After releasing the first three main X-Men movies, then-20th Century Fox took the superhero franchise into spinoff territory with X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The 2009 movie chronicled how Hugh Jackman’s character obtained his adamantium skeleton and lost his memories, as well as explored his relationship with his brother Victor Creed, a.k.a. Sabretooth, played by Liev Schreiber. These two also crossed paths with Ryan Reynolds’ Wade Wilson, although he was a far cry from his traditional Deadpool depiction, and Schreiber has now praised the actor for pushing the character towards his popular roots afterward that release.
Schreiber discussed his experience working on X-Men Origins: Wolverine while breaking down his most iconic characters with GQ, and towards the end of that segment of the video, he shared his admiration for how Reynolds was able to deliver a faithful version of Deadpool to the masses seven years after Origins failed to do him justice, saying:
I mean, Ryan did such a great job with that transition [to the Deadpool movies], 'cause I felt like it was, in many ways, so antithetical to who that character was in Origins. But I'm glad that Ryan was able to correct that mistake.
Although Wade Wilson fired off a few amusing quips during X-Men Origins: Wolverine and impressively wielded two swords, there was nothing else about him that resembled Deadpool, who by that point had existed in the comics for nearly 20 years. Making matters worse, after it was initially thought that Wade was killed offscreen by Sabretooth, he reemerged in the climax as Weapon XI, William Stryker’s brainwashed mutant who’d been infused with other mutant powers and had his mouth sewn shut. Wade’s depiction was among the more critiqued aspects of Origins, and a few years ago, Scott Adkins, Reynolds’ stunt double, shared his disapproval of Weapon XI’s look.
The good news is that not only did the events of 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past render what happened in X-Men Origins: Wolverine non-canon, but two years after that, Ryan Reynolds debuted as the cinematic Deadpool we know and love who wears the character’s classic costume from the comics and frequently breaks the fourth wall. As a fun bonus, Deadpool 2’s end-credits scene saw Wade traveling back to kill Weapon XI immediately after he appeared in front of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine… you know, just to ensure we never see him again. Liev Schreiber is just one of many people who are pleased with how things turned out for Deadpool in the end.
Sadly, Schreiber’s time as Sabretooth was a one-and-done affair, following nine years after Tyler Mane appeared as a significantly different-looking version of the character. In 2017, Schreiber said there’d been an invitation “early on” for him to return for Logan, but the combination of his busy Ray Donovan schedule and the third Wolverine movie’s story going in a “different direction” resulted in that plan being scrapped. If you’d like to revisit the actor’s Sabretooth performance, Origins can be streamed with a Starz subscription.
Meanwhile, fans of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine will reunite with him when Deadpool 3 is released on November 8, 2024 on the upcoming Marvel movies schedule. As for Liev Schreiber, he’s next appearing in the 2023 new movie release Asteroid City, which hits theaters June 16.