Jensen Ackles Almost Played Marvel’s Craziest Superhero

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Jensen Ackles was in strong contention to play Deadpool, but was unavailable.

By Nathan Kamal
| Published

Jensen Ackles revealed at the recent SPN PHX J2 that he was in contention to play Wade Wilson aka Deadpool aka the craziest person in Marvel. Per Murphy’s Multiverse, the actor stated that he was “very much in talks” about appearing in a Deadpool movie at some point, though he did not specify when he might have potentially starred as the Merc with the Mouth. However, the Supernatural actor did further reveal that he “wasn’t available” for the movie, so likely prior television commitments shut it down.

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool

At this point, it is essentially impossible to imagine anyone but Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, though Jensen Ackles is a pretty decent second shot. Famously, Ryan Reynolds first became involved in developing a Deadpool movie all the way back in 2004 and spent years trying to get it off the ground (not to mention live down the embarrassing version of the character that appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine). A Deadpool project was in development as far back as 2000, however, which makes it probable that is what Jensen Ackles was at one point involved in.

According to Variety, Marvel Enterprises (the company created by a bankruptcy-avoiding merger of ToyBiz and Marvel Entertainment Group in 1998) partnered with the now-defunct Artisan Entertainment to produce a wide slate of Marvel Comics adaptations. Reportedly, those projects included an “Indiana Jones-style” Black Panther with Wesley Snipes, a Morbius film, and Deadpool, presumably with Jensen Ackles as one of the finalists. By 2005, Marvel was looking to finance its own film productions and it seems that movie fell off the radar, as Deadpool projects are apparently wont to do.

It is interesting to speculate on what other projects made Jensen Ackles unavailable to play Deadpool around the turn of the millennium. His best-known role as Dean Winchester on Supernatural began in 2005, which (given pre-production and casting) could have potentially interfered with either a Deadpool production in 2000 or 2004. Around this time, Jensen Ackles was also appearing in a recurring role in the seminal teen drama Dawson’s Creek, as a main character on the James Cameron-produced science fiction series Dark Angel, and eventually as a character in Smallville

In short, Jensen Ackles stays pretty busy and there is any number of projects that could have knocked him out of the running. He also famously missed out on a number of superhero projects either due to scheduling or casting, including losing out the role of Captain America to Chris Evans, being offered the part of Marvel’s Hawkeye, only to have to turn it down due to Supernatural, and originally auditioned to pay Clark Kent on Smallville, which eventually went to Tom Welling. 

In a way, it actually seems like Jensen Ackles got very close to playing a whole bunch of different superheroes, only to lose out due to circumstances (or the raw charisma of the current Sexiest Man Alive). Since he did eventually get to play one of the most beloved characters in CW history and now has developed a spin-off, he probably feels okay about it at this point.