Credit this one to the power of public opinion: A Deadpool solo movie is officially on the release calendar.
X-Men franchise studio 20th Century Fox has assigned a release date of February 12, 2016, for the long-awaited film featuring Marvel’s mouthy mercenary front and center — likely played by Ryan Reynolds, who played Deadpool’s alter ego Wade Wilson in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Visual-effects supervisor Tim Miller (who received an Oscar nomination in 2005 for co-writing the animated short film Gopher Broke) is expected to make his directorial debut with the film, which is based on a script by Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
After a controversial introduction in 2009’s X-Men Origins that featured both a good example of the character’s appeal and an entirely forgettable interpretation, Deadpool has been the subject of years of intense public pining for the character to get his own big-screen adventure — preferably with Reynolds reprising his role as the mutant assassin. The film was initially green-lit after X-Men Origins but fell into development limbo as studio 20th Century Fox second-guessed the notion of an R-rated comic-book movie featuring the actor who starred in the epic 2011 flop Green Lantern.
Back in July 2014, test footage created to pitch a Deadpool movie (embedded below) finally found its way online and reignited the public push for the film. The video spread like wildfire around the online world, and was met with almost universal approval.
While Reynolds and the team long associated with the film have yet to be officially confirmed for the project, the decision to slot Deadpool into the February 2016 weekend would seem to indicate that most of the pieces are already in place for the film. It’s worth noting that the February 12 release schedule would put it in theaters just a few months before X-Men: Apocalypse.
You can watch the Deadpool test footage below to get a taste of what to expect from the film: