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The X-Men Origins: Wolverine Scenes Ryan Reynolds Regrets Filming

Everybody loves Deadpool ... well, everybody who likes their superheroes violent, profane, and self-aware, that is. The Merc with a Mouth has been a wise-cracking, fourth wall-breaking, fun-loving part of the Marvel universe for the better part of three decades — but he skyrocketed into the mainstream popular consciousness with the release of 2016's Deadpool, which starred Ryan Reynolds in the title role of Wade Wilson, a smartass mercenary whose participation in a highly experimental cancer treatment results in super-strength, an extremely robust healing factor, and an open invitation to join the X-Men despite not exactly playing well with others.

We wish we could say that Deadpool and its even more bonkers sequel, 2018's Deadpool 2, were enough to erase the character's first incarnation from the pop culture collective consciousness — but that incarnation was so outlandishly, egregiously wrong that this is, unfortunately, not the case. In 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Reynolds made his first appearance as Wilson, who looked not at all — not even a tiny little bit — like the big-screen Deadpool we would all come to know and love. Instead, we were treated to a version of Wade who is genetically altered to be imbued with the abilities of a wide array of mutants — a "pool" of "deadly" abilities, if you will, or even if you won't — whose final form was devoid of any wit, anything resembling Deadpool's iconic costume, and a mouth. That's right, they took away Deadpool's mouth. For shame.

Many fans were surprised, to say the least, that Reynolds — who had expressed his affinity for the character, and had been trying to get a proper adaptation off the ground since 2004 — would take part in such a travesty. As it turns out, Reynolds' attitude toward his X-Men Origins: Wolverine appearance is not a terribly surprising one.

Ryan Reynolds was all but forced to shoot scenes as Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Reynolds spoke about the situation with Jess Cagle during an episode of his SiriusXM radio show shortly after the release (and smashing success) of Deadpool in 2016. The star acknowledged that it was his previously professed love of Deadpool that prompted executives of then-20th Century Fox to come knocking on his door once they'd gotten it into their heads to use a version of the character for X-Men Origins: Wolverine. "I was already attached to the Deadpool movie," Reynolds explained. "We hadn't, at that point, written a script yet. But that came along, and [I was basically told], 'Play Deadpool in this movie, or else we'll get someone else to.' And I just said, 'I'll do it, but it's the wrong version.'"

Reynolds went on to share that the film was in production during the writers' strike of 2007 and 2008, meaning that he was pretty much on his own in terms of the character's portrayal early in the film (before the experimentation that turned him into Fauxpool for the flick's final act). "Every line I have in the movie, I just wrote myself," he said. "The script that we had, it just said, 'Wade Wilson shows up. He talks really fast.' I was like, 'What? What am I supposed to do with that?'" Reynolds did admit, though, that thanks to that aspect of the production, he felt that he was at least able to do the character justice to a point. "I had fun with the beginning stuff, I felt like that was pretty appropriate for Wade Wilson," he said. "The latter half is where they sort of called an audible at the last minute, and just changed him."

Reynolds also shared a hilarious exchange that he had on set with one of the flick's executive producers. "I said, 'You guys, people are gonna go nuts over this.' And he was like, 'I know right?" And I was like, 'No, not in a good way.'"

A fortunate leak salvaged Deadpool's big screen fortunes

Considering the extremely negative fan reaction to Deadpool's portrayal in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, followed by Reynolds' starring in the debacle that was Green Lantern just two years later, there were a few years there during which an honest-to-goodness Deadpool feature seemed like it might never materialize. However, it was a short test reel commissioned by Fox executives in 2012, seemingly as an afterthought, that turned the tide. Director Tim Miller, who had previously created a few Iron Man-centric short animated films for Marvel Studios in advance of the launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (via Geek Tyrant), was given a tiny budget to produce a short scene outlining his vision for a Deadpool feature, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The resulting reel didn't result in a greenlight for the film — at least, not right away. In 2014, it was leaked online to a massive outpouring of fan enthusiasm, which forced the studio to reevaluate its position.

To this day, it's unclear just who leaked that footage (although in our minds, we're picturing a shadowy, Tim Miller-shaped figure hunched over a computer clicking the UPLOAD button with a sinister chuckle). But in an interview with Yahoo, Reynolds gave the leak sole credit for salvaging Deadpool from the scrap heap to which he was consigned after his disastrous X-Men outing — and if he knows who's responsible for it, he's not saying. Chatting with Jimmy Fallon in 2016, he said, "There's four of us [who could have leaked the footage]: me, [screenwriters] Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and Tim Miller, the director. We all said at the beginning that someone should leak it, so the idea was planted, but I'm 70 percent sure it wasn't me." Don't ever change, Wade ... er, Ryan.