Donald Glover Reacts to Deadpool Cancellation

Over the weekend, we learned the surprising and disappointing news that both FX and Donald Glover had parted ways with the Deadpool animated series they were working on with Marvel Television. This happened despite the fact that the show had been given a straight-to-series order for 10 episodes that would have seen Donald Glover writing and executive producing the series along with his brother, Stephen Glover.

In what seems to be a playful but also telling reaction to the Deadpool animated series cancellation, Donald Glover posted a series of updates to Twitter in the form of 14 script pages that appear to have commentary about why the series may have been axed. They’re simultaneously hilarious and seemingly not-too-pleased with the cancellation.

Many outlets are reporting these script pages as being part of what Donald Glover wrote for the Deadpool animated series, but that’s clearly not the case. First of all, Glover would be in big legal trouble if he released those pages on Twitter. Secondly, the script is full of references to things that happened within the past week.

For example, the entire premise of these 14 pages is Deadpool being hired to protect Sudan, the last surviving male Northern white rhinoceros that died about a week ago. But there’s also a reference to the viral story about Beyonc√© being bitten, according to actress Tiffany Haddish. At one point Deadpool even makes reference to people reading this instead of watching it. But these script pages contain so much more than timely pop culture references.

What Should We Take Away from This?

There appears to be plenty of subtext (and plain text) here in the script that might indicate the nature of the “creative differences” that resulted in the cancellation of Deadpool. You’ll notice how two of the African protectors of Sudan don’t understand the references Deadpool is making, leading the superhero to say, “Wow. Nothing’s landing. Our cultures are so different. We have so much to teach each other.” That sounds an awful lot like a cryptic way of pointing out why Donald Glover’s scripts for Deadpool may not have been well-received.

However, the script gets far more blunt and reflective about what happened in the pages that follow. Deadpool gets a text about the show being canceled and he has a one-sided conversation with Sudan. Deadpool says he doesn’t know why he’s in this situation, “I think the writer’s just mad. Or bored.”

Deadpool continues to reflect, seemingly as a sort of inner-monologue for Glover himself, “You know, I’m not mad about this whole “cancelled” thing. I actually think it’s a good thing. I mean, is it even a good time to have a violent, gun-loving white man ranting on TV? Other than the president!”

The “conversation” with Sudan continues with commentary about what Marvel wanted from the show, perhaps just another way to sell toys. Deadpool talks about how the references might have been geared too much towards a black audience, perhaps alienating white audiences. And this meta script is certainly evidence of why Marvel executives might have thought that. But that’s also what makes the prospect of this now-canceled series so exciting.

A Missed Opportunity

Reading this Deadpool script really shows how smart and hilarious this series would have been. There are plenty of references for all audiences to get, as well as references that are geared towards more niche audiences and demographics. That’s just how comedy works. Not every joke is going to land with every audience member. But they’re flying fast and if you miss one joke, you’ll just get the next one.

This script reminds me a lot of 30 Rock, which Glover used to write for when the series was on the air. The jokes came a mile a minute on that series, full of various references to pop culture, politics, social commentary and much more. There were plenty of jokes that didn’t always work for everyone, but the show was consistently funny and fast enough that it never really mattered. There was something for everyone at some point throughout an episode.

It’s a shame that Marvel seems to have balked at Glover’s approach to Deadpool at a time when diversity is king at the box office and appeals to all audiences. Look at how huge Black Panther is (another reference made in the script), and then tell me that a version of Deadpool that has a different cultural perspective wouldn’t work today.

You can read all 14 of the script pages Donald Glover wrote as a reaction to the Deadpool cancellation below.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: