REGINA – Regina mayor Michael Fougere has seemingly answered the question of whether or not Regina should have a statue of comic book character Deadpool.
His answer is no, for now.
On Wednesday, Fougere posted a simple “Nope” to his Facebook page, right above an article about two petitions asking Regina city council to approve a Deadpool statue in the Queen City.
However, that doesn’t mean the idea is completely dead.
“It’s getting more traction than I anticipated,” Fougere said. “I thought it was just an offhanded comment.”
Luke Oliver, a 21-year-old Marvel fan, came up with the idea of the petition after he heard Deadpool reportedly says in Marvel’s latest movie: “I’m Wade Wilson from Regina, Saskatchewan. Regina, the town that rhymes with fun.”
“We don’t have much here and for something as big as a Marvel superhero to say he’s from here, that’s what I like most about it now,” Oliver said.
And, now that he has seen the petitions gain popularity, Fougere says he is willing to have a conversation about the idea if the money for the statue is raised privately.
“If there’s crowdfunding that would actually have a point where we could look at doing that, I’d have that conversation no question,” Fougere said.
“The location where it’s appropriate would be just part of the conversation. I don’t bar anything, I don’t exclude anything, I’m just surprised that it got to this level so quickly.”
Following the release of Deadpool, which opened this past weekend breaking box-office records for an R-rated film, Oliver started two petitions on Saturday night: one on Change.org and one on Care2 petitions.
Oliver said he directed the petitions at city council because the statue could potentially be built on city property.
“I want as many (signatures) as possible,” Oliver said, adding he might go to a city council meeting in the future to talk about the statue.
“I don’t want that number to stop going up.”
Oliver wasn’t too disheartened by Fougere’s initial “nope” comment and maintains that the statue is worth building, especially if money is raised through crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe or Kickstarter.
He estimates a 6-foot statue would cost around $35,000 and would probably take a couple of years to build. Oliver added he already has had offers from Regina residents to build the statue if it was approved.
“As long as the mayor is willing to give us a place to put the Deadpool statue, we can fund it privately,” Oliver said.
In Marvel’s comic books, Deadpool’s origins are in Canada, but his hometown was unknown.
Now that his hometown has been revealed in the movie, Oliver thinks a statue, along with the release of the Deadpool movie, could mean international attention for Regina. He also suggests the movie’s star Ryan Reynolds, who is from Vancouver, B.C., could travel for an unveiling of the statue.
“We’ve already had people across the borders and even overseas say that they’d come to Regina just to see the statue,” Oliver said.
“Marvel is a household name worldwide, and this is something the city needs to cash in on.”
The Saskatchewan’s Cities Act, which dictates the terms and conditions of acceptable petitions, states that petitions have to include signatures deemed valid under the legislation.
Therefore, online petitions would not be accepted by the City Clerk’s office even if they meet the requirement for numbers.
However, Fougere said he is open to having Oliver come to his office to discuss how to create a proper petition and how to present it to the city.
At the time of writing, 2,653 people have signed the petition. Some signers praised the movie’s star Ryan Reynolds, who is from Vancouver, B.C., for giving the Queen City a shout out.
And now that Deadpool is getting so much attention around the city, Fougere said he plans on seeing the movie, but insists he does not prefer Marvel over DC.
“I like all comics,” Fougere said.
To sign Oliver’s petition, visit https://www.change.org/p/regina-city-council-deadpool-statue-in-regina-saskatchewan or http://www.thepetitionsite.com/183/437/803/demand-a-deadpool-statue-in-regina-saskatchewan/.Follow @AlexaHGlobal