An interesting conundrum for Ryan Reynolds and Marvel’s Deadpool 3 this week: Can you film a Deadpool movie without the famously ad-lib heavy Reynolds being allowed to improvise on set?
See, Deadpool 3 started filming this week, amidst the ongoing WGA writer’s strike. And while the rules say that actors can improvise lines on films during the strike, the rules about writers being allowed to write lines for a production right now are a lot more strict. And Reynolds is, indeed, officially a writer on Deadpool 3, having previously picked up a writing credit on Deadpool 2—basically on the strength of how much of his own dialogue he improvises. Which means that, at least hypothetically, any deviations from the movie’s script by him could constitute strike-breaking under the rules of the Guild. If he gets reported, he could hypothetically try to argue that he’s only fulfilling his roles on the film as an actor or producer—although multi-hyphenate writer-producers have been specifically asked not to do anything even remotely writer-ly on their projects right now—but that “written by” credit is going to be a tricky obstacle to get around.
So, we gotta ask: What does a Deadpool movie even sound like without Reynolds’ motor-mouthed riffing? Damned if we know. As it happens, the character’s very first cinematic appearance was filmed during the last writers strike, back in 2007; Reynolds has said that he improvised all of Deadpool’s dialogue for X-Men Origins: Wolverine himself, and that’s apparently been the tradition since.
It’s an open question, at the moment, of which projects are choosing to film right now, as the strike moves into its second week; TV has been a decidedly mixed bag, with some shows—often those closer to easily organized picket lines—shutting down, while others have chosen to work with existing scripts and without writers on set. Relatively few films have been affected yet (although Marvel was weirdly quick to delay the Blade movie yet again). Deadpool 3 is one of the first big studio features to go into production amidst the strike; as is, it sounds like the Merc With The Mouth is going to have to be the Killer With The Clearly Demarcated Lines Between Writer And Actor, at least for the foreseeable future.