‘Deadpool,’ Donald Glover and The Future That Could’ve Been
When Donald Glover showed that “he had time” for FX’s messiness, writer Jazmine Joyner believed they screwed up by cancelling Deadpool.
The “Merc With The Mouth” has been making big splashes in media for the last couple of years. With his debut back into the mainstream in Fox’s 2016 hit film Deadpool, and his up-and-coming sequel, the big-red-jackass is truly becoming a mainstay in media. So when FX announced that Donald Glover, the multi-talented writer, comedian, singer, actor, and director, was going to be writing the new Deadpool animated series I personally jumped for joy.
Being a huge Deadpool fan myself I was excited to see what Glover and his brother-slash-writing partner Stephen Glover could bring to the character. But sadly that will never be. Last week FX announced the cancellation of the series releasing a statement, writing, “Due to creative differences, FX, Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, and Marvel Television have agreed to part ways on Marvel’s Deadpool animated series.” Many outlets implied that Glover himself didn’t have time to work on the series, but to quell those rumors, Donald released the final script for the series to Twitter with a caption: “For the record: I wasn’t too busy to work on Deadpool.”
The script took us to Kenya, where Deadpool had been hired to protect Sudan, the last living male white rhino who died this past week. The Glover Brothers captured perfectly the topical fourth wall breaking, often annoying character that is Deadpool. They even touched upon the cancellation of the 10-episode series, with Deadpool humorously asking was the show too black?
That was my question too. Reading the script, the Glovers often make references to topics you see trending within #BlackTwitter: Who bit Beyoncé’s face? Ben Carson, Jeremy Scott (of Felon Bae fame), and Ecko (The famed streetwear brand). These references along with both writers being black could easily make white studio heads nervous.
Deadpool has often been depicted as a character who lives on the fringes of society. He is an outcast, an undying mercenary, who talks himself into trouble more often than not. I feel a character like that—a white hitman—could benefit from having black writers to comment on what is happening today. I mean, this is what the Glovers did, and Deadpool is the perfect mouthpiece to call out the homegrown terrorism that we are seeing in our country.
“You know, I’m not mad about this whole ‘cancelled’ thing. I actually think it’s a good thing. I mean, is it even a good time to have a violent, gun-loving white man ranting on TV? OTHER THAN THE PRESIDENT?”
It’s moments like this where you can see the benefit of having a show like this on television, outside of the late night circuit. Where can you see a major Marvel character comment on Stephon Clark and police brutality in a way that can be disgestable to the masses? I believe FX and Marvel really screwed up by cancelling this show. They threw away the opportunity t not only have a fantastic show led by one of the best comedy writers in the business, but a platform where through humor they could educate and bring awareness to vital and often ignored topics.
Jazmine Joyner is a Southern California based writer, whose work has appeared in /Film, Women Write About Comics, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and Ms En Scene. You can follow her great cinematic adventure on Twitter @Jazmine_Joyner.