The poster for “Once Upon a Deadpool” ― a PG-13 recut of the hilariously crude “Deadpool 2″ ― appears to be a parody of “The Second Coming,” a Harry Anderson painting commissioned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
“In the poster Deadpool replaces Jesus Christ,” a petition on Change.org noted. “Deadpool is positioned exactly as Jesus Christ was and is wearing a white robe. It is unknown if the picture was used to intentionally mock the Church of Jesus Christ, but it is clear it was copied from the original picture.”
The petition, which has received more than 35,000 signatures in about a week, called for filmmaker Tim Miller to change the image, claiming it was a form of “religious discrimination.”
Miller, however, directed the first film but not the second, nor was he involved in the “Once Upon A Deadpool” recut.
Patrick Mason, chair of Mormon studies at Claremont Graduate University in California, told Fox 13 in Salt Lake City that the painting was “one of the most beloved and produced images of the Second Coming.”
He said it was frequently found in Mormon homes and churches.
“Deadpool” has inserted characters into religious art before. One of the promotional images for the original “Deadpool 2” placed the film’s anti-hero and villain into “The Creation of Adam,” the iconic Michelangelo masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel: