Every Deadpool Movie Appearance, Ranked

  • Ryan Reynolds has made four appearances as Wade Wilson's Deadpool in live-action, with his fifth coming in Marvel Studios' Deadpool & Wolverine.
  • The version of Deadpool depicted in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine was by far the most disappointing.
  • Ryan Reynolds' new-and-improved Deadpool in 20th Century Fox's revised timeline was much more popular, and will be the version joining the MCU.
Ryan Reynolds has portrayed Deadpool in several live-action projects since debuting as the Merc with a Mouth in 2009, but some appearances have been better received than others. Ryan Reynolds first became interested in portraying Marvel Comics' Wade Wilson, a.k.a. Deadpool, after the antihero related his appearance as "Ryan Reynolds crossed with a shar-pei" in 2004's Cable & Deadpool #2. Reynolds first debuted as Wade Wilson in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but reinvented the character in later 20th Century Fox projects, and is bringing the Merc with a Mouth into the MCU proper in Marvel Studios' upcoming Deadpool & Wolverine.
Over the course of his current live-action appearances, Wade Wilson has been an amalgamation of other mutants' powers, a handsome mercenary working at Sister Margaret's School for Wayward Girls, an antihero with a vendetta against the man who transformed him into a mutant, and even a trainee X-Men member and leader of X-Force. The usually R-rated Deadpool also explored the world of PG-13 with a Holiday re-release of Deadpool 2. Ryan Reynolds is returning with an R-rating alongside Hugh Jackman's Wolverine in the MCU's Deadpool & Wolverine, which will surely poke fun at his four previous live-action appearances as Deadpool.
Your browser does not support the video tag. Related The MCU's Next $1B Movie Box Office Success Just Got A Lot More Likely Deadpool & Wolverine is the strongest candidate to pass the $1 billion mark for the MCU in years, and a new broken record makes that even more likely.
4 X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) Deadpool Had A Disappointing Debut In X-Men Origins: Wolverine Close Unfortunately, Ryan Reynolds' first live-action experience as Wade Wilson was the character's worst iteration on-screen. 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine explored the backstory of Hugh Jackman's Wolverine following his key role in 20th Century Fox's original X-Men trilogy. The movie featured the emergence of Wolverine's mutation in the 1840s, his life fighting in numerous wars alongside his brother, Victor Creed, and his experiences with William Stryker and Team X, eventually culminating in him being gifted his adamantium upgrade.
Related The MCU's X-Men Can Perfectly Recover 1 Major Fox Blunder Marvel Studios can learn from one of Fox"s biggest X-Men mistakes in their eventual introduction of mutants and the official X-Men team in the MCU.
Wade Wilson was initially depicted as a member of Team X in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, with abilities including enhanced reflexes and agility. He briefly lived up to his nickname as the Merc with a Mouth, and showed off his powers with an exhilarating sword-fighting sequence, but the character was quickly sidelined. Wade Wilson returned in X-Men Origins: Wolverine's final act as Weapon XI, having been gifted the abilities of other mutants, including Scott Summers' Cyclops, John Wraith's Kestrel, and Wolverine himself. Controversially, his mouth was sewn shut as Weapon XI, removing Deadpool's iconic comedic wit completely.
The butchering of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was perhaps not the worst aspect of the 2009 prequel, but it certainly contributed to the movie's poor performance and negative response. Fans of Marvel Comics surely wouldn't have recognized this iteration of Deadpool, as it was a far cry from the character's roots in the source material. Despite the tease of Weapon XI's survival in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, this version of the character hasn't yet returned to live-action, though he has been speculated to be returning in Deadpool & Wolverine as "Headpool", which could give this disappointing installment more meaning.
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3 Once Upon A Deadpool (2018) Deadpool 2's PG-13 Re-Release Didn't Match Up To The Original Close Following the release of Deadpool 2 in May 2018, 20th Century Fox announced that a PG-13 edit of the sequel would be released in December of that year, after Alita: Battle Angel was moved to February 2019. While the majority of Deadpool 2 was kept the same for the Once Upon a Deadpool re-release, several aspects of the movie were wildly different. Most notably, the PG-13 rating limited the amount of cursing, blood, and violence that could be featured in Once Upon a Deadpool, which perhaps contributed to the project not faring as well as its R-rated predecessor.
Evidently, this Deadpool appearance was still better than that in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as it involved the updated version of the Merc with a Mouth who debuted in 2016's Deadpool. This version is more comic-accurate than Weapon XI, and, crucially, is able to speak, delivering his fantastic humor and much-loved fourth wall breaks. Once Upon a Deadpool was an experiment for Fox, perhaps testing the waters of delivering a PG-13 Deadpool, but this unfortunately didn't pay off. Nevertheless, the proceeds from Once Upon a Deadpool went to charity, supporting the "Fudge Cancer" (renamed for the project) charity campaign.
Several new scenes, primarily those featuring Fred Savage in a parody of The Princess Bride, were filmed in a single day for Once Upon a Deadpool, which were actually brilliant. Savage and Deadpool bounced excellently off each other, and Deadpool's harnessing of a self-bleeper to avoid cursing was inventive and hilarious. However, this wasn't enough to make up for the disappointing edit of Deadpool 2 that was released, proving that Deadpool works best with an R-rating.
Related Ryan Reynolds Reveals Scrapped Deadpool Christmas Movie Details Ryan Reynolds reveals details for a scrapped Deadpool Christmas movie he penned with the franchise"s co-writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
2 Deadpool (2016) Deadpool's Reinvention In 2016 Was Fantastic Close Seven years after his divisive debut in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ryan Reynolds returned to the big-screen as Wade Wilson in Deadpool, now bringing a more comic-accurate depiction of the character into live-action. 2016's Deadpool was a hugely popular addition to 20th Century Fox's X-Men timeline, and is still regarded as one of the franchise's strongest movies, thanks to Ryan Reynolds' commitment and passion for the role. Taking place after 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past reset the franchise's timeline, Deadpool reinvented the titular antihero completely, removing him entirely from his X-Men Origins roots.
Related Deadpool's 10 Most Impressive Displays Of Power Across 3 Movie Appearances Deadpool boasts a stunning array of powers demonstrated throughout his various cinematic appearances, even his infamous original depiction.
Deadpool explored Wade Wilson's origin story as Deadpool, featuring the establishment of his romance with Morena Baccarin's Vanessa, his diagnosis with terminal cancer, and his torture at the hands of Ajax, a.k.a. Francis, which eventually transformed him into a mutant. While this origin story is different to his backstory in Marvel Comics, it made complete sense for the live-action X-Men franchise, and allowed Ryan Reynolds to portray vulnerability as well as hilarity in this new-and-improved version of Wade Wilson. This was an incredibly strong fresh start for Deadpool, but it wasn't without its flaws.
20th Century Fox didn't have a great deal of faith in Deadpool's potential initially, due in part to the project's necessary R-rating, and Ryan Reynolds' own disappointing stint as Hal Jordan in DC's reviled Green Lantern in 2011. This hampered Deadpool's production, and meant that the project had a budget of only $58 million, which was evident in the simple storyline and lack of major visual effects. However, after Deadpool brought in over $782 million at the box office (via Box Office Mojo), faith was restored in the Merc with a Mouth.
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1 Deadpool 2 (2018) Deadpool 2's Bigger Budget Contributed To A More Comic-Like Spectacle Close After Deadpool performed significantly well among audiences and critics alike, 20th Century Fox expanded the budget for the 2018 sequel. This marked a noticeable change in Deadpool 2, with bigger spectacles, more mutants, more action, a more-layered storyline, and fantastic visual effects, all helping to make Deadpool 2 the strongest installment in the Merc with a Mouth's history. Deadpool 2's bigger budget made the project feel more like an issue of Marvel Comics brought to life, which better suited the ridiculous nature of the titular antihero and his newfound mutant family.
Deadpool 2 tragically opened with Vanessa being killed off, prompting Wade Wilson to make attempts on his own life before being brought to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and made a trainee X-Man. A mission gone wrong lands him in the Ice Box with Russell Collins' Firefist, who is in the sights of Josh Brolin's Cable for killing his family in the future. Brolin's debut as Cable added an intensity and prestige to Deadpool 2 that was missing from the original, while cameos from the likes of Terry Crews, Bill Skarsgård, Rob Delaney, and even Brad Pitt, were incredibly entertaining.
Related 10 Rumored Deadpool & Wolverine Cameos Ranked From Least To Most Likely There are many rumors about which actors will make a cameo in Deadpool & Wolverine, and based on a few factors, some are more likely than others.
Deadpool 2 brought in just over $785 million at the global box office (via Box Office Mojo), only just beating its predecessor, but it was a much more thrilling ride and a more in-depth exploration of Wade Wilson's personality and interpersonal relationships. The fantastic post-credits scenes of Deadpool 2 also perfectly set the stage for Ryan Reynolds' return as the Merc with a Mouth in the MCU proper. Both Deadpool and Deadpool 2 formed a solid base for Wade Wilson, meaning Deadpool won't be starting from scratch in the MCU, and has already proven his incredible potential and huge popularity.
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Upcoming MCU Movies
Release Date
Deadpool & Wolverine
July 26, 2024
Captain America: Brave New World
February 14, 2025
May 5, 2025
The Fantastic Four
July 25, 2025
November 7, 2025
Avengers 5
May 1, 2026
Avengers: Secret Wars
May 7, 2027


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