20th Century Fox
Deadpool is Ryan Reynolds' baby.
Not literally. That's not how babies work.
What we mean is: Reynolds had been trying to bring Deadpool to the big screen since 2004 when he met screenwriter David S. Goyer, who penned the scripts for all of Christopher Nolan's Batman movies as well as Man of Steel. In 2009, Reynolds' Deadpool dreams came true—kind of. He played the Merc with a Mouth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a film that made some, uh, questionable choices with the character of Deadpool, like giving him hands that morph into swords and lasers that shoot out of his eyes, as well as sewing his mouth shut.
Yup. They made a Deadpool that couldn't speak. Predictably, comic book fans hate, hate, hated it. Most fans of good movies did, too.
Just Like Bad Sushi, He's Back
The idea of a Deadpool movie was revisited by 20th Century Fox in 2011 and most of the film's major players hopped onboard, including Reynolds, first-time feature director Tim Miller, and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. They shot a brief visual effects test that featured Deadpool breaking the fourth wall and beating up some bad guys…and then the project faded away again until 2014. (Source)
In the summer of 2014, that visual effects test mysteriously leaked, and the internet went wild. They loved it. Who leaked it? No one knows. Reynolds is "70 percent sure" that he didn't leak it himself. Regardless, that taste of Deadpool-mania was all 20th Century Fox needed to invest in a Deadpool flick. Production was off and running in the spring of 2015.
Paging Dr. Deadpool
If 20th Century Fox was worried about how their R-rated comic book movie would do at the box office, especially given the fact that an R rating would keep kids away, they didn't show it. Instead, they pumped money into an aggressive ad campaign that included everything from sophomoric tweets and emoji-filled billboards to detailed testicular cancer awareness spots.
The marketing barrage paid off.
Deadpool sits in the https://www.the-numbers.com/movie/Deadpool#tab=summary superhero movies of all time both domestically and internationally, and it's 20th Century Fox's sixth-highest grossing film ever behind Avatar, Titanic, and three Stars Wars flicks. Reynolds' labor of love raked in almost 14 times the amount of its production budget. Granted, as superhero movies go, its $58 million production budget was pretty slim. Don't let that fool you, though: By opening weekend, 20th Century Fox finally had faith in Deadpool—so much so that they greenlit a sequel before the first film even hit theatres, unofficially making Deadpool the bigmouthed little blockbuster that could.