In a chat with Hey U Guys, the writers of Fox’s upcoming X-Men Universe film, DEADPOOL, opened up a bit about their work on the hotly anticipated flick. It opens on Friday, but that’s after nearly seven years of work on it to make it a reality. The early buzz for the film is very strong, and it looks like those years may have led to a movie that’s going to bear a lot of fruit in the way of sequels and even an X-FORCE movie. While everyone’s very excited about the project now, the writers spoke candidly about how they walked into the project without even having heard of Deadpool before.
Here are comments, related to that, from both writers:
“Rhett Reese: We hate to admit it, but we had never even heard of Deadpool. But we read comics as children and not as adults and weâ€™re a little older than when Deadpool became popular, so we had to do our research. That said, we did our research and read a bunch of comics and we fell in love, we absolutely fell in love. It became the project we just had to do. We went from having never heard of him, to, â€˜I will die if I canâ€™t write thisâ€™. I think it was that instant passion we have for the character which came through in our audition, so even though we were pretty new to the game and to the comic, we would get it.
Paul Wernick: They say you write what you know, well Deadpool is a self-loathing, annoying, ego-maniacal guy. So there you go.”
Sounds like their experience mirrors my own, as I barely knew Deadpool at all until I played the 2013 video game based on the character. Up until that point, my only exposure to him had been X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, but I was instantly informed that the version depicted in that film was an abomination.
The writers also went on to talk about how freeing, and yet how- in a way- restrictive, it was to write a film that was so meta:
“Wernick: Deadpool is famous in the comics for breaking that fourth wall, itâ€™s something that we absolutely had to do from the beginning. Really nothing was off-limits for us, which was both a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because we got to write the script we want, and a curse because it took us six and a half years to get it made, because itwas so outrageous, it was an apple among oranges. It took a very bold decision by the studio to make this thing. But it was thrilling to write with absolute abandon.”
An interesting double-edged sword, indeed. There are, essentially, no rules. Yet making a film that has no rules takes a lot of convincing.
Reese then took some time to say how working on a film like this, that skewers the genre so thoroughly, can make it hard to get behind some of the upcoming comic book blockbusters that seem to take themselves so seriously:
“Reese: You know, I had [that] worry, I honestly have. You just wonder if you can dive back in to the more serious ones and take them seriously, once Deadpool has taken the piss out of them. I think the MCU has a light touch and a silliness, and Guardians of the Galaxy is included in that, certainly. I think those will continue, but the more serious ones, the DC stuff? I honestly wonder if I can ever look at them with a straight face now. Only time will tell. I know Batman V Superman is coming towards us like a train on the tracks so weâ€™re gonna find out, but it will be interesting.”
So, essentially, he thinks DEADPOOL can stand alongside the films that come from Marvel Studios but stands in stark contrast to what the folks at WB/DC are cooking up.
Wernick also happens to believe that the time is right for a film like DEADPOOL:
“You feel like there is an over-saturation of these films in general, and thatâ€™s why people are really embracing Deadpool and this idea of making fun of it, because there are so many of them that it really is ripe for parody.”
Something I covered in my review for the movie is that there is, indeed, a heart to the film. It’s not all jokes and games (only 95% of it is). Reese says it was important for them to make sure that the humor made psychological sense and, in the case of Wade Wilson, a lot of his comedic flare comes from the fact that he’s masking a lot of pain:
“Reese: Yeah, one of the key facets of Deadpoolâ€™s character is the that he deals with the tragedy in his life through comedy. His pathos, his loss and scarring, his cancer, all of those things â€“ not to mention his background as a mercenary where he killed a lot of people â€“ they are all defended against, by him, through a shield of being funny. There are a lot of people like that in real life, I think we can all relate to that sardonic sense of humour that allows us to get through the dark times, so in a way I think the comedyand the serious nature go together better than first imagined.”
Two days ago I wrote about how the film’s semi-restrictive budget forced the filmmakers to have make cuts to the script– with whole characters being edited out of the final product. But the tighter budget also seemed to help, because it made Wernick and Reese have to focus the story on more intimate details. In an age where most comic book films are about saving the world from some sort of apocalyptic threat, this one is really just a story about a guy trying to avenge a personal injustice and get his girl back:
“Reese: That was almost more because of the budget than anything else. We really couldnâ€™t have a scene where a thousand aliens come down from the sky and try to take over New York City. We just couldnâ€™t. And necessity sometimes being the mother of invention really forced us to focus on the few key relationships in the movie, and why we should care so much, so we had a lot of dialogue scenes where youâ€™re mostly being entertained by virtue of whatâ€™s coming out of his mouth, rather than the pyrotechnics youâ€™re used to seeing in movies like this.”
That speaks a lot to modern blockbuster filmmaking. In an age where there are seemingly no limits, where writers and directors are given so much money and full access to the kinds of digital tools that allow them to adapt anything they could possible think of to the screen, some folks have forgotten what the words “restraint” and “focus” mean. DEADPOOL being a lower-budgeted flick gave the team behind it no choice but to keep those parameters in mind. I almost wish the folks with blank checks would still work that way (I’m looking at you, Trevorrow!). Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
The interview veered into the direction of the future. The writers say they’re eager to write stories that include fan-favorite characters like Cable and Syrin, and even bring X-FORCE into the fray- which is something Ryan Reynolds has been campaigning for.
“Wernick: Absolutely. Getting in to more of an ensemble piece is something we would cherish. X-Force is beloved and we love it, and Deadpool is centric to that world, and weâ€™d love to bring an X-Force movie into the X Universe.”
DEADPOOL comes out on Friday.
SOURCE: Hey U Guys