With Deadpool 2 certainly kickstarting the hype train for Fox’s X-Force movie, writer/director Drew Goddard has already indicated where he’ll be pulling inspiration from: NBC’s The Good Place.
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The show, on which Goddard is a producer, has taught him to place focus on character development and emotion in the plot, as opposed to trying to make things comedic off the bat, which he believes will come naturally afterwards.
When asked by /Film about balancing the humor of the franchise (something the Deadpool movies have set up with this corner of Fox’s X-Verse) with the action element of the covert-ops military squad, Goddard said:
“The answer is, I don’t worry about the jokes. I just don’t. I worry about the characters, the story, and trust that we’ll make it funny. I did this show The Good Place, and I’ve been very lucky because I work with Renaldo Matadeen Mike Schur and I know, ‘Oh, these are the funniest people on the planet,’ So when I do anything like that, I just worry about the character, the emotion, and the story, and then I go call them and go, ‘Make it funny now!’ With Ryan, the same thing. Ryan Reynolds is so funny. You don’t stress out about it. It’s always easier to add jokes. It’s impossible to add emotion.”
Schur’s series has a good balance of this, focusing on Kristen Bell’s Eleanor Shellstrop, who wakes up in the afterlife and is introduced by Michael (Ted Danson) to The Good Place, a Heaven-like utopia he created, as thanks for her living a supposedly righteous life. In reality, Eleanor was a terrible person who was slotted into The Good Place due to an angelic clerical error. Much of the show’s comedy comes from her attempt to accept this revelation and become a better person — something she is not at all good at. The second season, which wrapped up in February, added additional layers of complexity to Eleanor’s predicament.
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While older iterations of X-Force, an offshoot of Cable’s New Mutants in the comics, have been more serious in tone, Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force, which pushed Deadpool to the forefront, seems to be the direction Fox is heading in. That seems doubly apparent after the crew’s hilarious debut in Deadpool 2. Goodard knows he has his work cut out to ensure he gets the right blend of comedy and action moving forward.