Ryan Reynolds Faced A Deadpool Ultimatum Going Into X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Ryan Reynolds has now become synonymous with the character of Deadpool, but it was a long and winding road to get there. The actor's relation to the character wasn't always a good thing, though, and that was mainly due to the poorly received "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." A more significant part of "Origins" focused on Wolverine and his relationship with Team X, a black ops group that he was a part of during the Vietnam War. One team member was Reynolds' Wade Wilson, and while the character's first few scenes may have excited fans for a semi-accurate live-action iteration of the merc with a mouth, those hopes were flushed down the toilet with the literal removal of the character's mouth.

The third act of "X-Men Origins" revealed that Wade was captured and experimented on by Stryker, given the powers of various mutants to become a mutant killer known as "The Deadpool." This terribly designed version of the character proves that putting "the" in front of a superhero name doesn't always make it cool. This version of Deadpool and the "X-Men Origins" brand of films eventually faded into irrelevancy following poor critical reception. Reynolds would subsequently return to do the character justice, but that 2016 "Deadpool" film, and even his role in "Origins," might not have even happened as his casting as Wade Wilson was one that came by way of a strict ultimatum.

It's now or never

In an interview with the LA Times centered around Reynolds' path to the "Deadpool" films, the actor spoke about how "X-Men Origins" was sold to him as an introduction to Wade Wilson with a potential spin-off in the future. A spi-noff film for Deadpool wasn't guaranteed at the time, and all Reynolds knew was that when it came to playing the character, it was now or never:

"[A potential spin-off] that was sort of the way it was floated to me, but you never know what's being discussed behind closed doors. At that point, I was under the impression that it was 'either play Deadpool in this iteration or someone else will.' So, of course, I signed on."

Reynolds enjoyed his initial time portraying the character and cited the writer's strike at the time as allowing him to experiment with dialogue to better perform and understand the character:

"It was during the writer's strike, and basically all the Wade Wilson dialogue I had to sort of make up. I've been fortunate to sort of share a heartbeat with Deadpool, so I felt like I could channel the words of the character – they come pretty easily to me. That was fun: I got to play around, improvise, and goof off and be Wade Wilson."

Unfortunately, when Wade Wilson transformed into Deadpool, Reynolds began struggling with his portrayal while realizing that the character's fanbase was bigger than he thought.

A rough path to success

The creative decisions behind Deadpool's design and robbing the character of his most defining traits didn't sit well with Reynolds, who knew that the audience wouldn't receive such a departure from the source material too well:

"It was the Deadpool part that really derailed everything. The decision to sew his mouth shut and just completely go rogue from the canon was kind of tough, and I knew it was going to be tough for the audience. I just had no idea at that point how many Deadpool fans there were. I didn't really know that people were that passionate about the character until they saw that iteration and obviously weren't happy with it."

As rough as the experience was for Ryan Reynolds, the apparent ultimatum the actor received was for the best. "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" could be chalked up as a learning experience for both the studio and Reynolds. Moreover, the film would also help Reynolds understand the passion fans have for characters like Deadpool, which would no doubt play into his dedication to keeping the spirit of Deadpool intact in the following films. The path to where Reynolds is now with the highly anticipated "Deadpool 3" may have been difficult, but it was definitely worth the growing pains of "X-Men Origins."