Deadpool is the latest comic book megastar. Ryan Reynolds has brought the popular Marvel Comics’ character to life, and helped make the movie one of the highest grossing R rated films of all time. Now there’s an internet movement to have the fully suited character host an episode of Saturday Night Live. No, not Ryan Reynolds; the actual Deadpool in full costume. The petition is so popular that it has amassed over 75,000 signatures.
While this is an incredibly compelling idea in theory, there are plenty of practical reasons why it’s nearly impossible.
Why it would work
For those who don’t know of the story of Deadpool, he’s as much of a comedian as action star. You don’t get the title of “merc with the mouth” without cracking wise on a regular basis.
There’s a key to nailing the character: he’s fully aware of the entertainment medium in which he resides. In other words, he knows he’s a comic book character. If he’s in a comic book, he knows he’s a drawn character within panels. If he’s in a video game, he’s aware someone is controlling him with a gamepad. A great example of this concept is the game “Marvel Vs. Capcom 3” where Deadpool made the fighting roster. In a special move, he pulls his life bar from the top of the screen and uses it as a weapon.
It’s unlikely the SNL staff has the knowledge of the characters to artfully and successfully pull off a Deadpool hosting gig. It’s not as easy as Deadpool looking into the camera and asking the audience how they are doing. The SNL staff could build the premises, but that initial writing would likely have to be massaged by Marvel Comics writers or the script writers from the Deadpool movie itself.
Deadpool the movie is a prime example of why Ryan Reynolds is the perfect choice of actor to play the hero. He’s a comedy action star. His breakout role in Van Wilder proved that he has serious skills when it comes to comedic timing. Also, Deadpool wasn’t the first time he’s played an action superhero. Reynolds was the comic relief in the sub-par Blade Trinity and was the lead in the much-maligned film Green Lantern.
It wouldn’t be his first time hosting SNL. He hosted the show in 2009 while he was promoting the terrible X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but the proposed idea is for the character Deadpool to host the sketch comedy show, not Reynolds. This is where things go awry.
Why it’s impossible
Let’s start with the suit. The suit is real in Deadpool, rather than an animated CG creation like Green Lantern. That sounds like it would be a point for the argument that Deadpool can indeed host SNL, but the problem is the mask.
Deadpool’s mask in the movie has some slight animation adjustments to it; specifically the eyes. It’s essential to the character that the audience sees expressions in the face of the mask. Those eyes shift and move to express surprise, sarcasm, anger and joy, which are all done with the aid of movie post-production. The mask and its expressions are a key piece to the Deadpool puzzle, and it would be impossible to pull off in a live broadcast. But it’s not even the biggest hurdle to overcome.
The biggest issue is the voice. Ryan Reynolds voice was clearly added in post-production. Otherwise, it would’ve been complete muffled by the mask. It would be a huge challenge for Reynolds to be able to project through the mask in order to have the boom mics clearly pick up what he’s saying.
Having Deadpool host a full episode of SNL would be a bold risk that would certainly pull an audience and make headlines. Ryan Reynolds is the man to be able to pull it off in full costume, but it might just be too much work to make it worthwhile.