Without A Net | Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.
Arts & Entertainment

X-Men franchise's Deadpool finally gets his own movie in 2016



File: Stephen Yan dresses as Deadpool at Comic-Con on July 19, 2013 in San Diego.
File: Stephen Yan dresses as Deadpool at Comic-Con on July 19, 2013 in San Diego.
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Hey, you! Yeah, you reading this! They're finally making a Deadpool movie!

If you like fourth-wall breaking, second-person addresses like the above, you may be in the target audience for the long-in-development "Deadpool," which Twentieth Century Fox announced Thursday that it was finally moving ahead with, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The studio announced a Feb. 12, 2016 release date for the film with Tim Miller set to direct the character who's served as both friend and foe to the X-Men.

The so-called "Merc with a Mouth" is a mercenary character created in the early '90s by artist Rob Liefeld, with Liefeld being an outspoken champion for the character. The character was part of the same Weapon X program that created Wolverine, with a similar healing factor power, but with a horribly scarred face he covers with a mask. He's also been played as crazy, which manifests itself as the character often knowing he's in a comic book and talking directly to the reader.

Ryan Reynolds has long been tied to the project, including playing a version of the character in the much-hated "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," but no deal has been made yet, according to the Reporter.

This follows footage leaking over the summer of a "Deadpool" test with Reynolds voicing the character in a CGI clip. Reynolds said in an interview in the Niagara Falls Review earlier this month that that it's unfortunate the footage leaked, "but who cares," because the positive response to the clip had helped push the film forward after being stuck in development hell.

"The movie has been in a state of limbo for a while. There was such an overpowering reaction to the footage, you sort of feel like, 'Oh, so we weren't crazy for our reasons for loving this character, for loving this role.' It's interesting to see the power of the Internet. It's awe-inspiring, actually," Reynolds told the Review. "And it's neat that Twitter and Facebook and Instagram can move mountains when used in the right way."

Watch the "Deadpool" test footage below (Warning: Contains some adult language):

Deadpool test footage

There'd also been debate about whether a movie would stay true to the character's outrageous attitude mixed with violence and go for an R rating, or whether it would go for a wider audience by staying at PG-13. Deadpool creator Liefeld has argued that the film would work just fine without restricting its audience with an R.

Liefeld tweet 1

Liefeld tweet 2

Liefeld told the Daily Superhero in a previous interview that the footage for the test was filmed three years ago, using motion capture over footage of Reynolds. He also talked up Miller as a director, noting that he directed the pre-credits scene for "Thor: The Dark World."

"Fox had released a relatively small budget for Tim to present his vision of the script written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick," Liefeld said. "The digital costume over Ryan Reynold's motion capture (Mo-Cap) performance was an approach they wanted to explore and they had a relatively small window to create this short so they opted to 'test' the look of a digital Deadpool costume over Ryan. I'm quite pleased at how it turned out, especially considering Baraka-Deadpool from Wolverine Origins."

Liefeld was referring to the transformation of Deadpool in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" to a mouthless, pointy-limbed character in the film, which many fans argued took away what they loved most about Deadpool: His sense of humor. Liefeld also said he'd seen even more impressive sequences than the one that made its way online.

It's unclear whether this will tie in with the other X-Men films, but with the studio's recent attempt to tie together the "First Class" franchise with the older X-Men films in "Days of Future Past" and the character's long history of involvement with the X-Men and other related teams, it seems like a likely move.