What Does Ryan Reynolds’ ‘Green Lantern’ Role Mean For ‘Deadpool’ Movie?

Now that Ryan Reynolds has been tagged to play both Green Lantern and Deadpool in upcoming films, there’s no small amount of buzz regarding how the DC hero’s big-screen debut could affect the Marvel mercenary’s solo spin-off film. With both films currently scheduled for release in 2011, will doubling up mean that one film will suffer at the expense of the other, or could competition between the two projects benefit fans of both characters?

We aren’t likely to receive answers to these questions anytime soon, but there does seem to be cause for concern — or joy, depending on how you look at it — for fans of DC’s Emerald Knight and Marvel’s Merc With A Mouth.

“Deadpool as Green Lantern? Sounds good to me!! The Deadpool budget just got bigger fo sho,” wrote Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld in a Twitter post Friday evening, just after the news hit the ’Net.

But will the “Deadpool” movie really benefit from Reynolds’ involvement in “Green Lantern“?

With a “Green Lantern” script in its final stages and production expected to kick off in January, Hal Jordan has a significantly shorter leap to the big screen right now than Deadpool’s alter ego, Wade Wilson, who still needs a writer for his solo film. Currently, both films are scheduled for release in 2011, with “Green Lantern” staking out a place in theaters June 17.

While it’s conceivable that production for both films could occur in the same calendar year, “Green Lantern” is intended to be one of Warner Bros’ blockbuster releases for 2011, so it’s likely to require a major commitment from Reynolds for the first half of 2010.

“Deadpool,” on the other hand, occupies a more uncertain place in the Fox film hierarchy. A lesser-known character who received very little screen time in his one and only big-screen bow, there’s little reason to expect Fox to invest at a level similar to Warner Bros’ “Green Lantern” budget. The hefty paycheck Reynolds is likely to demand now that he’s landed the “Green Lantern” lead could also play into a potential “Deadpool” casting dilemma.

Furthermore, though it’s not unheard of for two major comic book movies to premiere during the same calendar year (“Iron Man” and “The Dark Knight” premiered just over two months apart in 2008), featuring the same actor in both films is a new gamble — and despite his role in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” Deadpool’s smaller fan base and controversial debut make him the underdog in this race.

This makes the possibility of a delayed premiere for “Deadpool” likely if Reynolds indeed takes on both roles — but will audiences wait that long? And if Reynolds doesn’t end up bringing the character to the screen, who will?

Reynolds has earned a lot of cred from comic book fans for his portrayal of the character in the early portions of “Wolverine” and during interviews both ahead of the film and since the solo movie was announced. Whether fans will rally around a new Wade Wilson is yet another question that could determine the project’s fate.

Finally, one of the last — and possibly most important — questions that remain is: Will fans accept Reynolds in both roles? If a “Deadpool” movie plays out as Reynolds has suggested in interviews, we’ll be seeing far more of the character’s scarred face and signature mask — so there could be less cause for concern with the actor’s double-dipping. Historically, audiences have been willing to accept actors taking on multiple, iconic roles in movies released close to each other in the calendar. Harrison Ford did it with the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises, after all.

In the end, the battle between DC’s cosmic policeman and Marvel’s mercenary could just come down to which character has the better story to tell — and that’s a competition fans should be happy to instigate.

What do you think about Ryan Reynolds being cast in both films? How do you think it will affect the films?