might be seen as a red flag for any high-profile fim with tent pole-franchise ambitions, given this year's #1 film so far Guardians of the Galaxy ($308m domestically and counting) opened August 1, and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was rescheduled for late March 2016, studios may be looking more favorably at traditionally off-months than they used to.

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