The screenplay to the upcoming Deadpool movie leaked online yesterday, and we had a chance to read it. Good news: It's very close to the original comic book in tone and content. Bad news: it wouldn't make a great movie.
So the script popped up online yesterday at I Heart Chaos, although it seems to have been taken down now. We have no idea whether it's genuine or not, but it certainly appears to be the real thing. It's credited to Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and it's a draft dated from last April — so even if this is the real thing, it's probably been rewritten since then.
As we said earlier, this is pretty close to the original comics, including all the original supporting characters, the scarred face, the costume, the katanas, and the fourth-wall-breaking. If the movie actually gets made according to this script, the legion of Deadpool fans will be in ecstasy.
At the same time, I don't know if a movie based on this script would get a mass audience. It's clearly an R-rated movie, but it's also got a sensibility that's mostly going to appeal to 14-year-old boys. In other words, it could fall into the same trap that doomed Kick-Ass. And indeed, if you've seen the spate of other recent ultra-violent, hyper-stylized comic book movies, including The Losers, Kick-Ass, RED, Wanted, etc., then you've already seen this movie, except for the Deadpool-specific stuff and some pretty demented humor. There are the bullets with things written on them, there are mid-air slowed-down gags that will require tons of CG, etc.
The script is chock full of descriptions for some incredibly complicated action sequences and individual shots — all of which are supposed to be featured in slow-mo. This would be one of those movies which, if you ran all the slow-mo stuff at normal speed, the movie would be half an hour long. The slow-mo is crucial to a lot of the film's best gags, and it's also key to Deadpool's fourth-wall-breaking, as in this one hilarious gag from the opening sequence:
HE TURNS HIS HEAD TO CAMERA FOR THE FIRST TIME, BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL, THE ONLY THING IN THE SCENE THAT'S MOVING:
DEADPOOL shit. Did I leave the stove on?
But you might find yourself getting a bit tired of slow-mo after about halfway through the film.
Like I said, the film's humor is a slightly more skewed and twisted than what you've seen in the other comic-book action-comedies that have come out lately. There's lots of meta-humor, including a ton of jokes about the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie where Ryan Reynolds played a poor excuse for Deadpool:
CLOSE-UP of a Deadpool ACTION FIGURE from 'Wolverine Origins.' Mouth sewn shut. Blades implanted into the wrists. In the exact same POSE we just saw the real Deadpool.
WADE (0.S.) A little piece of me curled up and died the day this came out.
We PULL OUT to reveal that Wade is referring NOT to the action figure, but to WHAMl'S 'Music From the Edge of Heaven' LP, which he is now holding.
There's also a running gag where Deadpool staples a cut-out magazine photo of Hugh Jackman's face over his hideously scarred face when he goes out in public.
There are tons of running gags, some of which work really well. There's a bizarre Amy Winehouse joke that goes on and on, as Deadpool's fellow thugs bet on whether she'll die before Deadpool does, and we keep seeing flashes of Amy Winehouse almost dying in bizarre circumstances. Other gags fall kind of flat, like Deadpool and his roommate Blind Al trying to put together Ikea furniture and tripping over their Roomba vacuum cleaner. The humor is frequently obnoxious — a lot of the jokes here would be offensive to huge swathes of people who aren't teenage boys — but when it works, it's outstanding.
The film starts out with Wade already scarred, and then we flash back to how he got that way, which allows for long sections during which the audience gets to look at Ryan Reynolds being actually pretty. If you get tired of endless cutting between the present and the past, then you'll get tired of it here. But the "past" timeline has some of the film's best gags, including a bit where the handsome Wade Wilson falls in love with a hooker, Vanessa, and they screw in every possible position and on every holiday:
VANESSA How long can you go on like this?!
WADE (shrugs) All year?!
We begin the sing-song melody of the Australian kid band phenom THE WIGGLES' 'ROCKING ON THE SEA.' And DISSOLVE INTO:
A MONTAGE of images: SEX around the CALENDAR between WADE and VANESSA, identified by stereotypical costumes and accoutrements from each holiday ...
... and different WEATHER OUTSIDE the WINDOW. The pair has EASTER SEX (easter eggs, bunny ears). FOURTH OF JULy SEX (red, white, and blue bunting, sparklers). HALLOWEEN SEX (jack-o-lanterns). THANKSGIVING SEX (turkey legs, pilgrim hats).
And if this gets made as written, it'll be one of the craziest action movies ever, including lots of bits where Deadpool shoots grenades and rockets in mid-air so they explode prematurely. There's a running cameo by one of the X-Men, Colossus, that never gets old and allows for a different kind of hyperviolence. At one point, Deadpool shoots at a thug's reflection in the mirror, making the bullet ricochet and hit the real thug. It's all very video-gamey, and there's a pleasing level of ADD in the storytelling, especially in the mind-blowing first twenty minutes.
All in all, this script would be the wet dream of Deadpool fans everywhere - who probably aren't a big enough audience to make a movie a box-office hit, sadly. For people who only sorta like Deadpool, or who are tired of slow-mo and CG bullet gags, it'll be a fun movie to see with your friends, or maybe a rental.