Years before the film was given the go ahead, "Deadpool" star Ryan Reynolds has championed giving Marvel's Merc with a Mouth his own solo film. And playing a heavily modified version of the character in 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" simply wasn't enough; Reynolds -- and Deadpool fans -- wanted to see the real thing on the big screen. But how did Reynolds get involved with Deadpool to begin with?
The actor tells the tale in the February 2016 issue of "Empire" magazine, revealing that he first encountered the character while playing a fast-talking, sword-slinging Marvel character way back in 2004. The character was not Deadpool -- it was "Blade: Trinity's" Hannibal King. Reynolds told the magazine that while he was on set, a studio exec handed him a stack of "Deadpool" comics, saying that since the actor was "essentially playing this guy anyway," that "maybe [he] should play him for real."
"I pored through the comics and realized that this character occupies a space in the comic-book universe that nobody else does," said Reynolds. "I still feel that way... There are moments where we really just venture into the heart of darkness and stay there for a few beats, but then it also has this very humorous undertone. We can go places and do things with this that you couldn't do with any other superhero property."
Directed by Tim Miller and starring Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano and more, "Deadpool" opens on February 12, 2016.