A group of Mormons in Utah have come forward stating that one of the promotional posters for ‘Once Upon a Deadpool’ looks too much like a painting commissioned and copyrighted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Harry Anderson was the painter of the original painting named ‘The Second Coming’.
Via Salt Lake City’s ABC4, resident Katti Contreras said:
“It’s not about religion, it’s not about the church, it’s about Jesus Christ. We shouldn’t make fun of the savior. They are not making fun of us, they are not making fun of the church. They are making fun of Jesus Christ.”
Do you agree? First, here is the ‘Deadpool’ poster:
Here is Anderson’s ‘The Second Coming’:
There is certainly a similarity between the two, but there are also many differences. Deadpool is much larger in the poster and the glow from behind him appears much more intense. The angels surrounding him are much more jubilant and include Fred Savage. And there are bubbles.
It’s quite possible that ‘The Second Coming’ was chosen intentionally as this is the second theatrical release of ‘Deadpool 2’, ironically in a toned-down “clean” version.
Unlike the case of the Satanic Temple suing Netflix over the similarity between a statue that they (the ST) had commissioned and copyrighted and a similar statue used in ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’, the marketing team at 20th Century Fox may be completely in the clear. Their ‘Deadpool’ poster easily fits within the realm of “homage” or “parody.”
Think of the probably hundreds of knock-offs you’ve seen of ‘The Last Supper’, to choose another religious piece of artwork.
And to disagree with Contreras, the ‘Deadpool’ poster isn’t making fun of anything. It’s no more offensive than the heavy-handed Jesus posturing applied to Superman in ‘Man of Steel’ or, even moreso, ‘Batman V Superman’. And there are certainly other works of art that incorporate much more offensive uses of religious/Christian icons and imagery.
At this point, ‘Once Upon a Deadpool’ is opening this weekend and ends its limited run on December 24th. If anyone finds the posters offensive or a copyright infringement, they’ll be gone in a little over a week.