Not only does Reynolds have no regrets about The Green Lantern, but he felt strongly that Deadpool hadn't been given a fair shake in the Wolverine movie. So as a producer, Reynolds set out to make a stand-alone Deadpool film that stuck to the anarchic tone of the comics, starting with a strong script by Rob Liefeld and Rhett Reese and a dedicated director in Tim Miller. But the project got stuck in development for six long years.

Ryan Reynolds plays the masked superhero

"Honestly, I've got to give credit to Tim there, because he kept the faith in a way that I didn't," Reynolds says. "There was a time where I thought, 'I've just got to let it go.' It was like the worst relationship I'd ever been in. It was on-off, on-off. Then we created this test footage that I thought spoke volumes about the character and what we could do with it."

It was the leak of that footage and the ensuing fan furore that finally sparked the studio to greenlight the movie. And Reynolds understands the studio's reluctance. "I just think there's nothing else that occupies a space quite like it in any universe," he says. "So in a weird way waiting might have served us better than anything, because now's the time for a movie like this in a way that five, six, seven years ago might not have been."

Reynolds sees the character's self-awareness as the key. "I think Deadpool has gained momentum not just because it's funny or R-rated: the meta aspect is very important," he says. "Deadpool's speaking to that generation that has seen all these comic-book films and enjoyed them all to varying degrees of success. But it's speaking to them as though the guy in that red suit is one of them."

And he was determined to make it brutally honest. "Well, every comic book movie I go to, everybody's getting shot at but nobody f***ing dies," Reynolds laughs. "It's like an episode of The A-Team! So we get an opportunity, which is very rare in this world, to do something that's not necessarily for just kids. There's some pretty racy, pretty hyper-violent things that happen in this movie. And it's been a lot of fun to shoot."

Watch the trailer for Deadpool here: