Generally speaking, superhero movies tend toward the epic: Worlds ending, floating islands crashing into cities, militarized shrinking suits that could change warfare forever in the wrong hands, Doomsday monsters, etc. We have no idea exactly what the stakes are going to be in February’s forthcoming Deadpool, but the answer to that question is almost beside the point–Marvel’s most sarcastic hero is definitely being set up as a “more about the journey than the destination” tale. And the reveals we’ve seen of the hard-R superhero adventure suggest that the journey is going to be heavier on the weirdness than on anything else.
Two new teasers revealed today further support that theory. In the first, Ryan Reynolds’s titular hero kicks it on the sofa in a PSA styled after the old “this is your brain on drugs” ads from the ’80s–with a chimichanga, a foodstuff that the character talks about a lot, standing in for the eggs. (“Drugs,” in this metaphor, are replaced by IMAX screenings, naturally.) In the second, Deadpool–still hanging out in the living room, this time one decorated for Christmas–discusses the finer points of short-shorts in basketball with sidekick Weasel (T.J. Miller) before informing viewers that there’ll be a special exclusive trailer during Christmas Day’s NBA games.
Marketing a superhero movie with a handful of teasers in which the hero sits on a couch and directly addresses the audience suggests that the folks behind Deadpool aren’t trying to entice viewers to come check out yet another superhero story–rather, they’re going hard on what the fans like about the character, which is his tendency to break the fourth wall, his love of weirdness and chimichangas, and his unhinged sense of humor. We’ve seen superhero movies marketed around sarcasm before, but those unfamiliar with the character of Deadpool who catch just these teasers could be forgiven for assuming that the film is a Masterpiece Theater-like affair about a snarky bondage enthusiast who dresses in leather and hangs out in his living room the whole movie. At the very least, you have to give them credit for their commitment to the character.