Before taking on Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds had already attempted the superhero genre playing the title role in 2011’s Green Lantern. There were high hopes that Lantern could launch a brand new franchise for Warner Bros., but unfortunately bad reviews and lukewarm audience reaction led to the film only grossing $220 million worldwide (its budget was reportedly $200 million).
Deadpool was perhaps even more of a risky movie than Lantern, but it became one of the year’s biggest hits. So why did one work and the other fail?
“Well it’s simple: Deadpool always knew what it was,” Reynolds tells EW. “With Green Lantern, I don’t think anyone ever figured out exactly what it was. That isn’t to say the hundreds of men and women didn’t work their fingers to the bone to make it as good as poosible. It also fell victim to the process in Hollywood which is like poster first, release date second, script last. At the time, it was a huge opportunity for me so I was excited to try and take part in it. I did however write a letter to Fox right before I had to decide whether or not I was gonna do Green Lantern. I asked one last time sort of like the groom standing at the alter, ‘Will you please be my wife?’ and they said they couldn’t pull the trigger on Deadpool. For too many reasons too boring to illustrate, it just didn’t work.”