Today is without question THE single strangest theory I’ve done in my six years of doing this crazy YouTube thing, which feels appropriate considering it’s about Deadpool. So embrace the weird, and keep an open mind because if you do, you’re in for one wild ride. Stick with me now. Is it possible that Deadpool is actually classical American author Ernest Hemingway? *whoosh, pop!* Anyone still here? (Deadpool: *crunching* Now that’s impressive!) (Film Theory theme, look out for the many cameos by Deadpool) Hello, Internet! Welcome to Film Theory, where it’s time for an Easter egg hunt (crack) 365 days a year! (366 on leap years) So, yeah, I know that we just did an episode on Deadpool, which, if you haven’t watched yet, you should totally watch, and I know that “Deadpool 2” doesn’t come out until next year, but while I was researching that last episode, I was reminded of something that initially triggered my theorist sense back when I was first watching “Logan.” I forgot about it at the time because, you know, I got kinda distracted by Wolverine taking a shotgun blast to the chest within, like, literally a minute of the movie starting. But re-watching the teaser for the next Deadpool movie while researching whether or not Deadpool had written his own movie reminded me of it, and thus, here we are today. So the short itself titled “No Good Deed” is pretty self-explanatory– lots of references to other superhero tropes, obligatory “Firefly” references, a prolonged shot of a man’s naked butt,(WAIT WHAT!?) but then you get to the end and a flurry of small print runs up the screen and out of sight faster than you could say, (slow motion) “chimichanga.” Most people watching the trailer didn’t bat an eye. Huh, random text at the end of a movie trailer; that’s weird. Oh well, back to my normal life and my jumbo popcorn. Well, you know what?! Some of us don’t have normal lives! The only jumbo popcorn bringing some of us joy is trying to figure out patterns in the pop culture randomness we’re bombarded with every day, and then screaming about it into a microphone that we keep in our bedroom closet for fifteen minutes every week! So, in an attempt to fill that jumbo sized emptiness in my life, I went back and read the text online, only to find it was a loose plot summary of Ernest Hemmingway’s Pulitzer prize-winning novella “The Old Man and the Sea,” written in the voice of what seems to be Deadpool. It’s like he did a book report on it. But why? Why is it there, for the lols? For it to just be so craaaaaaazy and random? I refuse to believe it. These trailers take millions of dollars to make. Marvel and Fox know that these movie promos get analyzed frame by frame, which is why you have Easter eggs hidden in literally ever corner of the screen! So something like this, which might at first glance seem like a throwaway joke has got to have some sort of deeper meaning, but what? Well, that’s the problem I set out to answer today. I searched around for a bit to see what people thought about this thing, and honestly, there weren’t that many online analyses talking about this moment. Those few who did wrote it off as “The Old Man and the Sea” summary somehow being connected to the plot of “Logan,” the movie that everybody was sitting in the theater about to see. Now, if you haven’t read the book, or you read it back in high school, or didn’t read the book but pretended to have read it in high school, which is, I’m guessing, the biggest group here (you missed out), this seems like an appropriate time to fill you in on the plot. The story is about an old fisherman named Santiago who hasn’t caught a fish for months, so long, in fact, that his young protégé Manolin is told by his parents to stop fishing with him. Then one day, the fisherman goes out, hooks a marlin so huge he has to tie it to the outside of his boat, but as he sails toward he shore, he starts to attract sharks. The sharks start to eat the marlin, and despite Santiago fighting back, the sharks eat the marlin to the point that all that remains is a giant skeleton. This, understandably, makes Santiago sad, but when the other fishermen see the giant skeleton of this enormous fish, they realize that Santiago got his fishing groove back and their faith in the old man is restored. This makes Santiago happy. *sarcastic clap* Good work, Ernest Hemingway! One of the best works of American literature right there, ladies and gentlemen Man sucks at fishing, goes out, catches fish, gets eaten, comes back, done! And THIS is why I hate American literature. So anyway, the online blogs’ interpretation was that Santiago the fisherman, is an old, weary hero past his prime, just like Logan who has one final, moral victory and wins the affection of a young student, X23, or in Logan’s case, Mandolin. *laughs* Sorry, I mean, scratch that, reverse it. Although, I gotta say X23 hanging out with Santiago would make the book so much more interesting. But, *sighs* I don’t know, it just feels off to me. Key moments and themes just don’t line up. To avoid spoilers, let’s just say that the fisherman doesn’t end up in the same place Logan does at the end of “The Old Man and the Sea.” So, that’s a pretty important detail, and there’s no fish parallel in “Logan.” I mean, the most important part of the book is Santiago battling with the marlin for days, catching him, engaging in this epic struggle, and then watching it get slowly eaten away over time by the sharks. To me, this doesn’t match up to anything in “Logan.” “Logan” is about the relationship between Logan and X23. “The Old Man and the Sea” is about the relationship between Santiago and the fish. It’s kinda like “Moby Dick.” These sea movies, there’s always about a guy and his fish fetish. “Making love to other gay fish!” Anyway, if this was truly meant to be a parallel, there’d be more emphasis on the relationship with Manolin, his protégé. That would be the X23 stand-in, not the fish. Plus-plus, why would a teaser for “Deadpool 2” be including a bunch of text about a movie we’re about to see, text that we won’t be able to read in the theater so we have to watch the teaser again at home after we’ve already seen the movie? Overall, it just wasn’t the satisfying answer that I was looking for. So my initial theory, and where I started researching this whole thing was that maybe “The Old Man and the Sea” plot is setting up themes that we’re gonna see play out in “Deadpool 2,” giving us a little preview of the plot, you know? I mean, we know that Cable’s gonna be in the movie, and he’s kinda old and grouchy. So I searched through as many Deadpool comics as I could find, and none of his adventures with Cable aligned with the key themes of “The Old Man and the Sea” either. And if we wanted to get REALLY literal with it, the only time he fights a big fish is the villain Tiger Shark, but that’s, um, that’s just really stupid. So, what is it? WHY IS IT THERE? To give you a peek behind the scenes of the workings of this show, it’s at this point when writing theories that I start asking myself some really bizarre questions, and I start pursuing literally any interesting coincidence that I can find. Maybe this is a complete shot in the dark, but maybe out there somewhere there’s a random detail about Wade Wilson’s life that he shares with Ernest Hemingway and that’ll lead to some other interesting stuff, and oh boy! I started researching down that path and was literally dumbfounded by just how deep those connections went. So even back then, hey, I decided to go through with an entire episode about him. So here we are! Maybe the merc with the mouth was really the merc with the pen– or typewriter or whatever Hemingway wrote his garbage on. Again, not a big fan of Hemingway’s writing. Submit it for the approval of the theorist society– OH BOY! Forget fighting Tiger Shark, I am full-on JUMPING the Tiger Shark for this one. So, to answer your first two questions, yes, I am completely serious, and no, I have not recently consumed LSD. But I know some of you are sitting there at home with a couple of slam-dunk rebuttals right off the bat. What about the fact that we know exactly who Deadpool is, i.e. Wade Wilson? Solid point, but dig a little deeper, and it starts to get complicated. One of Deadpool’s antagonists, T-Ray, claims on many different occasions that he is the real Wade Wilson and that Deadpool stole his identity. Even when Deadpool is able to poke some holes in T-Ray’s story, he also admits that he can’t quite be sure who he is as evidenced by the fact that Deadpool’s memories of his parents, i.e. that they both died while he was young, are actually quite different from what we see in Deadpool #34 when he actually burns his childhood home to the ground with his parents still inside. So let’s just say that Deadpool may not be the most reliable of narrators of his own past. In fact, the whole Deadpool/T-Ray identity mystery is actually a big thing that would make a great episode of COMIC THEORY! Which, sadly isn’t a thing that exists. . . yet! And probably won’t forever because comics and movies have so much crossover at this point (unless someone else does it), and there’s so much detail to it that it’s not really worth going into here, but, suffice to say, this unreliable memory coupled with the fact that Deadpool has died and been resurrected multiple times, it gets really hard to say exactly who he is and where he came from. So now that that first rebuttal has one or two holes in it, you might then contend to me that Ernest Hemingway is about as far away from the Marvel universe as you can get. Even if we don’t know the true identity of who Deadpool really is, we can’t assume that this world contains real-life people like Ernest Hemingway in it. And you’re totally right, except that we don’t have to assume because Ernest Hemingway is a canon person in Marvel comics. And not ONLY that, he’s actually connected to Deadpool’s dearest and bestest friend in the world, they guy who got him his superpowers and the movie, Wolverine. According to the comics, Hemingway and Wolvy hung out during the Spanish Civil War, according to a three-issue arc from the 1980s. Does that necessarily prove that Hemingway IS Deadpool? No, of course not, but does it prove that Hemingway is a character in the Marvel universe who could’ve plausibly turned into a superhero over time? It absolutely opens the door to that sort of possibility. It’s also worth comparing the personalities of the two. As I concluded in my previous theory, Deadpool enjoys controlling the narrative of his own comics, games, and movie, soon to be movies, and tries to paint himself in as flattering and —- kicking delight as possible. While Hemingway was mostly known for writing fiction, his autobiographical work shared the same desire for that self-promotion. One literary scholar wrote about Hemingway’s memoir “A Moveable Feast” said that, To put it differently, i.e. an academic not trying so hard to look smart, Hemingway went out of his way to make himself look good and his enemies look bad. For example, in “A Moveable Feast,” there’s a passage in which the famous author F. Scott Fitzgerald asked Hemingway regarding help with the size of his . . . uh, how do I put it? the size of his not-so-great-Gatsby, if you know what I’m sayin’ (distant voice: PENIS!) an obvious knock to the masculinity of one of Hemingway’s contemporaries and rivals (but also influences). It’s worth noting that Fitzgerald never disputed this passage, but that’s probably because he was already dead twenty-five years when it got published. In his fiction, Hemingway was famous for being concise, but when it came to his own exploits, he was famously willing to embellish out the wazoo in order to make himself seem superior to others. From a stylistic standpoint, he and Deadpool, practically twinsies. And the similarities aren’t just isolated to the personalities of the two, they also extend to the people around them. For instance, one of Deadpool’s greatest allies is Cable, a cybernetic future mutant he’s fought alongside and has even merged his DNA with. So they’re practically genetically-linked family. One of Cable’s plots involves building an island in the Pacific Ocean out of an old ship on which he hoped to create a Utopian society called Providence. Of course, Providence is eventually destroyed by evil aliens, because ain’t that always the way with Utopian societies? But in a truly bizarre twist of fate, Ernest Hemingway’s brother– his brother, so again a partner-in-life who’s connected through DNA– did almost the exact same thing! Leicester Hemingway decided to create his own island nation in the 1960s, which he did by stringing together large rafts and weighing them down with an engine block only a few miles off the coast of Jamaica. He actually did this, and although this might sound like the plan of someone whose wardrobe consists mostly of aluminum foil, it was generally an organized operation. The island, which he called New Atlantis, had a flag, it issued postage, it even wrote a constitution before it was destroyed by storms just a few years, YEARS, after its creation. Granted, this isn’t direct proof that Deadpool are connected just because they share a guy who they’re also genetically linked related to in some capacity who decided to do this random island experiment, But what are the freaking odds of that one? How many comic book arcs are there of man-made islands? *ding!* How many instances of man-made islands are there in real life? *ding!* And how many of those two instances are crossing over in each other’s movie trailers? *ding!* But the comparisons between Deadpool and Hemingway start to get REALLY interesting when you start to look at their biographical similarities. For one, they were both skilled military types. Deadpool was originally a member of the U.S. Army’s Special Forces, but as someone unwilling to follow orders and protocol, he found much more success in his para-military mercinary work for which we all know and love him. Hemingway also wanted to be part of the military, attempting to enlist to fight in World War I, but they turned him away because of his poor eyesight. He still had a desire for combat, though, so Hemingway ended up as an ambulance driver in World War I. And in the early stages of World War II, when Hemingway was living in Cuba, he convinced the Cuban government to let him outfit his fishing boat with machine guns and hand grenades so that he could attack any German U-boats that he spotted. Fishing boat! Bad —, this guy was crazy! We also know that both Deadpool and Hemingway are dangerous in hand-to-hand combat. In Cable and Deadpool #36, Deadpool manages to defeat another mercenary named Taskmaster mano-a-mano with his hands chained together. Similarly, Hemingway was notorious as a brawler. Heavyweight boxing champ of the world in the 1920s Jack Dempsey was once quoted as saying, “I had this sense that Hemingway, who really thought he could box, would come out of the corner like a mad man.” So Dempsey’s full comments make it clear that he didn’t think Hemingway would’ve won necessarily, but if you’re an amateur boxer, and the heavyweight champion of the world doesn’t want to fight you because he thinks you’re crazy, well, you must be pretty —- crazy. The details here are obviously different, but the personality and abilities share a lot of similarities. We’ve got two people who crave combat but prefer to do it under their own terms and aren’t afraid to mix it up in a CRAZY, off-the-wall style if the need arises. But I’m sure a lot of you probably still aren’t satisfied, and I don’t blame you. Contrary to what many of you commenters think, I actually do have some level of self-awareness, and I tend to know when I made a good theory verses a bad one, or, actually probably more accurately, one that I’m convinced of verses one that I’m like, erm, there’s still a lot of holes in this thing. Surprise, surprise! Just because I do an episode on something doesn’t necessarily mean I believe it myself. I just try to make as strong a case as possible, and if I think I’ve a decent job of it, yeah, it becomes a full-length episode. And sure, Hemingway and Deadpool have some similar personality traits, some similarities in temperament and physical prowess, were canonically present in the comics, and yeah, even share some crazy similarities in the actions of the people who are genetically linked to them. But there is still a pretty big problem here. All of this is still coincidental. The details just don’t lock perfectly together. You know, they’re similar, but they’re not exact. Well, except for that island thing. That was weirdly specific, like, that’s about as precise as you can possibly get. Oh yeah, and the fact that Hemingway chilled with Wolverine. That was a weird one, too. But for this theory to have a shot at even being remotely plausible, I need to prove that Hemingway could’ve had a superpower, like, say, Deadpool’s signature healing factor. dramatic pause You know what I’m about to do, right, put doubts in your head of one of America’s most famous authors having super-healing? Is it enough to call him a superhero, though? You tell me. Over the course of his life, Ernest Hemingway demonstrated that he was practically invulnerable to disease by contracting Malaria, Hepatitis, Pneumonia, Dysentery, Skin Cancer and ANTHRAX Yeah, anthrax, the terrorist poison, NONE of which managed to kill him! And, let’s remember, this was all pre-1960 when the advice you got from most doctors was to smoke cigarettes to calm your nerves and make sure that you got your daily dose of bacon fat. But, no, I’m not done yet. He was also struck by mortar fire while driving that ambulance of his back in World War I. He once shot himself in the leg while hunting sharks, presumably trying to set the Guinness World Record for Manliest Afternoon in History. He survived a plane crash deep in the heart of Africa, away from most medical authorities, and when he boarded a plane the next day, it exploded before take-off, leaving Hemingway with a severe concussion, a ruptured kidney, and liver damage. Two airplane disasters in two days, that is some “Final Destination” nonsense! And yet, he still survived! Later, while on a fishing expedition, he was caught in a brushfire and sustained second degree burns to most of his body. He recovered from EVER SINGLE ONE of those injuries and catastrophes! So today’s episode which started as an UNBELIEVABLE stretch boils down to this– Ernest Hemingway, real-life American author who just so happened to be an unbreakable glutton for punishment canonically meets up with Deadpool’s nemesis Wolverine and source of his powers in a number of comic books, shares personality and physical similarities with Deadpool, have a genetically linked brother who created an island out of a ship just like Deadpool’s genetically linked ally Cable does, and Deadpool just so happens to reference him for literally NO REASON in the teaser for his upcoming movie? Sometimes too many coincidences point to no coincidence at all. But hey, that’s just a theory, a FILM THEORY! Aaaaaaaaaaaaand cut! Hemingway, am I right? Manliest bad — in history. Seriously, I hate the guy’s writing, but he has got an INCREDIBLE life story! And you know what else made him the pillar of testosterone that he was? That beard of his! Dude had some AMAZING facial hair! But how do you shave a beard that manly? What razors could possibly conquer Hemingway’s follicular fortitude? Three words–Dollar Shave Club! The manliest of men deserve the manliest of razors. And even if you’re not a manly-man like me, you could appreciate the razors too. Just sayin’, everybody’s gotta shave, even the manliest of women or just the women of women in general. So wherever you are on that spectrum, you can give yourself a shave worthy of Hemingway himself by following the special link given to only us theorists. You see it on screen right now, it’s: dollarshaveclub.com/filmtheory There’s also that link in the description. Follow that link, and Dollar Shave Club will give you princely treatment for the pauper price. For just a limited time, you guys can get your first month of the executive razor with a tube of their shaving butter with free shipping and four refills. After that, your razors are just a few bucks a month. Like buttah, theorists, buttah! Even if it was a crappy shave, it would be worth the price. But you know what, it’s something that you can’t really understand until you try it yourself. Feel the razor in your hand, and I guarantee you’ll be glad you did. If you’re not, you can cancel at any time. Plus, the process doesn’t even require you to leave your couch’s —- groove. First, you order Dollar Shave Club online, and boom! It’s delivered right to your door or manly fishing dock. It’s just fast an easy, which is important when you’re a man with a shark you gotta harpoon. Honestly, Dollar Shave Club is just the smarter choice–fast, great quality, and a great price. It’s why I made the switch from my electric razor. What, you think this baby-smooth face is because I can’t grow facial hair? Ha! I’m like a werewolf every morning! But Dollar Shave Club keeps my hairy just a little less scary. So treat yo’self! You deserve it! Experience the best shave you’ve ever had for only $5. Smash that link in the description, or go to our special URL: dollarshaveclub.com/filmtheory Just try it. You’ll be glad that you did. Now then, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a super-villain I’ve been looking to tackle for quite some time. I’ll see you all next week! Click the link!