Ryan Reynolds' first flirtation with comic movies was "Blade: Trinity" in 2004, by which point the Canadian actor had established himself as a movie star. But, it was his role in 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" that put Deadpool in his kitty. Reynolds' love for the Marvel Comics character has never abated since then.
Directed by Tim Miller, "Deadpool" tells the origin story of Wade Wilson, whose terminal cancer is cured by the same Weapon X programme that created Wolverine, leaving him permanently disfigured, but impervious to pain and able to regenerate his body.
Ahead of the release of the movie, Reynolds has talked about his love of the character's self-deprecation, and the long journey to bring him to the big screen in his own movie.
You were considered the best person to play the character of Deadpool. Why is that so?
Yeah, I was. There was another comic where it said Deadpool looks like a cross between Ryan Reynolds and a Shar Pei. There's been a weird, pleasing symmetry between the comic and the movie, and it predates my involvement with it.
There's a lot of self-deprecation in the movie, and Green Lantern is a topic that comes up more than once. Was this movie like a therapy for you?
It was, and the studio has been surprisingly alright with all our "X-Men" and "Wolverine" references. I find you can always take the piss out of someone as long as the subtext is you're taking the piss out of yourself, too. The movie doesn't ever really pick on any one public figure without alternatively taking a stab at Ryan Reynolds.
Was the movie always going to be the origin story, and was Ajax always going to be the villain?
There were certain characters we wanted and couldn't get. It all comes down to licensing, and Marvel owns only certain ancillary characters. We did have Garrison Kane at one point, too, but Ajax was just sort of perfect. He fed into the origin story we were telling and allowed us to create a fully fleshed-out movie. But there are little Easter eggs with other characters that may or may not show up down the line.
You've said Deadpool will be the last comic book character you play. Why is that so?
Oh yeah, I've had my spin around that merry-go-round more than I probably should have, and I feel Deadpool is something I've wanted to do forever. He's not a superhero, he's an antihero and something completely different. It speaks directly to the comic book audience. If it were a traditional superhero movie it wouldn't be for me. They wouldn't hire me, let alone me putting my hand up for it. I've done it, I've played that kind of character, and it's time for someone else to do it.
Deadpool feels like a bit of an antidote to all the superhero movies we're seeing these days. What do you have to say to that?
Yeah, and that's why we're actually happy it took so long to get made. It's coming along at the perfect time. I don't know if audiences are fatigued by superhero fare, I think that's subjective.
Are you hopeful you will get to spend more time with this character, maybe, in future? Or would it be odd to see him pop up in an "X-Men" movie?
Yeah. He'd be calling Wolverine "Hugh Jackman", so it'd definitely mess with the universe to a certain degree. But there are certain characters within the Deadpool universe that I feel could work for a future movie. I guess I could be so bold as to say Cable is one of the core group of Deadpool guys that I'd love to see brought to the screen.
20th Century Fox's "Deadpool" is directed by Tim Miller and will hit theatres on Feb. 12, 2016.