Mike Gold: Deadpool Invasion!
I am told there are people who are sick and tired of the massive, overwhelming, unending, incessant and redundant Deadpool promotion campaign.
Yeah, I get that.
I found myself in Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal this past Monday, on the way to a little get-together with fellow ComicMix columnists Molly Jackson, Joe Corallo and Martha Thomases. I was in a great mood – Molly, Joe and Martha are wonderful people to hang out with, and walking through Grand Central Terminal is always a breathtaking and inspiring experience. I was going to the Times Square subway shuttle, and Grand Central and Times Square combine to become one of North America’s most advertising-congested venues. Just about every square inch of building space is covered in billboards and electronic signs. Even the very steps are decked out in promotional advertising. It’s a colorful, bright, shiny, noisy, and ceaseless experience that you either love, hate or have learned to ignore.
And, last Sunday, it seemed as though damned near all of it was pushing Deadpool.
Add to this the almost-daily release of new trailers, photos, interviews and commercials and you’ve got a promotion going that’s larger than about any four movies combined. It’s pretty easy to appreciate how some folks could experience Deadpool burnout prior to this Friday’s official opening.
Some folks. Not me.
That’s odd given my always-fleeting attention span and my basic anti-capitalist worldview, but, damn it, the whole Deadpool campaign has been very, very funny. Entertaining. Sometimes stupefying, particularly when you compare the theatrical trailers and broadcast commercials to their uncensored Internet equivalents.
Of course, given my vocation and my predilections I would have gone to the Deadpool movie even if the only promotion was a black-and-white leaflet mounted on the wall above a urinal in the back of a seedy bar. However, when it comes to fans and civilians alike, this colossal campaign has inculcated the movie with “issues.”
First of all, it has raised the bar of our expectations. If this isn’t the funniest, most action-filled and visually spectacular movie ever made, some will be disappointed… or, on the Internet, apoplectic. Experience already has taught the average movie-goer that sometimes all the worthy scenes in the film were revealed in the trailers and spots.
Second, it has presented some people with quite a dilemma. You can’t mass market something without (duh!) marketing to the masses. Deadpool is rated R. That means those under 17 (you know, what used to be perceived as the comic book audience) are supposed to be excluded from admission without an “accompanying parent or adult guardian.” That’s going to make it harder for a lot of adolescents to get in, and that’s going to make it harder on a lot of their parents or adult guardians who haven’t seen South Park Bigger, Longer and Uncut.
No matter how much Marvel might despise 20th Century Fox or how much the True Believers (like myself) despised their Fantastic Four movie last year, Fox has injected a lot of much-needed levity and energy into what clearly is an oversaturated superhero media market. They might have wound up extending Marvel’s movie longevity.
If the Deadpool movie is as good as their campaign.
That’s a big if. Stay tuned.