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Deadpool 2. We love the funny bits where he looks at the camera and says cuss words.
Writers/producers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese pull back the fourth wall on the superhero comedy
A FRIDGE TOO FAR
__ Those expecting lotsa lols from Deadpool 2 are jolted early on by the shocking murder of Deadpool’s girlfriend, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). It led to a backlash, with the writers (including Ryan Reynolds) accused of ‘fridging’ Vanessa, a term for killing a female character to motivate a male hero. “It wasn’t something we were aware of,” admits co-writer/ producer Rhett Reese. “We’re all learning.”
THE NAME’S POOL… DEADPOOL __
Vanessa’s death segues straight into a fun, very Bondian title sequence, complete with plenty of Reynolds cavorting, and Celine Dion belting out ‘Ashes’. “We fell in love with that song,” says Wernick. “We built the credits sequence around that song. It was tough — the credits sequence in the first movie was so beloved. How do we top it?”
A PETER CAN FLY
__ The shot that launched a thousand gifs, as Rob Delaney’s affable regular bloke, Peter, sails through the air with his X-force companions. “That was the one X-force character we invented,” says Reese. Peter made such an impact that the film’s coda brings him back from an unfortunate demise. “We loved that the audience tapped into the Peter thing,” says Wernick.
HAVE SHIRT, WILL COCK
__ The longest scene in the movie, during which Deadpool and Cable make semi-nice, also births the word ‘shirtcocking’, which describes the act of wearing a shirt whilst devoid of underwear. The term was coined on set by Reynolds’ wife, Blake Lively.
“It ended up being a signature joke,” laughs Wernick. “I’ve never done shirtcocking in my entire life, just for the record.” Uh-huh. Sure.
X-MEN MARKS THE SPOT
Wade Wilson whinges about how he never sees any other X-men around the X-mansion, we see a shot of a host of them silently closing the door on him. It’s a fun gag, shot by X-men: Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg, but don’t think too much about how the X-men team of 1993 are around in the present day. “We went for the laugh and didn’t think too much about the logic,” says Wernick.
__ The film’s standout sequence sees X-force, the super-group Deadpool assembles to fight Cable, killed in a hilarious series of Omen-style accidents. “It was around our third draft where we introduced that idea,” says Reese. It affected the inclusion of characters like Terry Crews’ Bedlam and Bill Skarsgård’s Zeitgeist. “We wanted to use characters we didn’t anticipate using in a real X-force movie,” adds Reese.
__ Towards the end, Deadpool finally carks it (albeit briefly) with a wonderfully absurd, Python-esque extended death scene in which Wade Wilson tests the patience of his fellow heroes by appearing to die, then come back for a last monologue. Or three. “Deadpool is just narcissistic enough that he would want to put people through a long death scene,” says Reese.
__ As Cable (Josh Brolin) appears in a remote field, he takes out two rednecks. The one on the right is Alan Tudyk, and he’s there to distract you from the guy playing Redneck #1. In the credits, he’s billed as Dickie Greenleaf, but Empire can confirm that it’s Matt Damon under a load of make-up. “It was a well-kept secret,” laughs Wernick. “Some people don’t even know he’s in the movie!” Not anymore.
THE VANISHER APPEARS
__ “We never saw The Vanisher in our draft,” says Wernick. “But we thought that would be a perfect cameo.” And so it proved, with Brad Pitt, a rare A-lister who’s swerved Marvel and DC, showing up for an electrifying two seconds as another ill-fated X-force member. “Ryan reached out to him, and it was an easy yes.
A cup of coffee was the negotiation.”
TURN BACK TIME
__ Deadpool uses a time gizmo to kill the proto-deadpool of X-men Origins: Wolverine and Ryan Reynolds as he reads the script to Green Lantern. “We wanted to have fun with that,” says Wernick. “Ryan loves to make fun of his choices — good or bad.”
DEADPOOL 2 IS OUT NOW ON DOWNLOAD, DVD AND BLU-RAY