Get ready for Deadpool with our list of the most memorable Ryan Reynolds movies and TV roles!
On February 12, Ryan Reynolds’ long-held dream of starring in a Deadpool movie will finally come to fruition. Reynolds was attached to a potential Deadpool movie all the way back in 2004, and he’s been pushing for it ever since. Reynolds even portrayed the “Merc with a Mouth” in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but that film may have actually hurt his chances. It wasn’t until Reynolds’ Deadpool test footage was leaked that 20th Century Fox took Deadpool seriously as an X-Men spinoff film.
Reynolds is clearly a big comic book fan, and several of his films have been comic book adaptations. Reynolds is widely considered to be a movie star, but he’s also got a lot of flops on his resume. Deadpool has had a lot of buzz so far, but it remains to be seen how that will translate into its box office. Deadpool fans are clearly looking forward to an R-rated take on the character, but will the film be embraced by the general public?
Ahead of Deadpool’s release, ComingSoon.net is taking a look back at the ten most memorable Ryan Reynolds movies and television roles. If we left off any of your favorites, let us know in the comments below!
Ryan Reynolds Movies and TV Spotlight: Two Guys, a Girl and Pizza Place (1998)
Reynolds career as a child actor dates back to 1991, but his first breakout role as an adult was on ABC’s “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place” (later titled just “Two Guys and a Girl”). The sitcom ran for four seasons beginning in 1998. Reynolds played Michael “Berg” Bergen opposite Richard Ruccolo’s Pete Dunville and Traylor Howard’s Sharon Carter.
“Two Guys and a Girl” actually performed well for ABC until the network moved it to Friday nights in 2000. After that, the show never regained its lost audience and was unceremoniously canceled in 2001. However, the series gave Reynolds greater exposure and helped pave the way for his feature film career.
Ryan Reynolds Movies and TV Spotlight: National Lampoon’s Van Wilder (2002)
Van Wilder was Reynolds’ first post “Two Guys and a Girl” movie role, and it gave him the chance to prove that he could carry a feature film. As the title character of Van Wilder, Reynolds played a college student who refused to graduate after seven years until circumstances forced him to move on.
Because Van Wilder had a very low budget, it’s $38 million box office return was considered to be a success. Van Wilder spawned a theatrical sequel and a direct-to-DVD prequel, neither of which featured Reynolds.
Ryan Reynolds Movies and TV Spotlight: Blade: Trinity (2004)
Reynolds landed his first comic book movie role in Blade: Trinity, the final Blade feature film to star Wesley Snipes as Marvel’s half-vampire vampire hunter. Reynolds played Hannibal King, a former vampire hunter who teamed up with Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel) as the Nightstalkers.
Years before Marvel attempted to make its cinematic universe, Blade: Trinity shamelessly tried to set up Hannibal and Abigail for a potential Nightstalkers film, which reportedly made Snipes very unhappy. Moviegoers didn’t bite, and there hasn’t been a Blade movie since. In fact, the rights for the Blade characters have apparently relapsed to Marvel Studios!
Ryan Reynolds Movies and TV Spotlight: The Amityville Horror (2005)
The remake of The Amityville Horror was Reynolds’ next major film, which he headlined as George Lutz opposite Melissa George’s Kathy Lutz and Chloë Grace Moretz as Kathy’s daughter, Chelsea. Both George and Moretz went on to star in comic book movies of their own, in 30 Days of Night and the Kick-Ass films, respectively.
Although The Amityville Horror was a modest hit, it was savaged by reviewers and it infuriated the real George Lutz, who attempted to sue the filmmakers before his death in May 2006.
Ryan Reynolds Movies and TV Spotlight: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Five years after he first pursued the role of Deadpool, Reynolds got to play Deadpool’s alter ego, Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Much like every other character in the movie, many liberties were taken with Deadpool’s portrayal in this film…and none of the changes were popular with fans.
Deadpool actually has a huge role in the finale as the ultimate mutant created by the film’s villain, William Stryker (Danny Huston). But martial artist Scott Adkins portrayed Deadpool in the film’s climactic sequence. Even if X-Men: Days of Future Past hadn’t reset the X-Men timeline, the Deadpool movie would have ignored X-Men Origins: Wolverine completely.
Ryan Reynolds Movies and TV Spotlight: Buried (2010)
In Buried, Reynolds carried most of the movie as Paul Conroy, a civilian truck driver in Iraq who was kidnapped and buried alive in a coffin as a means to extort his family and his employer. Buried had a very dark story and Reynolds’ performance was widely praised.
Ryan Reynolds Movies and TV Spotlight: Green Lantern (2011)
Just a few years after Marvel struck gold with Iron Man and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC and Warner Bros. attempted to launch Green Lantern as a superhero franchise film with Ryan Reynolds in the lead as Hal Jordan. Warner Bros. also went all out in its marketing campaign to turn Green Lantern into a hit.
And while Green Lantern was far from a flop, it’s $115 domestic gross was far below the projections of Warner Bros. and the ambitious sequel plans were cancelled. There will be a new Green Lantern Corps movie within the next few years, but it will be a reboot without the involvement of Reynolds.
Ryan Reynolds Movies and TV Spotlight: Safe House (2012)
Safe House was one of Reynold’s biggest hits as an action star, but he had to share the spotlight with Denzel Washington, who dominated the film. Washington played renegade operative Tobin Frost, while Reynolds portrayed Matt Weston, a lowly CIA agent who was in charge of a South African safe house until Frost’s activities brought danger into their midst.
Aside from Green Lantern, Safe House was Reynolds’ best box office opening as a featured star. There may even be a Safe House sequel, but that project has yet to materialize.
Ryan Reynolds Movies and TV Spotlight: R.I.P.D. (2013)
Even most comic book fans would probably be surprised to learn that R.I.P.D. was based on a Dark Horse Comics series called Rest in Peace Department. Essentially, it was a Men in Black riff with Reynolds as Nick Walker, a recently-killed cop who was recruited to the Rest in Peace Department and partnered up with Civil War veteran Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges).
To say that R.I.P.D. bombed is really underselling it. This film was not only a box office failure, it’s considered to be one of the biggest flops in recent history.
Ryan Reynolds Movies and TV Spotlight: Self/less (2015)
Reynolds’ most recent film, Self/less also failed to ignite the box office. After a few delays, Self/less was dropped in the middle of Summer 2015, where it was promptly declared Dead on Arrival.
In the film, Reynolds played Damian Hale, a role he shared with Ben Kingsley. The mind of the older Hale (Kingsley) was supposedly placed in an artificial body (played by Reynolds), but the actual explanation was more complicated. Moviegoers didn’t seem to be enticed by the premise of Self/less, and it was another blemish on Reynolds’ box office resume.
Here’s hoping that Deadpool gets a warmer reception when it comes out next month.