After turning the superhero genre on its head and becoming the second highest-grossing R-rated movie of all-time with $363M stateside, 20th Century Fox/Marvel’s uber-violent Deadpool earned two Golden Globe nominations this morning: One in the best picture comedy/musical slot and another for lead actor Ryan Reynolds.
For the Hollywood Foreign Press Assocation’s awards, it’s the first time that they’ve recognized a live-action superhero movie in the best picture slot. That said, it’s not the first time that they’ve recognized a movie that was based on a comic-book: 1997’s Men in Black, which was based on Lowell Cunningham’s comic series, also counts a Golden Globe best picture comedy/musical nomination.
Speaking to Deadline this morning on why Deadpool resonates with both award voters and audiences alike, Reynolds explains, “It’s important to note that in regards to Deadpool‘s narrative material, the film came along at exactly the right time when we (the industry) reached the peak of superhero (movies) and Deadpool was 90 degrees to it. There’s been a lot of superhero films that have been brilliant, and there’s a seriousness and darkness to them. At the end of the day, it’s about guys walking around in tights. Deadpool took these tropes and usurped them in inventive ways.”
One of the great challenges that Reynolds cites in making Deadpool is how they were able to do a lot on a minimal budget. And cutting costs didn’t curb creativity: “Necessity is the mother of invention,” explains the actor. “In the scene where Deadpool says he only has 12 bullets left and doesn’t have any guns, it’s because we couldn’t afford them. We learned to squeak by on every last penny.” In addition, Reynolds mentions that Deadpool is “more analog” than other superhero movies, relying a little less on CGI. “We had to do a lot on camera,” says the actor who worked extensively with a stunt team, and jumped off a bridge and into the backseat of a car — extremes that can throw a 40-year old guy’s back out.
In regards to Deadpool 2, Reynolds informed us that the production start date hasn’t been determined yet, “but we’re ramping up in terms of development” with the character of Cable making an entrance. Cable is Wade Wilson’s partner who is the son of Cyclops and Madelene Pryor. In the comic-books, Cable was sent to the future to prevent an apocalypse from happening, but returns to Deadpool‘s current day. In regards to John Wick director David Leitch boarding, Reynolds mentioned to EW recently, “One of the things that David Leitch does that very few filmmakers can do these days is they can make a movie on an ultra tight minimal budget look like it was shot for 10-15 times what it cost.”
From a popcorn film standpoint, it’s not unusual to see Deadpool‘s presence here at the Golden Globes. The HFPA has recognized mainstream tentpole fare before, i.e. 1984’s Ghostbusters (noms for best comedy, lead actor Bill Murray and Ray Parker Jr.’s title song) and Beverly Hills Cop (best comedy nom, lead actor Eddie Murphy), as well as 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean (lead comedy actor nom for Johnny Depp) and even 2009’s Sherlock Holmes, which won Robert Downey Jr. a lead actor comedy trophy.
But among superhero titles, Deadpool is anomaly in the best picture slot, however in the acting categories, the HFPA has honored performances in the genre before. In sum, the organization has shed love on those who’ve played Joker in the Batman movies. In 2009, Heath Ledger won best supporting actor posthumously at the Globes for his turn as the DC Comics villain in 2008’s Dark Knight (director Christopher Nolan accepted on the actor’s behalf), while Jack Nicholson was nominated for playing the same role in 1989’s Batman. Among other Golden Globe-nominated roles from comic-books: Paul Newman’s turn as gangster John Rooney in 2002’s Road to Perdition.