Deadpool
Deadpool in the computer-animated test footage.20th Century Fox

At long last a solo Deadpool movie has been officially announced.

Ever since the character made his oft-criticised debut in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, fans have been clamouring to see the character given the film he deserves.

Now that film is one step closer to becoming a reality, with director Tim Miller in charge of what will be his first feature film and a February 2016 release date pencilled in. Ryan Reynolds – who played the character in Origins – is also returning.

After years of speculation and hoping, the wish has been granted by Fox, answering one question and leading immediately to another: how can you make a Deadpool movie succeed?

Here are five steps to guarantee us the Deadpool movie fans want.


Deadpool
Marvel Comics

Unashamedly break that fourth wall

For the uninitiated Deadpool, aka Wade Wilson, is a mutant granted the ability to heal himself during the Weapon X programme which also granted famed X-Man Wolverine his adamantium skeleton.

Deadpool is also a well versed assassin and mercenary, hence his mantle as 'The Merc with a Mouth'. By virtue of being bats**t crazy he also regularly breaks the fourth wall in his comic book adventures, making reference to other comics and being very aware that he's in one.

That fourth-wall-breaking is what can set Deadpool apart, and in a crowded superhero film space, finding something unique and capitalising on it can make or break a project. Guardians of the Galaxy had Rocket and Groot, and X-Men: Days of Future Past had time travel for example.

Any Deadpool film would have to use this and use it well. It's a good thing then that the "leaked" concept footage has plenty of Deadpool talking to the audience.

Visceral action, but not necessarily R-rated

An R-rated Deadpool movie is absolutely what fans want to see (and we probably will see it) but the promise of hyper-violence and gore is no guarantee of a quality film in much the same way a 12A or PG-13 rating wouldn't make the film automatically awful either.

Many of Deadpool's most dedicated fans hate the idea of a violence-free film but going for a lower rating and appealing to as wide an audience as possible makes perfect business sense from a studio perspective and can still mean a top quality film.

Look at The Hunger Games, a 12A-rated film which is only a few seconds away from a 15-rating. It is easily the most violent 12-certificate film ever made, really pushing those boundaries. A Deadpool film can do this too, and it would have to. Deadpool unashamedly kills tons of bad guys with great skill and no mercy. That needs to be represented on film.

Deadpool
Marvel Comics

Make it funny

This is an obvious one. A po-faced Deadpool film would never, ever work – the character needs to be a cocky, vaguely-annoying anti-hero who shows occasional glimmers of heart and who can win people over with his charm.

The Deadpool of X-Men: Origins was a disaster, but despite that there was enough reason buried among all the mouth-stitching rubbish to see that Reynolds would make a good Wade Wilson. The recent test footage further supports that he is a perfect fit.

Make Deadpool outright hysterical and you're on to the sure fire winner. It certainly worked for Guardians and how many outright hilarious films do you know that have totally bombed?

Surround Deadpool with the right supporting characters

All the focus has been rightfully put on the character of Deadpool and how much a film starring him makes sense, but when it comes to actually making the film a lone great character won't be enough. Deadpool needs to be put in a world in which his existence as a lunatic makes sense.

He needs to be fighting villains as funny and stupid as him and have allies that compliment his humour. Deadpool is well known for his hero partnership with Cable, for example.

Cable has yet to make an appearance on film and this would be a great place to start. It also makes sense that Deadpool would have an ally to strike up a comedic rapport with, and straight-laced time-traveller Cable is the obvious choice.

Include at least one X-Men cameo

The Deadpool movie is arriving just three months before X-Men: Apocalypse, the enormous, epic-scale sequel to Days of Future Past. It makes no sense for the two films to be total separate so a cameo or two benefits everyone.

Hugh Jackman's Wolverine would be prime candidate given his ties to the character (they've teamed up like DP and Cable) and the star's previous cameo in X-Men: First Class sets a precedent. His name would put a few extra bums in seats if news of the cameo "leaked" before release too.

Deadpool will be released on 12 February 2016.