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It wasn’t just the swearing, the Stan Lee cameo or the hyper-violence — instead, it was the fact that it looks like the first movie that talks to the fan audience in their own language.
The tone was set, admittedly, in a pre-discussion video that voiced many Deadpool fans’ frustrations by making fun of the decision to sew the character’s mouth shut for his big screen debut in X-Men Origins: Wolverine; considering the comic book incarnation’s nickname is “the merc with the mouth,” with a reputation for being a wisecracking a-hole, it was a choice that seemed surprising at best, and downright contrary at worst.
Either way, it was a sign to the hardcore fan base that that Deadpool wasn’t the character they fell in love with, and this movie’s willingness to poke fun is a sign that this Deadpool very much is the version they know and love.
The full-length trailer shown in Hall H was more of the same, opening with a somber tone as Ryan Reynolds‘ Wade Wilson faces a cancer diagnosis with an appropriately dramatic, slow-pan response filled with mysterious figures offering him the chance to live — something that felt not unlike the tone of Marvel’s first Ant-Man trailer, right up to when Reynolds starts demanding that no one give him a green, animated costume. (Something with which Reynolds has painful firsthand experience.)
It’s another sign that the R-rated movie Deadpool isn’t just the fourth wall-breaking character comic fans recognize; he’s someone who’ll make the same comments and demands of the movie that fans will.
That continues throughout the rest of the trailer — Reynolds pointing out Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld in a cameo appearance (just before Stan Lee fulfills his cameo potential as a strip club DJ, playing with the veteran creator’s cuddly public image in the way that fans will likely enjoy), or responding to learning Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s name by breaking character to tell her how cool it is. And, to be fair, it is.
It’s a movie that feels like the next generation of the metatextual referentiality that’s made Marvel Studios’ offerings so successful with fans — and been shared on social media by fans countless times following release.
Now, instead of Easter eggs, we have a movie that will openly talk about the things created just to thrill the faithful, pointing them out and saying Yes, we get it too, we’re just like you.
With an attitude like that, it’s unsurprising that the Hall H audience demanded a second screening by stamping its collective feet and chanting. The real question is whether non-Comic-Con audiences will react in the same way.
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