Ryan Reynolds Ruins Deadpool By Being Ryan Reynolds

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

rayn reynolds deadpool

It’s fair to say that whether you’re a diehard Marvel fan or just a casual moviegoer, it’s impossible to think about Deadpool without thinking about his cinematic star Ryan Reynolds. However, here’s something nobody ever talks about when they’re swapping chimichanga memes: as amazing as the onscreen hero is, he is often very different from how the character was originally portrayed in the comics. For those who were longing for a cinematic adaptation that is actually faithful to the source material, the blunt truth is that Ryan Reynolds has effectively ruined the character by being…well…Ryan Reynolds.

Deadpool And Blind Al

ryan reynolds deadpool

In the original Marvel Comics, Deadpool mostly functioned as a kind of agent of chaos. He certainly had some of the funny tendencies that we see on screen, including a strange sense of humor and a weird tendency to break the fourth wall. But he also had a much darker side that the movies not only ignore but, via the innate charm of Ryan Reynolds, actually transform altogether.

A great example of this is the character Blind Al: in 2016’s Deadpool, she is an unconventional roommate of our titular hero who helps by offering him advice, but she’s mostly there to either serve jokes or serve as the punchline. In the comics, however, this is a woman that the psychopathic Deadpool has kidnapped and keeps as a hostage, punishing her with bizarre torments that included being thrown in “the Box,” a dark room filled with sharp objects. He murders anyone who tries to help her escape, which is a wildly different dynamic than what we saw the onscreen Al share with Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool.

Deadpool And Weasel

ryan reynolds deadpool

Oh, and Weasel, our hero’s best friend and confidante? The comic Deadpool wasn’t afraid to throw him in the Box either, and on another occasion, our “hero” let his buddy rot in jail. The abusive relationship got so bad that after Weasel died and literally ended up in hell, he struck a deal with the devil (Mephisto) and tried to get revenge on Deadpool for his past transgressions.

Ryan Reynolds Turned An Antihero Into A Vanilla Hero

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Don’t worry: we’re not going to try to list all of the comic Deadpool’s dirty dealings because that would honestly take all day. Instead, we wanted to bring a few of these malicious moments to your attention to illustrate how different Ryan Reynolds’ onscreen version of the character really is. For all the movie version’s love of killing and general mayhem, everything is always conveniently directed at either disposable henchmen or irredeemable Big Bads, effectively letting us root for the title character as an unambiguous good guy.

What happened to the psychotic comic Deadpool who could just as soon kiss you as kill you depending on what the multiple personalities in his head told him to do? In short, Ryan Reynolds happened: as an actor, he is naturally charismatic and funny, and it only made sense for the movie to lean into these qualities by taking the edge off of Deadpool so we could have someone more likable and relatable. The result is a movie Deadpool that is hilarious and easy to root for, but one that has very little grounding in the comic roots of his character.

Wolverine Is A Similar Example

Hugh Jackman Wolverine

Obviously, Ryan Reynolds is hardly the first Marvel star to really make a character his own: his Deadpool 3 costar Hugh Jackman, for instance, transformed the short, noble Wolverine of the comics into a tall savage who solves every problem with claws and a healing factor. Considering that Jackman’s popularity helped launch an immensely popular and influential series of X-Men films, we can see why movie studios would be happy for Ryan Reynolds to take this approach to Deadpool. Whether that’s the right way to go about adapting these characters, however, is in the eye of the beholder.

We Won’t Hold Our Breath For Things To Change

ryan reynolds deadpool

Considering what critical and commercial hits the first two Deadpool films were and how much fans are hyped for the third movie, it’s clear that Ryan Reynolds’ portrayal of this complex comic character has been a smash hit. Somewhat ironically, however, the success of Reynolds’ very different characterization means that fans longing for a faithful adaptation of the chaotic and psychotic character from the funny books may remain forever disappointed. 

We can’t fault the studios for giving us a more palatable version of the hero than we ever had in the comics, though. As Deadpool might say, when it comes to making big-budget superhero blockbusters, this is just how the chimichangas are made.

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