Golden Globes surprise with selection of R-rated superhero film 'Deadpool'

'Deadpool' earned surprise nominations for awards including the Golden Globe for best comedy or musical. It's just the newest way the superhero movie has defied expectations.

Joe Lederer/20th Century Fox/AP
'Deadpool' stars Ryan Reynolds.

When the Golden Globe nominees were announced, the contenders for the best comedy or musical prize included Oscar Best Picture frontrunner “La La Land,” the Annette Bening film “20th Century Women,” the Meryl Streep movie “Florence Foster Jenkins,” the acclaimed indie movie “Sing Street”… and the "merc with a mouth." 

The superhero movie “Deadpool” earned multiple Golden Globe nominations this year, receiving the best comedy or musical nomination and a nod for actor Ryan Reynolds in the best actor in a comedy or musical category. 

The nominations seemed to come as a big surprise to Hollywood. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which distributes the Golden Globes, has never nominated a superhero movie for a Best Picture prize (either the best drama category or the best comedy or musical prize) before, and in doing so, it went with a superhero movie that is far from run-of-the-mill – “Deadpool” not only pokes fun at superhero film conventions, it also very much earns its R rating (for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity).

It’s just the latest way the “Deadpool” movie has surprised the industry. When it was released in February, the film had the best February opening of all time and had the biggest opening ever for an R-rated movie. It also became the best opening weekend ever for “Deadpool” studio 20th Century Fox. 

The Christian Science Monitor's film critic, Peter Rainer, wasn't a big fan of the film

"Weirdly funny at best, it’s just exhaustingly weird most of the time...," Mr. Rainer writes. "Reynolds brings a lewd flippancy to the role, and director Tim Miller and his writers, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, have some fun at Marvel’s expense. But this fun is a essentially a rebranding of the brand; it seems less irreverent than self-congratulatory."

The movie is now the second-highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time domestically, behind only the 2004 movie “The Passion of the Christ.” “Deadpool” is currently the fifth-highest-grossing film of the year domestically and is only a bit behind that for the highest-grossing 2016 movies worldwide, coming in at No. 7 ahead of such fellow superhero blockbusters as “Suicide Squad” and “Doctor Strange.” 

A sequel is planned and director David Leitch, co-director of the 2015 film “John Wick,” will be helming. Mr. Reynolds will reprise his now-Golden Globe-nominated role.

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