Deadpool should be a hit. It has to be. The character that was once believed to be nearly impossible to translate to the big screen due to his violent nature and adult themes, is set to explode in theaters on February 12, 2016.
When he does, he will leave an imprint in the comic book film genre that will be felt for years to come.
Tim Miller's opus on Marvel's Merc with a Mouth is his directorial debut and while that may be a reason to proceed with caution, this one just feels right.
From everything we've seen thus far, everyone involved in this movie is completely dialed in. Ryan Reynolds has embraced the character like no one could have imagined, even trick-or-treating in full costume.
For a guy that was so totally blasted over Wolverine: Origins, Reynolds has done a complete 180, to the point that he will likely own this role. Like Robert Downey with Iron Man, Reynolds may be regarded as the only actor that could possibly portray Deadpool.
But if there is a cause for concern, it has to do with the character itself and how he will fit into Marvel's cinematic universe.
There is a possibility that Deadpool will not be able to find a big enough audience to become a smash hit. The pieces seem to fit and the vibe appears to be perfect but the R rating puts Deadpool in Punisher territory and that's a sticky place to be in.
The Punisher is regarded as one of Marvel's most popular antiheroes, their real-world Batman in a grittier and darker reality. Where Bruce Wayne put on a cowl, Frank Castle picked up a gun and his unyielding philosophy on criminals has endeared him to a whole generation of fans.
His tortured existence and tragic quest for justice should translate to the big screen but so far, the results have not been good.
Is that the fate that awaits Deadpool? Will fans go in droves on opening weekend, only to walk away disappointed? Will the mainstream audience that are not familiar with the character stay home instead of even giving it a chance?
Those mainstream moviegoers know Spider-Man, they know The Avengers, they do not know Deadpool and his little corner of the Marvel Universe may not be one the audience cares to see.
Netflix has nailed the darker heroes and done it with amazing precision. Daredevil and Jessica Jones have both impressed hardcore and casual comic book fans alike and Luke Cage will surely do the same.
But that's a different situation, in which each character has an abundance of time to be fleshed out and fully realized. This is not the case for Deadpool.
As with every property Marvel has ever licensed or developed, it all comes down to the story. If the story is good and if the acting is on point, then Deadpool will succeed. It looks like a hit, it feels like a hit and the only question is, will it indeed be a hit?
If it is, then it will leave the aforementioned imprint in Hollywood that will be felt for a very long while. When was the last time that a film about a masked comic book vigilante carried an R rating and made a ton of money?
Deadpool has the potential to make a splash and could ultimately spawn a string of sequels if it works. As long as the movie connects with the audience and captures their interest, then this one will set a new mark for Marvel.
If that happens, it's reasonable to assume that The Punisher would eventually get another shot and maybe it will work the next time.
In the meantime, Deadpool is coming and fans are ready for a hit.