Welcome to Commentary Commentary, where we sit and listen to filmmakers talk about their work, then share the most interesting parts. In this edition, Rob Hunter listens to the filmmakers and star of 2016’s Deadpool.
It really shouldn’t have worked. An R-rated, superhero movie set in the X-Men universe featuring graphic violence, nudity, an abundance of profanity, and an epic sex-scene montage? I mean, it’s clearly aimed at someone like me, but surely the masses wouldn’t accept it. Right?
And yet, Deadpool is currently the 6th highest-grossing Marvel movie. And not just in the MCU either… that’s including all Marvel-related films including those featuring the X-Men, Spider-Man, and Elektra too.
The newly-released Blu-ray/DVD comes loaded with supplements, and chief among them are a pair of commentary tracks featuring Ryan Reynolds and various behind-the-scenes talent. We gave a listen to the one with Reynolds and the film’s writers in the hopes that it would be as entertaining as it was informative.
Keep reading to see what I heard on the commentary track for Deadpool.
Commentators: Ryan Reynolds (actor/producer), Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick (screenwriters)
1. They’re recording the commentary in the basement of Reynolds’ home. “If you hear dogs barking, or if you hear an elderly door-to-door salesman who sounds like he’s tied up with a ball gag and several other things, just carry on.”
2. Reynolds stole a Deadpool costume from the film, and it’s sitting in the room with them during the commentary.
3. The opening credits sequence is heavily inspired by Adam Berg’s award-winning Philips Carousel commercial.
4. Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning” was the first song added to the script nearly six years ago.
5. Director Tim Miller originally planned to do the entire film in CG before moving forward with a practical production, “which he soon realized was totally ludicrous and impractical,” adds Reynolds, “but a great idea.”
6. The gum on the ceiling of the cab was Miller’s.
7. Reynolds is asked if the actors had to sign waivers to allow opening credits referring to them without their actual names, but he says no. “As long as you don’t use anyone else’s real name it’s fine.”
8. Dopinder (Karan Soni) is named after one of Reynolds’ elementary school classmates “who unfortunately died after being struck by lightning. I’m not making that up.”
9. Wernick’s daughter saw Soni in an AT&T ad and recommended him to her father who then proceeded to recommend him to the film’s casting director.
10. It took Reynolds forty minutes to get into the suit early on, but he got it down to ten by the time they wrapped. They had nine suits and destroyed seven of them. “I think it’s the most faithful comic book to screen adaptation of a super suit ever,” he adds, which explains in part why he stole it from the set. “I just walked off set with it and basically told them to go fuck themselves. I waited ten years to do the movie, and if they want to take the suit back they can come try and take it from me.”
11. Reynolds has been attached to the Deadpool character as far back as 2004. It originally came to him during production on Blade: Trinity. “Say what you will about that movie, but it brought me great things. It actually was a lot of fun, I got to sort of improvise and goof around, and looking back at it I was kind of in a weird way playing Wade Wilson.”
12. In earlier drafts of the script, the character of Angel Dust (Gina Carano) was originally three different characters ‐ Garrison Kane, Wire, and Sluggo.
13. The highway overpass sequence where Deadpool is shot through the arm was filmed on a viaduct in Reynolds’ home town of Vancouver, British Columbia. “I became public enemy # 1 because we cocked up the traffic in Vancouver for two and a half weeks while we took over this bridge.”
14. The guy who gets shot in the head at 12:07 is played by Reynolds’ stunt double from Blade: Trinity.
15. The bit where Deadpool is shot in the a–hole was added a week before filming. He was originally going to be shot in the face.
16. Reynolds also stole the katanas from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. “In a fitting piece of destiny those were stolen from me,” he says, during a move.
17. That’s Bea Arthur on Wilson’s shirt in the pizza delivery scene. “That cost ten grand,” says Reynolds, “I don’t made saying that.” It had to be licensed from Arthur’s estate, but the money went to a charity.
18. The pizza box says “Feige’s Famous” as a nod to Kevin Feige, head of Marvel.
19. They filmed the Sister Margaret interiors at the Cobalt bar, “a bar when I was a kid you would never go within 3000 feet of and now is just hipster central.”
20. Wernick’s kids were originally in the arcade scene but ended up on the cutting room floor. “Where they belong,” adds Reynolds.
21. “We spent more time on this fucking sequence than any other sequence in the film,” says Reynolds about the sex montage. They say it was due to time spent on choreography and tone.
22. Reynolds’ first shirtless scene prompts the trio to comment on the immense amount of salmon he ate during production.
23. The movie was shot over forty-eight days. Green Lantern, by contrast was an eighty-nine day shoot.
24. Budgetary constraints made them cut a motorcycle chase sequence between Deadpool and Ajax.
25. Reynolds got into trouble when he was 25 years old after changing a sign in Regina, Saskatchewan. He put another sign over it that said “Welcome to Regina, which rhymes with fun.”
26. They think most viewers miss one of their references to X-Men Origins: Wolverine ‐ the bit where Ajax threatens to sew Wilson’s mouth shut but is warned against it.
27. None of them seem to sure about how to pronounce gif.
28. They altered Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s (Brianna Hildebrand) powers from the comic for the movie and had to ask Marvel’s permission to do so.
29. The main reason that the film is told in a non-linear way is “because the budget was such that we wanted to start the movie with an action sequence and have action sprinkled throughout the first act but couldn’t afford to do three different action sequences.”
30. Reynolds praises Carano for both her strength and gentleness. “[She] never felt that comfortable manhandling me,” he says. “I had to keep asking her to be rougher.”
31. David Cunningham (Hugh Scott), the fellow patient who Wilson befriends at the lab, is a comic character named Worm although he’s never called that in the movie.
32. The machine that Wilson is strapped into was called the punch bowl, and Wernick claims the prop cost $750k. Reynolds refuses to believe it.
33. The lab scene originally included a Marvel villain named Dr. Killebrew, but after a long debate they decided to cut him because the film works best as a revenge tale/love story without worrying about the villain’s hierarchy.
34. Like most of us, Reynolds loves Grosse Pointe Blank. Wilson’s comment about shooting Ajax in the head and fucking the brain hole is a nod to Dan Aykroyd’s character.
35. Reynolds also stole the plush unicorn from the masturbation scene.
36. This is the third film that Reynolds has masturbated in with the other two being The Nines and The Change-Up.
37. They called T.J. Miller Benjamin Button on-set “because he would always button a scene with an improv joke.”
38. Reynolds sees Hugh Jackman as the one responsible for ushering the “cool comic book character” into theaters again. “He’s like our spiritual godfather,” adds Reese.
39. The television edit of Weasel’s (Miller) “you wanna get fucked up?” is “you wanna get felt up?” They all agree that’s actually worse.
40. Colossus’ name is written on his Starbucks cup.
41. Bandhu’s scream from inside the trunk is actually voiced by Reynolds. They all wonder if he’s credited for the performance. He is not.
42. The end fight originally featured a John Denver song, but they ended up swapping it for Chicago. It was Miller’s idea to add the animated characters into Deadpool’s delusion.
43. They thank the folks at 20th Century Fox for agreeing to an R-rating even though it meant the film’s box-office take would be substantially lower. This commentary was recorded nine days before the movie opened ‐ and became the 6th highest-grossing Marvel-related film ‐ so this comment is particularly amusing.
44. Reese wonders which movie they’re referencing with Deadpool’s “I’m just a boy…” line, and they’re pretty sure it’s Notting Hill. It is.
45. Reese wrote the “It’s a face I’d be happy to sit on” line, and when Wernick first read it he felt confident that Fox would never make this movie.
46. They originally wanted the end credits scene to feature Beast shitting on Wilson’s lawn and then running off as Wilson shakes his morning newspaper, but they had to settle for a joke about it instead. “Nicholas Hoult was game,” says Reynolds, but they couldn’t make their schedules work.
47. Paramount Pictures insisted they change the wallpaper in the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off-inspired post-credits scene because it was too similar to the original. Per Wernick, Miller added penises to the new wallpaper, but no one can spot them.
Best in Context-Free Commentary
Reynolds: “The suit made me weep the first time I saw it.”
Wernick: “We wrote the script in 2009, and a new draft in every calendar year since.”
Reynolds: “You can’t have a movie without Bea Arthur appearing.”
Reynolds: “My penis looks like pepperoni flat-bread.”
I wanted entertaining and informative, and I got entertaining and informative. Reynolds’ comedic abilities are evident throughout, and he frequently puts on his producer hat to share details on production, costs, and more. Reese and Wernick are similarly enjoyable making for a great listen from beginning to end. Pick up a copy, enjoy one of the year’s best romantic comedies, and then dive deep into these extras.