There are a lot of lessons that Hollywood will try to take away from the success of Deadpool. Knowing Hollywood, a lot of the lessons they think they should act upon will probably miss the mark. But we'd like to suggest one specifically to Warner Bros. that could be a huge plus for the company's development of their DC franchise: Give Ryan Reynolds another chance at Green Lantern.
In brightest day, in blackest night…
Might take two films to get it right.
Let those who know just how to write
Give Reynolds back Green Lantern's light
OK, the motto might summarize it best — letting Ryan Reynolds a second chance at playing Green Lantern — but let's examine the idea in its entirety, and why the success of Deadpool supports it.
Most die-hard comic book fans will remember that 20th Century Fox, the same film company behind Deadpool, originally introduced Reynolds as Wade Wilson in the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
But in Wolverine, the "Merc with a Mouth" actually had his mouth sewn shut.
Not the smartest decision on Fox's part, but it got worse. In a battle with Wolverine, this version of Deadpool wore no costume, shot lasers out of his eyes, and had knives that flew out of his hands.
The wise-cracking, acrobatic Deadpool that fans loved and recognized had been ruined.
Fan reception of the mouth-less version of Deadpool was decidedly negative, and the planned Deadpool spin-off movie seemed dead in the water. But, as Deadpool fans know, some leaked test footage brought the movie back to life.
But would fans give the studio another chance with the character? Would they accept the exact same actor in the role – the actor who'd played a horrible version of Wade Wilson in the past?
The answer as it turns out is unequivocally yes. Deadpool is the process of completely rehabilitating the character after his dismal debut and is on route to becoming the most successful X-film ever.
The experience that Fox has had with Deadpool actually has a lot of parallels with what happened to Reynolds in the Green Lantern movie.
It wasn't the necessarily the actor's talents or depiction of Hal Jordan that kept fans away from the Green Lantern film, but it was mostly the film itself. Reviewers lamented the multiple storylines, the confusing plot and the overload of CGI without character development.
So here's the lesson in a nutshell — a botched character doesn't necessarily need to be re-cast, especially when he's as compelling an actor as Ryan Reynolds — and in particular, today's Ryan Reynolds.
With Deadpool breaking all kinds of 'X' and 'R' records, Reynolds star power has been rehabilitated along with the character he plays. Whereas a year ago fans would have laughed at the idea of him another shot at Hal Jordan, in the post-Deadpool world, it could be something even notoriously hard-to-please fans could embrace. Everyone -- even comic book fans -- love a comeback story.
Plus, Reynolds is a little more mature. Give him a good (better) costume, write him a role less quipy and motor-mouthed than Deadpool and it could work. And that's not even mentioning the fact Reynolds plays Deadpool mostly behind a mask and under heavy make-up when not. Reynolds could make Hal Jordan a distinct character from Wade Wilson.
There's also something to be said for the sensation a Reynolds-Green Lantern do-over would generate. Drafting on the success of Deadpool, Warners would get sooo much social media buzz and free media over the announcement. It'd be one of the more interesting storylines about superhero movies during the production cycle of 2017's Justice League.
And while we don't know the statute of limitations on such deals, Reynolds was at least at one time contractually signed to sequels — so it may be as easy as Warner Bros. taking a piece of paper out of a file drawer and working out a schedule with the actor.
Now of course we recognize this more-idea-than-a-theory is a longshot, but despite some rumors it is curious Green Lantern is the only Justice Leaguer that doesn't officially have an actor attached to the role. Hell, we don't even know if Hal Jordan will be the League's GL. But given the recent announcement by DC Comics that the June "Rebirth" of their universe would include a Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps title suggests there is a good chance Hal will be the main Justice League movie Lantern — as well as the lead of the 2020's Green Lantern Corps movie.
So instead of recasting the role, but not see if lightning can strike twice? It took two movies for Reynolds to get Deadpool right — why not Green Lantern?
It's an idea so crazy... well, you know the rest.