Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds’ mission to take the historic Welsh football club global has delighted sports fans across the globe… But one of his Hollywood collaborators has voiced concerns that his soccer side hustle might be becoming too much of a distraction.
Ryan Reynolds and Wrexham A.F.C. is a romance like no other. The Canadian actor, most known for his performance as the infamous ‘Merc With a Mouth’ Deadpool in the movie series of the same name, has helped launch the Welsh football club into the public eye since becoming a co-owner of the team with fellow actor, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creator and star Rob McElhenney.
With the team recently confirming their promotion from all the way down in the National League to EFL League Two, therefore moving from England’s fifth division to its fourth division for football, it means there’ll be even less time for Reynolds to be donning Deadpool’s famous red-and-black outfit and more time on the sidelines cheering on the ‘Red Dragons’.
For Reynolds, taking over the club in November 2020 has put a hold on several of his creative projects as he’s looked to transform Wrexham into an iconic football team in the vein of Manchester United or Liverpool. With Reynolds and McElhenney now devoting much of their time to doing the historic club justice, it has prompted their collaborators and fellow celebs to ponder how far the love affair will go.
In particular, Reynolds’ love for the Welsh side has led to Deadpool 3 director, frequent Reynolds collaborator and fellow Canadian, Shawn Levy, labelling Reynolds’ time spent with the club an ‘obsession’.
At the 2022 Primetime Emmy Awards, Levy chatted with Canadian television show eTalk and jokingly jibed that Reynolds’ dedication to Wrexham A.F.C was becoming a ‘problem’ for the actor.
“Ryan’s obsession with Wrexham is a problem. His obsession with Canada was already a problem, but it was a problem we could support. It was like a dirty little habit, but also like a loveable habit,” Levy jokes.
Levy, who worked alongside Reynolds on Free Guy and The Adam Project, added that Reynolds’ overtime with Wrexham created some unexpected distractions whilst trying to shoot the latest film in the Deadpool trilogy:
“His obsession with Wrexham – also, by the way, the obsession [with] all of Wales – with Ryan Reynolds is becoming problematic. Like, I’m trying to get us ready to shoot Deadpool and he’s so distracted by this football team.”
“I need to downgrade his obsession a bit, because he can’t get any work done.”Shawn Levy
Although Reynolds’ commitment to Wrexham has likely stifled his creative projects, there can be no denying that he has been instrumental in changing the lives of not just a football club, but a city with a population of just 60,000.
Having helped Wrexham get featured in EA Sports’ super-popular FIFA video game series, Reynolds has apparently set his eye on bringing the Welsh club side to the world through his movies…
History of Wrexham A.F.C.
Before Reynolds and McElhenney took over the club in 2020, Wrexham were a club perpetually in limbo, having been stuck in England’s fifth division for football, the National League, since their relegation in 2008 after 87 years in the Football League.
Formed by members of the Wrexham Cricket Club in 1864, Wrexham is the oldest professional football club in Wales and the third-oldest professional football club in the world.
Having spent most of its history bouncing between the top four divisions in English football (aka the Football League), tough times would hit the legendary club as it entered the 21st century.
Most significantly, in 2004 the club was forced into administration due to financial troubles. In August 2011, the club faced expulsion from the National League before fans rallied together with £127,000 to help pay a bond to secure football for the forthcoming season. The Wrexham Supporters’ Trust would be established a month later to take over the day-to-day running of the club, meaning Wrexham would be fully fan-owned.
Upon agreeing on the sale of the club in November 2020 to Reynolds and McElhenney, Wrexham A.F.C. has enjoyed plenty of renewed success. The club’s visibility has exploded since the Hollywood pair took over the club, with Wrexham A.F.C. now boasting an Instagram following of 915k followers that is larger than some clubs competing in England’s top division, the Premier League.
A huge part of the club’s catapulting into the mainstream has been the production of a documentary series on Disney+ entitled Welcome to Wrexham, which showcases the pitfalls and triumphs of owning a football club (particularly one at the lower end of the football pyramid). The documentary illustrated the determination and effort of Reynolds and McElhenney to do the historic club justice and win over the passionate fanbase.
Spectacularly, at the conclusion of the 2022-23 National League season, Wrexham had amassed a record-breaking 111 points in the league and were promoted to EFL League Two. This means they are now just three promotions away from reaching the heights of the Premier League.
Wrexham A.F.C to feature in Deadpool 3
With EFL League Two firmly in their sights after winning the league and automatic promotion for their side, Wrexham’s players and staff were rewarded with a team trip to Las Vegas by Reynolds and McElhenney. The glitz and glamour will not stop there though, with Reynolds set to reward an extra few players with roles in his upcoming project, the blockbuster superhero action-comedy Deadpool 3.
WATCH Ryan Reynolds’ hilarious reveal of Deadpool 3 (with a cameo from Hugh Jackman) below.
Goalkeeper Ben Foster and forward Paul Mullin have been touted as possible candidates to join the cast of the movie, with the latter jovially suggested by Wrexham’s executive director, Humphrey Ker, to be a perfect candidate to play a member of the iconic X-Men.
“Well… I genuinely don’t know for sure – I’ve not had the conversation – but I’d be quite surprised if not, because Ryan is very good at layering through all the different parts of his life and his career and everything [in his films],” Ker commented.
“They all intersect in all sorts of different ways so, I think that there were Aviation Gin references in the last, the last one I think and I’m sure there’ll be who knows, Paul Mullin playing an X-Man.”Humphrey Ker
Whatever the case, Reynolds and McElhenney have shown that they are fully dedicated to the cause with Wrexham. It seems almost inevitable that the club and its players would appear in one of their movie projects in the future…