“It’s a big house. It’s funny I only ever see two of you. It’s almost like the studio couldn’t afford another X-Man.”—Deadpool
It took years for audiences to finally see Deadpool grace the big screen in a live action movie… and it was an absolute disaster. Obviously, this is in reference to his appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine where the geniuses behind the scenes thought it would be a good idea to sew the Merc with a Mouth’s mouth shut and give him laser eyes instead. It would take years for fans to recover from that but thankfully, once the wounds were healed it was finally announced—a Deadpool solo movie!
Ryan Reynolds returned to reprise his role as the titular character, this time with no filter, as everyone’s favourite anti-hero holds nothing back when it comes to violence and offensive language. Reynolds was born to play this role, and after a massive, record shattering opening and theatrical run, as well as multiple award nominations and wins, Deadpool was green lit for a sequel, and this time it didn’t take nearly as long to get the movie made. The second film performed similarly to the first one in terms of reception and box office numbers. There’s no word yet on a third Deadpool movie, but Reynolds says that he’ll play the character as long as the studio lets him, so don’t be surprised if he eventually challenges Hugh Jackman’s record for most appearances in X-Men movies!
44. Not Everyone’s First Pick
Comic book movies don’t tend to get a lot of love at the bigger award shows, aside from nominations for categories like visual effects or makeup. However, Deadpool was able to break that cycle; it became the first ever-live action comic book movie to be nominated for Best Picture in the 74 year history of the Golden Globes, getting the nomination in the musical/comedy category.
43. Ryan of All Trades
Ryan Reynolds’ name is all over the Deadpool movie, as he not only starred as the titular character, but he also served as a producer, script doctor, editor, and marketing executive! He worked 24/7 by constantly rewriting the script, adding jokes and even calling Fox Studio’s president of theatrical marketing at all hours of the night just to bounce around ideas. It’s 100% true when people say that without Reynolds there would be no Deadpool movie.
42. No Rest for the Wicked
Deadpool’s writers—Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick—wasted no time getting started on Deadpool 2, as the second they wrapped principal photography on the first movie they began breaking the story for the sequel. That started in June of 2015 and would take three years to develop, write and film it.
41. Working Out the Kinks
There were a lot of different versions of Deadpool 2 that the writers worked on before ultimately going with the version we saw in theatres. There were versions with different villains, as one saw a character named Mr. X taking on Deadpool, while another saw Black Tom Cassidy as the main antagonist. There was even a draft where Deadpool was his own villain, however that works. Other scripts saw Vanessa breaking up with Wade Wilson as well as Deadpool becoming a father. How did they ever pick one story?
40. Take an Idea, Leave an Idea
After director Tim Miller left Deadpool 2 and David Leitch was brought on to replace him, the writers went back to page one of the script and ran through all of it again, keeping some bits but also adding some new ones and blending them all together to create the finished product, and one they are quite proud of.
39. Movie in a Movie
Showing once again that the marketing team behind Deadpool is one of the best in the business, they made a short film called Deadpool: No Good Deed that played during the previews for Logan. The short film was written by Reese, directed by Leitch and starred Reynolds. Lee even showed up for a cameo—maybe that makes up for his lack of a real cameo in Deadpool 2?
38. Oprah Rich
Deadpool shattered a bunch of box office records when it was released, and while Deadpool 2 didn’t do quite as well, it still put up solid numbers. Deadpool is the highest grossing X-Men movie—domestically and worldwide—of all-time, the second highest grossing R rated movie of all-time, and had the biggest opening of any R rated movie. Deadpool 2 is currently second and third when it comes to X-Men grosses domestically and worldwide, respectively, fifth when it comes to R Rated movie grosses and had the second highest opening of an R rated movie of all-time.
37. No One Will Notice If One Is Missing
Reynolds decided to keep one of the Deadpool suits after production wrapped on the first movie. He never asked either, although a “no” wouldn’t have stopped him regardless, as he said in an interview, “I’ve waited ten years to do this movie so I’m leaving with a f***ing suit.”
36. Canada’s Very Own
Reynolds showed some love for his fellow Canadians when he put an Easter egg of the Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight into Deadpool 2. It comes in the form of an ad on top of a taxi for an airline called Alpha Flight.
35. The Many Faces of Cable
Before Josh Brolin landed the role of Cable, two other actors were heavy favorites to land the part of the time traveler; Kyle Chandler’s name floated around quite a bit and was reportedly Miller’s top choice—although he later denied that—and Michael Shannon was the studio’s number one pick. David Harbour was also in consideration. Honestly, I loved Brolin, but I would have been OK with any of those picks.
34. The Most Expensive Movie Easter Egg Ever
In the comics, Deadpool is a massive fan of Golden Girls star Bea Arthur, so Reynolds made sure that fandom was included in the movie. This was done in the form of an Easter egg that saw Deadpool wearing a shirt with Arthur’s face on it. In order for this to happen, Reynolds had to get permission from Arthur’s kids as well as pay $10,000 to use her likeness! Don’t worry, they didn’t take the money themselves, but rather had it donated to charity. Everybody wins!
33. All CGI Everything
The opening credits scene in the first movie was done entirely using CGI, and no cameras were used to film it. At one point, Miller even “wanted to do a CGI version of the movie first,” but quickly realized that would be “ludicrous and impractical.”
32. A Back up for the Back up
Nine different Deadpool suits were made for Reynolds to wear in the first movie. Over the course of filming, seven of them were either destroyed or completely ruined. The suits were also apparently so faithful to the comics that Reynolds became overwhelmed and cried the first time he saw them.
31. Marvelous Pizza
Although the character of Deadpool does not exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that didn’t stop the filmmakers from including a reference to the president of Marvel Studios—and the genius behind the MCU—Kevin Feige in their movie. The pizza company that Wilson orders from at the beginning of the first movie is called Feige’s Famous Pizza.
30. Watch Your Back
There are 20 names on the dead pool board in the first film, most of whom are celebrities, like Kanye West, Mike Tyson, Shia LeBeouf, and Miley Cyrus. Even the stars of the movie, Reynolds and TJ Miller, made it up on the board.
29. Short and Sweet
Considering Deadpool was a juggernaut at the box office, it’s surprising that it had a relatively small budget of $58 million and took only 48 days to shoot. That’s remarkably cheap and quick as far as superhero movies go.
28. The British Are Coming!
The villain in the first Deadpool movie, Ajax—or Francis depending on who you ask—was never supposed to be British. He’s written as American in the comics and the movie’s script, but was changed to be from the UK after British actor Ed Skrein won the part.
27. Thoughts and Prayers
Deadpool 2 was met with tragedy during its production when stuntwoman Joi Harris lost control of her motorcycle while filming a scene and died in the subsequent crash. Production was shut down for two days.
26. No Experience Necessary
Deadpool marked Miller’s directorial debut after a career as a visual effects artist. Unfortunately, he would leave Deadpool 2 for reasons not fully known, but it’s heavily speculated that it was due to creative differences with Reynolds. Stepping in to replace him for the sequel was another relative newcomer to directing: David Leitch, who only had John Wick and Atomic Blonde under his belt before this movie. That’s a pretty good way to start a career!
25. Multiple Personality Disorder
There were two characters from the comics that didn’t end up making it into the final draft of the Deadpool script, but instead were combined with other characters. In the comics, Patch is a bartender at Hellhouse who hands out jobs to mercenaries. His job was added to the character of Weasel in the movie. Dr. Emrys Killebrew was meant to be the true villain and Ajax just a puppet, but Killebrew ended up being scrapped altogether and ol’ Francis took the lead.
24. Trimming the Fat
Two days before shooting Deadpool, Fox told the writers they had to cut $7-8 million out of the budget, which was about nine pages of the script. To do this, they turned three characters into one, who became the villain Angel Dust, they cut out a motorcycle chase scene between Ajax and Deadpool, and they removed a big gun fight from the third act. That’s actually why Deadpool “forgets” his guns in that final battle scene.
23. Someone Needs to Update Their Password
Not only was test footage leaked for Deadpool, but an entire version of the script found its way online in 2010. Like the footage, the fans loved it and pushed for it to get made. In the end, about 70% of the leaked script made it into the final version of the movie, and the scene from the test footage was recreated almost exactly.
22. Hiding in Plain Sight
Deadpool went under the working title Wham! during production, which was a nod to the British pop duo. Deadpool 2 had three working titles—Caribbean Blue, Love Machine and Daisy.
21. Not Jim Carrey, the Other Cable Guy
Deadpool 2 is the first time that the time traveler Cable appears on a movie screen. There were actually discussions of putting him in the first movie, as Deadpool and Cable are a classic duo in the comics, but the writers wanted to establish Deadpool and the world first before introducing the character.
20. Adrenaline Junkie
Olivia Munn turned down the role of Vanessa in Deadpool because she didn’t want to play the girlfriend. She wanted a role that saw her fighting and getting in on the action, so she went with Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse instead.
19. Sleeping With the Enemy
Miller got the Deadpool directing job thanks to a short film he did for the DC Universe Online game. According to Miller, an executive at Fox saw the short, contacted him and offered him Deadpool. Miller read the script and immediately knew he wanted the job.
18. There in Spirit
Deadpool is the first X-Men movie in which Hugh Jackman does not make a physical appearance. He does, however, show up in Deadpool 2, but it’s in recycled footage from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, so does it really even count? I’ll leave that one up to you.
17. Guess Who’s Back?
Stan Lee made his mandatory cameo in Deadpool as the DJ in a strip club, but only appeared by image in Deadpool 2. He can be seen as a graffiti portrait on the side of a building. The creator of Deadpool—Rob Liefeld—also makes a cameo in the first movie as a customer at the bar.
16. Wolverine’s Stamp of Approval
Jackman was reportedly very supportive of a Deadpool solo movie and didn’t mind the excessive mocking of his character, Wolverine. According to Reese, they asked Jackman before using anything related to him or Wolverine, and Jackman even thought that using his People’s Sexiest Man Alive cover was hilarious.
15. Break the Walls Down
Breaking the fourth wall is one of Deadpool’s signature characteristics that sets him apart from other superheroes, so it should come as no surprise that he breaks it quite a bit in the movies. In Deadpool, the anti-hero breaks the fourth wall a total of 23 times, and in Deadpool 2, the website Epic Stream estimates he broke it 23 times again.
14. Pain and Gain
Reynolds, like nearly every actor who plays a superhero on screen, got jacked to play Deadpool. However, unlike most actors, he got so jacked he couldn’t fit in the suit! Nearly every superhero suit has a muscle suit underneath to make the actors look bigger, but when Reynolds put his on he looked way too big, so that’s all Ryan that you’re seeing underneath the spandex. That came out wrong. Or did it?
13. F You Slater!
Reynolds ultimately won April Fools Day 2015 with the prank he pulled on fans about Deadpool’s rating. Reynolds appeared on Extra to promote the movie and after the host Mario Lopez announced that Fox decided on a PG-13 rating, Deadpool showed up and hit him with a production light, then announced that Deadpool would be rated R. Reynolds also tweeted the rating out later that day.
12. Name Value
Negasonic Teenage Warhead—NTW—was a last minute addition to the script after a request from Miller to add another superhero to the movie. Miller thought there was too much gun fighting and not enough superhero fighting, so he gave the writers a list of names to choose from and they went with NTW. They didn’t even know what her powers were, they just loved the name and knew she had to be in the movie.
11. A Snowball Effect
Originally, Miller and his visual effects coordinator—John Rothbart—planned for about 700 VFX shots for the entire movie. However, that number continued to grow and went from 800 to 900 and finally ended up at around 1,200!
10. Everyone’s Favorite Hero
The breakout star of Deadpool 2—the completely non-super Peter—was originally written as a quick cameo for the writer Reese to play, but after they met with actor and comedian Rob Delaney, everyone on set fell in love with him and he was cast in the role. Reynolds even fought to give him a bigger part and feature him more prominently in the marketing campaign.
9. Why Should Thanos Have All the Fun?
In the lead up to Deadpool 2, Reynolds parodied a spoiler-free campaign that the makers of Avengers: Infinity War put out. They released a letter from the movies villain, Thanos, asking fans not to spoil anything. Reynolds tweeted out a similar letter about his movie, but with a comedic twist—while he was telling audiences not to spread spoilers, he ended up giving out a major spoiler himself!
8. Really, Really, Really Ridiculously Good looking
Reynolds and Jackman were both named People magazines Sexiest Man Alive and both of their magazine covers can be seen in Deadpool, with Reynolds cover at the beginning and Jackman’s near the end.
7. A True Canadian
Due to the small budget, Fox refused to pay the writers to be on set to work on the script during production. However, Reynolds is Canadian and wouldn’t have any of that. He decided to pay the writers out of his own pocket to have them around because he knew he needed the full creative minds behind the project in order to make it work. He also knew they worked just as hard as him to get this movie made and wanted to see it through to the end with them.
6. Crossing the Line and Then Some
There was one joke and one scene that were both filmed but didn’t make it into Deadpool 2 because everyone thought they were too extreme, but for different reasons. The joke was about Disney, and Wernick wouldn’t reveal it but admitted, “It would’ve probably blown up the Fox-Disney merger that is impending.” As for the scene, it saw Deadpool going back in time and killing baby Hitler. Even though it was Hitler, it was still seen as being a bit too much, even for Deadpool. Fans may get to see it on the DVD extras, though!
5. Is There Something on My Face?
It took approximately four hours to apply the make-up to Reynolds face to make him look like the horribly scarred Deadpool. It only gets worse from there, as Reynolds stated, “it’s like wearing a wet diaper on your face.” Still, considering the lengths that he went to to get the movie made, I’m sure he also wouldn’t hesitate to say it was all worth it.
4. Missing Out on All the Fun
Lee told an audience at MegaCon that his least favorite Marvel cameo is the one he did for Deadpool because he didn’t actually film it in the strip club. Instead, they did it at a studio and inserted it in the scene later. Lee jokingly told everyone, “I’m damn mad about that,” and made the producers promise next time he’d actually be there—I guess they kinda broke that promise!
3. Years in the Making
A Deadpool movie has been in development since 2004, but gained traction all the way back in 2009 after the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Though plans were made to have Reynolds reprise his role as the Merc with a Mouth in a standalone movie, after Reynolds signed on to play Green Lantern and the movie ended up being a critical and financial failure, Deadpool was put on ice. It wasn’t until 2014 when some test footage for what a Deadpool movie could look like “mysteriously” leaked, getting an enormous reaction from fans who now desperately wanted a full movie, that Fox finally decided to green light the movie and set a release date.
2. A Cool Name for a Cool Guy
Reynolds revealed during an interview with Google that the taxi driver Dopinder is named after a kid he knew in elementary school that died after being struck by lightning. Reynolds wanted to pay tribute to the kid, who he described as “a really cool guy.”
1. A Classic Case of Whodunit
Although it has never been explicitly revealed who leaked the test footage, everyone seems to agree that it was probably one of four people—Reynolds, Miller, Wernick, or Reese. Also, Reynolds has said, “I’m 70% sure it wasn’t me,” and Wernick said, “it rhymes with Bryan Breynolds.” Okay, it’s obvious—Reynolds leaked it. Hey, sometimes you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do to get your movie made.