Deadpool remains an incredibly popular character more than a year after the Ryan Reynolds vehicle shattered R-rated movie records. That’s why FXX just ordered 10 episodes of a still-untitled animated Deadpool series, Marvel announced Wednesday.
Honestly, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more popular character in the realm of live-action superheroes. Standards like Batman and Spider-Man come with a built-in aura. When their names are on the marquee, you know to expect a huge spectacle with the full might of Marvel or DC Comics behind it. With Deadpool you never really know what to expect, and you buy the ticket and take the ride anyway. Now that’s popular.
Marvel knows this, and while the Merc with a Mouth’s expansive second movie is already on the way, Marvel Studios will have no part of that. All of their mutant characters on the big screen belong to Fox, Deadpool included. So, Marvel found another way to have some Deadpool fun. They went to the small screen.
Donald Glover, fresh off the success of his FX hit Atlanta, will run the animated series with his brother and fellow Atlanta writer Stephen. Glover’s got a long track record of comedy success running through 30 Rock, Community and Atlanta. He’s also a huge nerd with cred that’s still building thanks to his upcoming role as Lando Calrissian in Lucasfilm’s Han Solo movie. Now he gets to take his comedy and geek expertise and merge them in a very promising new series that could basically be Archer on steroids for FXX.
“How much more fun could this be? Deadpool, Donald and FX – the perfect fit for the Merc with the Mouth! We’re thrilled that our relationship with FX that started with Legion continues with what is sure to be a groundbreaking show in adult animation,“ Marvel Television’s Jeph Loeb said in a statement.
The very idea of a Deadpool cartoon is promising in and of itself, because the dude is basically Bugs Bunny with a foul mouth and a pair of swords. Even with the magic of CGI, you can only take the live-action version so far befre you completely blow up any sense of believability. Cartoon Deadpool will not have that problem. He can get as visually insane as he needs to be, making this quite possibly the perfect format for the character.
That’s not the only reason this is promising, though.
In the movies, Deadpool is about to start interacting with a host of other mutant characters like Cable and Domino but his crossover reach only extends so far. You can’t really team him with Cyclops and the main X-team at this point, because they’re off having adventures in a whole different era. You can in a cartoon, though. You can also team him with Wolverine, Sabretooth, Gambit and pretty much any other mutant you like. Hell, since Marvel is directly involved, you might even be able to talk them into loaning out Spider-Man or Captain America for an episode. This show will have no shared universe to box it in. That’s an exciting thing.
There’s one more wrinkle in all of this that further adds to the intrigue. This is the third recent collaboration between Marvel and Fox on the TV side, after FX’s Legion and FOX’s upcoming X-Men series The Gifted. For years it felt like there was no hope of such collaborations. Marvel was building its own live-action universe while Fox was making millions with their X-Men film rights. While there are still no signs of a movie team-up anytime soon, the frosty relationship has thawed on the small screen.
Now Fox is teaming with Marvel for a new version of what is, at the moment, its most popular film character. Wolverine has retired, Deadpool’s on top and Fox is willing to share some of that energy with Marvel. What else might they one day share? Just something to think about.