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Deadpool (film)

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Deadpool
Official poster shows the title hero Deadpool in his traditional red and black suit and mask with his arms crossed, and the film's name, credits and billing below him.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tim Miller
Produced by
Written by
Based on
Starring
Music by Tom Holkenborg
Cinematography Ken Seng
Edited by Julian Clarke
Production
companies
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • February 8, 2016 (2016-02-08) (Le Grand Rex)
  • February 12, 2016 (2016-02-12) (United States)
Running time
108 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $58 million[2]
Box office $783.1 million[2]

Deadpool is a 2016 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the eighth installment of the X-Men film series. The film was directed by Tim Miller from a screenplay by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and stars Ryan Reynolds in the title role alongside Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T. J. Miller, Gina Carano, Leslie Uggams, Brianna Hildebrand, and Stefan Kapičić. In Deadpool, Wade Wilson hunts the man who gave him mutant abilities, but also a scarred physical appearance, as the wisecracking, fourth wall-breaking antihero Deadpool.

Development of a Deadpool film starring Reynolds began in February 2004 with New Line Cinema, but did not move forward. After Reynolds went on to portray the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine for Fox in 2009, that studio began developing a spinoff film featuring the character. Reese and Wernick were hired in 2010, and Miller in 2011, for his directorial debut. The group wanted to faithfully adapt the comics' comedic and violent tone, after the character's portrayal in Wolverine was criticized for not doing so. The project again did not move forward, until test footage created by Miller and Reynolds was leaked in 2014 to an enthusiastic response. Additional casting began in early 2015, and principal photography took place in Vancouver from March to May. Visual effects were provided by multiple vendors and ranged from the addition of blood and gore to the creation of the CG character Colossus.

Deadpool premiered in Paris on February 8, 2016, after an extensive and unconventional viral marketing campaign. The film was released in North America on February 12, and became both a financial and critical success: it earned over $783 million dollars, breaking numerous records and becoming the overall highest-grossing R-rated film, the highest grossing X-Men film, and the ninth-highest grossing film of 2016; it received critical praise for Reynolds' performance, the film's style and faithfulness to the comics, and its action, though some criticized the plot as formulaic as well as the sheer number of jokes in the film; and it received numerous awards and nominations, including two Critics' Choice Award wins and two Golden Globe nominations. A sequel, Deadpool 2, is scheduled to be released on June 1, 2018, while another, Deadpool 3, is in development.

Plot

Wade Wilson is a dishonorably-discharged special forces operative working as a mercenary in New York City when he meets escort Vanessa. They become romantically involved, and a year later she accepts his marriage proposal. But when Wilson is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he leaves Vanessa so she does not have to watch him die.

A mysterious recruiter approaches Wilson, offering an experimental cure for his cancer. He is taken to Ajax and Angel Dust, who inject him with a serum designed to awaken latent mutant genes. They then subject him to days of torture to induce stress and trigger the mutation, but without success. Wilson discovers Ajax's real name, Francis, and mocks him for it. In response, Ajax leaves Wilson on the verge of asphyxiation in a hyperbaric chamber for a weekend, causing Wilson to develop a mutant healing factor that cures his cancer but leaves him severely disfigured with burn-like scars over his entire body. He escapes from the chamber and attacks Ajax, but relents when told that his disfigurement can be cured. Ajax subdues Wilson and leaves him for dead in the burning laboratory.

Wilson survives the ordeal and attempts to return to Vanessa, but is afraid of her seeing his new appearance. After consulting his best friend Weasel, Wilson decides to hunt down Ajax and cure his disfigurement. He becomes a masked vigilante and adopts the name "Deadpool", moving into the home of an elderly blind woman named Al. Deadpool questions and murders many of Ajax's men until one, the recruiter, reveals Ajax's whereabouts. Deadpool confronts Ajax and a convoy of armed men on an expressway, killing everyone but Ajax. He demands a cure to his disfigurement, but is interrupted by the X-Man Colossus, who wants Deadpool to become a hero and join the X-Men, and his trainee Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Taking advantage of the distraction, Ajax escapes. He goes to Weasel's bar and learns of Vanessa.

Deadpool and Weasel attempt to get to Vanessa first, but Ajax kidnaps her and takes her to a decommissioned helicarrier in a scrapyard. Deadpool convinces Colossus and Negasonic to help him, and the trio attack the site. While Colossus and Negasonic battle Angel and several soldiers, Wade fights his way to Ajax. After Angel defeats Colossus, Negasonic attacks her and accidentally destroys the equipment stabilizing the helicarrier. Deadpool protects Vanessa from the falling ship, and Colossus carries Negasonic and Angel to safety. Ajax survives and attacks Deadpool again, but reveals that there is no cure for Deadpool's disfigurement. Despite Colossus's pleading, Deadpool kills Ajax, though he promises to try and be more heroic moving forward. Though Vanessa is angry at Wilson for leaving her, she reconciles with him.

In a post-credits scene, Deadpool reveals to the audience that Cable will appear in the sequel.

Cast

(L-R) Tim Miller, Reynolds, Baccarin, T. J. Miller, Hildebrand, Skrein, and Carano speaking at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con
  • Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson / Deadpool:
    A wisecracking mercenary with accelerated healing but severe scaring over his body after undergoing an experimental mutation.[3][4] The writers described Deadpool as "fun to hang out with ... in short doses", insecure and self-loathing which he masks with comedy.[5] Reynolds promised a more "authentic" and comic-faithful version of the character than the one he portrayed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine,[6] saying that this version is "aware he’s in a film ... he does certain things that are unlike anything else in the X-Men Universe".[7] Director Tim Miller said that Wilson is "not aware that he’s in a movie. Deadpool is." However, the film does include Wilson making a joke about Green Lantern, Reynolds' previous superhero film, before the character becomes Deadpool.[8]
  • Morena Baccarin as Vanessa:
    An escort and Wilson's fiance.[9][4] Baccarin described her as "scrappy, she’s not worried about her hair and her nails or messing around. She gets down and dirty and she’s not a victim, she’s not a damsel in distress." The character was initially designed as a "typical prostitute", but Baccarin worked with the costume and makeup teams to make her appearance more layered and interesting.[10] The film does not explore the character's comic alter-ego "Copycat" as the writers wanted to focus on Deadpool,[11] but makeup designer Bill Corso included references to that version of the character, who has a blue appearance in the comics.[12]
  • Ed Skrein as Francis Freeman / Ajax:
    An artificially-mutated member of the program that creates Deadpool.[13] Ajax feels no pain and has enhanced strength.[4] Miller praised Skrein's dedication to the role, saying "he worked really, really hard with our stunt coordinators to do the best he could" with the character's fight sequences. Miller estimated that Skrein did 80 percent of his own stunts in the film, and was only replaced by a double for rigged stunts.[8] Skrein was influenced by Rutger Hauer's Roy Batty from Blade Runner, and serial killer Harold Shipman.[14]
  • T. J. Miller as Weasel:
    Wilson's best friend.[15][16] Miller felt he was cast as the character because he "looks like his superhero power is spilling mustard on his shirt." Producer Simon Kinberg explained that the film has "a main character who is so outrageous and irreverent, we needed someone who could keep up with Ryan. We knew that T.J. would bring that." Miller initially attempted to give the character a facial tic, but director Tim Miller rejected the idea, saying "everything else you're doing is great. But don't act. Do your comedy."[17]
  • Gina Carano as Angel Dust:
    An artificially-mutated member of the program that creates Deadpool.[18] Angel Dust has superhuman strength and speed.[4] Director Miller personally called Carano and asked her to take the part. The actress was given "some room to play with" the characterization of Angel Dust given "there wasn’t as much on this character" in the comics as some of the others in the film. She said that the character "trusts Ajax with everything. She pretty much only really responds to him. He...kinda created me and showed me everything. And I do the same thing to everyone else." Carano felt the character's rage and "extreme adrenaline issues" made comparisons to the drug "angel dust" fitting.[18] Carano had wanted to wear yellow contact lenses to match the character's look from the comics, but Corso turned her down, feeling they would be more appropriate in a Twilight film.[12]
  • Leslie Uggams as Blind Al:
    An elderly blind woman and Deadpool's roommate.[19][20] Uggams said that Al has "been through British Intelligence, she's done all kinds of wild and crazy things ... she's old, but she's feisty." Uggams added that Al doesn't let her blindness stop her from doing things, and that she has a "love/hate" relationship with Deadpool.[20]
  • Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead:
    A teenage X-Men trainee, who possesses the mutant power to detonate atomic bursts from her body.[21][4] The filmmakers wanted to use the character based on her name, and subsequently looked to change her abilities from telepathic and precognitive powers to "a literal warhead because we thought it was funnier." To do this, they required permission from Marvel, with Tim Miller talking directly with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.[22][8] A deal was reached allowing the change to be made in exchange for 20th Century Fox giving Marvel Studios the film rights for Ego the Living Planet, whom they wanted to use in the 2017 film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.[23] Hildebrand received a buzz cut for the part, which Miller requested based on an image from an old photoshoot that the actress had done.[12]
  • Stefan Kapičić as the voice of Colossus:
    An X-Man with the mutant ability to transform his entire body into organic steel.[24][4] Writer Rhett Reese called him "a great foil to Deadpool because he’s very self-serious and goody- two-shoes".[11] Director Miller was surprised that Fox allowed the character to be used and "made fun of" in the film after appearing in the main X-Men films, and that he was allowed to drastically change the character for this film—the character was portrayed by Daniel Cudmore in the previous films, but as a fan of the comic character Miller felt "'That dude with the shiny skin is not fucking Colossus.'" Miller wanted the character to be seven-and-a-half feet tall, and contacted Cudmore about providing reference for a CG version of the character, but the actor declined.[8] The character was instead portrayed on set by Andre Tricoteux,[25] with Kapičić cast to give him the "authentic Russian accent" he has in the comics. Kapičić, a big fan of the character, worked with Miller to try "all sorts of depths, both vocal and emotional, while playing with variations of Russian accents to give a range to the role ... Colossus’ voice is not much different than mine as Tim loved my natural color and range of voice".[24]

Additionally, Karan Soni portrays Dopinder, a taxi driver who befriends Deadpool,[26] and Jed Rees portrays a recruiter for Ajax.[8] X-Men co-creator Stan Lee and Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld make cameo appearances as a strip club emcee and a patron of Weasel's bar, respectively.[27][28] Rob Hayter makes a cameo appearance as Bob, Agent of Hydra, a recurring character in the comics alongside Deadpool.[28] The rights for Bob are owned by Marvel Studios, who did not give permission for him to be used in the film, so his comic history and connections to the organization Hydra are not referenced in the film. He is instead explained as a former special forces operative like Wilson.[29] Wolverine star Hugh Jackman was very supportive of Deadpool, and of it making fun of himself and his character, and is seen in the film via his People's Sexiest Man Alive magazine cover.[11]

Production

Development

Artisan Entertainment announced a deal with Marvel Entertainment in May 2000 to co-produce, finance, and distribute several films based on Marvel Comics characters, including Deadpool. Artisan co-CEO Amir Malin noted that "Artisan is not in the business of creating $80 million to $120 million action event films ... We don’t want to develop characters that, at the end of the day, we know we won’t finance."[30] In February 2004, David S. Goyer revealed that he was working on a Deadpool film at New Line Cinema, with plans for Ryan Reynolds to star in the title role after working with him on the Marvel film Blade: Trinity.[31] Reynolds became interested in the character after discovering that Deadpool refers to his own appearance as "Ryan Reynolds crossed with a Shar-Pei" in the comics.[32] Goyer said that the film would not connect with the X-Men films produced by 20th Century Fox.[31] The idea had been championed by New Line executive Jeff Katz, who thought Reynolds was "the only guy who can play that character. He is that character." However, the rights issues with Fox and the X-Men films were not as clear as the trio first thought, and the project did not end up moving forward.[33]

By March 2005, Fox had expressed interested in a film featuring Deadpool,[34] and the character was eventually added to the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, with Reynolds cast to make a cameo appearance. His role was expanded during the production of that film. Reynolds felt that he was just portraying Wade Wilson in the film, "the creature that will eventually become Deadpool".[35] Katz was an executive at Fox by that point, and said that it "took me five extra years to do it, but to finally get [Reynolds playing Deadpool] and get it done is something I’m very proud of." He added that the character was "nicely set up to be explored in his own way" in a future film,[33] and Reynolds had several discussions to star in his own film, but did not want to consider a spin-off until after Wolverine was released.[35] The film's portrayal deviates from the original comic character, "imbuing him with several superpowers and sewing his mouth shut." The character also apparently dies in the film, though Reynolds filmed an additional scene shortly before the film's release that was added as a post-credits scene and shows the character still alive. In May 2009, after the successful opening weekend of Wolverine, Fox officially began development on Deadpool, with Reynolds attached to star, and X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner set to produce. The project was believed to ignore the changes to the character made in Wolverine and instead see him "regain the ability to mouth off, with the movie going back to the roots of the character known for his slapstick tone and propensity to break the fourth wall."[36]

Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were hired to write the script in January 2010, and were expected to follow a similar tone to their previous film Zombieland. The film had no production timetable set, but could potentially begin filming after Reynolds completed work on Green Lantern.[37] At the end of the month, Reynolds said that he was talking with the writers every day, and explained that they were chosen because, "Tonally, they got it. They just [understood Deadpool] right off the bat. They're fans of the character and they were so excited. We couldn't have done any better."[38] The next month, Reese explained that their script was in "the early stages", and that the film would be "irreverant and fun".[39] By that June, Robert Rodriguez had been asked to direct the film,[40] which he confirmed a month later, adding that he had been sent a "really good" script for Deadpool and was considering taking on the project.[41] In October, Rodriguez was no longer interested in the project, and Adam Berg was being looked at to direct.[42] In April 2011, Tim Miller was hired to make his directorial debut with the film, after working on the visual effects for several of the previous X-Men films. Reynolds had also closed a deal with Fox to produce the film in addition to starring.[43] Miller was hired in part because of his work creating animated short films, particularly Gopher Broke, which was nominated for Best Animated Short Film at the 77th Academy Awards, and a trailer created for the video game DC Universe Online which was "epic and cinematic, everything [Fox wanted] their comic book movies to be."[44][45]

Green Lantern was released later that year by Warner Bros. and was "a disaster ... Reynolds went from red hot to ice cold, and the Deadpool project was tainted." Executives at Fox were also concerned with the R-rated content in Reese and Wernick's script, unlike other superhero films that aimed for a 'PG-13' rating in the United States. Over several meetings, it was agreed that the film could not be reconfigured into a more traditional superhero film, and the studio eventually gave Miller "a low-six-figure budget" to produce some test footage for the film.[44] Miller created the footage with CGI at his animation company Blur Studio in 2012. It features Reynolds' voicing Deadpool,[46] and sees the character breaking the fourth wall to greet then Fox co-chairman Tom Rothman. The footage did not convince Fox to move forward with the film.[44] After the successful release of Marvel's The Avengers, Reese and Wernick thought Deadpool may have been greenlighted by the studio by virtue of being an already developed Marvel film, but instead Fox was even more doubtful of the script, and began exploring ways to potentially include Deadpool in an Avengers-esque team-up film. Looking back, Reese and Wernick described that moment as the "lowest of lows" during the long development of the film.[47] At different times over the years, James Cameron and David Fincher, both friends with Miller, read the film's script and championed the project to Fox executives.[48] Reese and Wernick credited Cameron with keeping Fox's interest in the project alive when he had talked to the studio.[49]

"I would have [leaked the test footage], if I had known it would have caused that! ... Now, we get to make the movie. We don’t get to make it with the budget of most superhero movies, but we get to make it the way we want to make it."

—Star and producer Ryan Reynolds on Deadpool finally getting the greenlight after the test footage leak.[50]

At the end of July 2014, Miller's test footage was leaked online.[51] It was met with an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response,[44] and that September, Fox officially gave Deadpool a release date of February 12, 2016. Reynolds was no longer attached to star, but was still expected to return;[52] he soon finalized the deal, with production on the film set to begin in March 2015 and Simon Kinberg joining as producer.[3] Reynolds "100 percent" attributed Fox's greenlighting of the film for production to the test footage leak, and said that he, Miller, Reese, and Wernick had discussed leaking the footage several years earlier. Reynolds initially thought Miller had leaked the footage, but after discussing the leak with the director "when he was beyond the point of being penalized by anybody ... he said that he really didn’t do it." Reynolds instead believed the leak came from someone at Fox.[50] It has been noted that Fox production chief Emma Watts "believed in" the project but had been unable to get it signed-off, while "a nervous studio [in Fox] might have wanted to test the waters before making a final call on what to do with a property it couldn't figure out how to handle ... [though] risk-averse movie studios typically don't leak their own internal test footage, even in desperate situations."[44] Reynolds said that in exchange for being able to make the film "the way we want to make it", Fox gave the production a much smaller budget than is typical for tentpole superhero films.[50]

Writing

Reese and Wernick wrote a draft of the script every year between joining the project and completing the film,[11] including a PG-13 version that was briefly considered by the studio.[5] After first beginning work on the project, Reese described Reynolds as "the keeper of the Deadpool flame for many years, he’s loved the character since forever; he lives it and breathes it ... if we ever do something that is off the Deadpool path, or if it doesn’t feel like Deadpool, he catches it."[39] Reese estimated that around 70 percent of the initial draft ended up in the final film.[5] Reese and Wernick initially did not want the film to be an origin story, but Reynolds disagreed. They eventually decided to have two timelines in the film, one telling the origin and another being a "modern story". The two timelines were to be connected with traditional flashbacks, but the trio quickly decided to use Deadpool's narration and fourth wall breaking to "weave you back and forth" between the two. Reese explained that this helped balance the darker and more serious tone of the origin story with the much sillier and cartoon-like Deadpool scenes, and also allowed the opening fight sequence to be extended through the first half of the film, with the origin story told throughout that, saving money that would have been spent on additional fight scenes. Once Deadpool finishes telling the origin story, he "[uses] a fast-forward button" to take the audience back to the present-day timeline.[11] The extended fight sequence, later labeled the "Twelve Bullets Fight", reimagines and extends the fight sequence featured in the original test footage.[8]

It was important to the writers to have one of the traditional X-Men appear in the film as a foil to Deadpool, and they felt that Colossus was a character seen in the main X-Men films that had not been explored as much as the others, particularly given his prominent role in the comics.[11] After Miller joined the film, the first note he gave on the existing script was that he "wanted to see more superhero stuff", particularly in the third act of the film, instead of "just Deadpool and a lot of guns." The characters Garrison Kane, Wyre, and Sluggo were included in the script at one point, but ultimately removed due to budget reasons.[8][48] Miller looked through the list of comic characters available to be used by Fox and the X-Men films, "and picked a few others I thought could be visually spectacular and fun."[8][29] Miller sent his list, which included the character Negasonic Teenage Warhead, to Reese and Wernick, and they agreed with Miller that because of that character's "cool" name, "we have to use her!"[8] They also considered using the characters Cannonball and Tar Baby, but Miller felt the former "would’ve been a stupid hick character", and was not interested in the latter because of his name.[8][14] Negasonic appears as a trainee X-Man, mentored by Colossus.[11][8] The different villains cut from the script were replaced by a single character, Angel Dust.[53] The character Cable was also set to appear, but was eventually pushed to a potential sequel so this film could "get Deadpool on his feet" first.[48] His appearance in the sequel is confirmed in this film's post-credits scene.[54]

In October 2014, Kinberg confirmed that Deadpool would be set in the same shared universe as the previous X-Men films, but would "stand independently", and that it would make fun of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Deadpool's portrayal in that film.[55] The film also makes several jokes at that expense of Green Lantern.[8] On the many pop-culture references made in the film, Reese explained that the writers kept their script up-to-date as pop-culture changed through the years of development on the film, though "some jokes are timeless. We’ll probably still be able to make jokes about Justin Bieber".[14] Regarding jokes that played more to fans who know the comics, Miller said that Deadpool says a lot of stuff in the film and "if you don’t pick up on every joke, that’s fine. But ... any joke that an audience needs to look up on the internet after the movie is not something I’m in favour of."[8] While writing the script, there were multiple "grand plans for codas and cameos" in terms of the film including a post-credits scene. Reese devised the scene that was ultimately used for the film when thinking about Ferris Bueller from the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a character well known for breaking the fourth wall like Deadpool. Reese thought that the Deadpool post-credits scene could parody the post-credits scene from that film, with Deadpool wearing a bath robe and telling the audience to go home. Wernick said that, after reading the scene, an executive at Fox described Deadpool as "Ferris Bueller's Day Off meets Natural Born Killers", which the writers felt was an accurate description.[56]

48 hours before the film got the official green light from Fox, the studio cut the film's budget by $7–8 million,[53] down to $58 million.[2] This forced a last minute re-write that saw about 9 pages cut from the previously 110 page script. Changes included the removal of a motorcycle chase at the end of the Twelve Bullets Fight, and having Deadpool forget his bag of guns before the final battle sequence to avoid having a costly gun fight in the third act. Reese said, "It was that last, lean and mean chop that got us to a place where Fox was willing to make it. The script was very efficient and not too long. That was a function of budget more than anything, but I think it really made the movie pace nicely."[53]

Pre-production

In January 2015, T. J. Miller and Ed Skrein were in talks to appear in the film: Miller as "an additional comic voice", and Skrein as a potential villain.[57] A month later, Fox was testing actresses to portray the film's female lead, including Morena Baccarin, Taylor Schilling, Crystal Reed, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Sarah Greene, and Jessica De Gouw.[58] Gina Carano was soon cast as Angel Dust, and Miller was confirmed for an unspecified role.[16] Baccarin was cast as Deadpool's love interest before the end of February,[9] while Daniel Cudmore, who portrayed Colossus in the previous X-Men films, revealed that he would not be reprising the role for Deadpool.[59] Cudmore explained that he had declined an offer to return, as it was only to provide reference for a CG version of the character that would have ultimately been voiced by another actor.[60]

After pre-production began, there was much less time than usual to prepare before production had to begin, and Reynolds said an immediate focus was the character's suit.[61] Russ Shinkle and Film Illusions were hired to create the costume, with Shinkle beginning work on the mask before the deal was completed. He felt the mask's expression was "extremely crucial". Shinkle noted that "comic book art is fairly over the top in terms of physique", and he tried to balance that with reality. He added that Deadpool is very "geared up" in the film, which helped to ground the comic-based elements in the more realistic tone of the film.[62] Though actors generally wear muscle suits under superhero costumes to "emphasize the character’s physique", Miller felt that Reynolds did not need it and said that without a muscle suit "the costume kind of slims him back down, which is to what I think is the quintessential Deadpool."[63] Miller and Reynolds both wept when they first saw the completed costume,[63][64] with Reynolds explaining that "we fought like hell ... to make this the most faithful comic book to movie adaptation fans have ever seen. That’s hard to accomplish and a feat, but we’re just so happy with how this came out."[64]

The costume was designed with the film's many stunts in mind, and versions were created for the stunt doubles as well as Reynolds. The eye areas on the mask were made porous to improve breath-ability during action sequences, and were also removable so that different versions of the eyes, some better suited for the stunts and others for hero shots, could be used without changing the whole mask.[62] However, visual effects supervisor Jonathan Rothbart explained that the suit was more difficult for the visual effects team, namely when trying to replicate it with CGI. He explained that this was because of the complex fabric used, which he described as mesh that allowed dirt to "get into the gutters and the cracks and crevices of the costume. Then all the ridges of the mesh would stay nice and clean, so anytime sun would be on it and the light hits it, it still takes that orangey hue but as soon as it goes in the shadow it dropped to this more blueish of the dirt."[25] Film Illusions ultimately made six hero versions of the costume and twelve stunt-specific versions, along with three hero versions of Negasonic Teenage Warhead's costume.[65] Reynolds kept one of the costumes for himself, and appeared in it in much of the film's marketing campaign.[61]

For Deadpool's scarred appearance, discussions were held to determine how horrible it should be, with Miller saying, "I firmly planted my flag in 'fucking horrible', because if it isn't, nobody's going to excuse him for being such a dick and being so angry."[8] Makeup designer Bill Corso felt he had a lot of leeway because in the comics "he’s everything from a rotten corpse to a guy with a couple of lines on his face", and wanted to balance the script's requirement that the character be "horrific, disfigured, and yet you look at him and he’s still kind of charming and iconic". Corso particularly wanted to avoid comparisons to Freddy Krueger, and instead looked to films such as Sin City. He did many tests before settling on the final makeup, using both photoshop and real prosthetics, "from just one end of the spectrum to the other, you know, subtle scars to more deformed."[12] It ultimately required nine silicone prosthetics to cover Reynolds' head, which took several hours to apply.[66] For the scene where the character is naked, it took six hours to apply the full-body makeup to Reynolds.[8] Corso described the makeup for the rest of the film's characters as "pretty simple. Tim wanted to keep it really grounded."[12]

Filming

Principal photography began on March 23, 2015, in Vancouver, under the working title Wham. Filming took place in North Shore Studios and on location around the city.[67] The production hired over 2,000 local people as actors, extras, and crew members.[68] T. J. Miller and Baccarin were revealed to be playing Weasel and Vanessa, respectively,[69][15] and Skrein confirmed he was in the film, playing Ajax.[70] Newcomer Brianna Hildebrand was cast as Negasonic Teenage Warhead.[21] Filming ended on May 29.[71]

Tim Miller and cinematographer Ken Seng wanted the film to look "grittier and less clean and glossy than most of the superhero films out there", and decided early on that though they were filming with digital cameras, they would add film grain back to the images in post-production to give them texture. Seng used Super Baltar lenses and Cooke zooms for the origin story timeline, and Panavision primo lenses for the modern scenes to give them more clarity. Exterior scenes in the film have a consistent overcast look, but location shooting came with "unpredictable" weather.[72] For instance, the production had use of the Georgia Viaduct for two weeks, and "just had to keep shooting, rain or shine, because once our permit expired on the bridge, we were never going to get it back." Seng used more lighting on cloudy days and less on sunny days to keep the look consistent.[72][67]

Production designer Sean Haworth also worked closely with Miller, who had specific ideas of what he wanted the sets to look like. Because of the film's limited budget, the production had to be very specific about which elements of each set were physically created and what other parts were left for the visual effects department to create. This was particularly important for the final scrapyard scene, with garbage being physically built to a certain height to be extended upwards with CGI, and a gimbal used for a tilting section of the yard that had to interact with a lot of digital elements.[73][74] That final sequence was filmed in a naval yard, and was dressed with containers and scrap metal. Rubber casts of the scrap metal were also made, and used for shots where stunt men had to be thrown into the scrap.[75]

Stunt coordinator Philip J. Silvera in costume as Deadpool, on set in Vancouver.[76]

Reese and Wernick remained heavily involved with the film during shooting, and were on set every day.[5] They had scripted the action very specifically, "every kill and almost down to every punch, kick, or shot", but the director and stunt coordinators were free to develop these, and Miller in particular "is wildly and wonderfully versed in action, so he had a bunch of his own wonderful ideas that are in there."[5] Robert Alonzo and Philip J. Silvera were the stunt coordinators for the film.[25] Silvera had provided motion capture reference for the test footage.[77] The stunt team had a month before filming began to prepare the actors for their fight sequences, with Skrein working "nonstop" to prepare. Silvera said Reynolds "has a photographic memory; he'd do something three or four times and remember it very well."[78]

A lot of the jokes in the film were improvised on set, particularly by Reynolds.[11] He said that the actors often came up with around 15 alternate jokes for each one written in the script, and that they were generally only limited to those because of time.[79] Reese gave an example of jokes that Wernick had written for the scene where Deadpool visits Colossus and Negasonic on set, Reynolds "just said out of the blue, 'You know it’s funny how I only see the two of you here. It’s like the studio couldn’t afford any more X-Men.' And the whole crew just burst into an explosion of laughter ... It’s [then Fox chairman] Jim Gianopulos’ favorite line. It comes from a place of truth: We couldn’t afford any more X-Men."[11]

Post-production

Leslie Uggams revealed that she was in the film in July 2015, portraying Blind Al.[19] Tim Miller revealed that Jed Rees would portray "The Recruiter". Miller was aware of the actor from Galaxy Quest, and said that "he did a good job of being creepy and syrupy sweet." Miller also explained why Colossus would be a solely CGI creation in the film, saying that as a fan of the character he had never felt that Cudmore's version was accurate to the comics and wanted to show the character as "this monstrous guy".[8] Andre Tricoteux had been cast in the role, providing motion reference for the character on set, as well as his voice.[25][24] Tricoteaux described Colossus in the film as "very true to the original character in the comic book".[80] In December, the voice of Colossus was revealed to have been recast, with Stefan Kapičić taking on the role in "an eleventh-hour replacement" of Tricoteux. Kapičić completed his work eight weeks before the film was scheduled for release.[24]

Deadpool was edited by Julian Clarke.[81] As soon as he began selecting shots, they were color graded by EFILM's Tim Stipan to ensure that they matched with each other, particularly those from locations where the weather varied.[72] Stipan isolated the film's characters to color them slightly differently, such as giving Deadpool a "dark, modern touch" and Colossus a "particular vibrancy and substance".[82] Clarke edited each scene focusing on the humor, having to make decisions regarding alternate takes of jokes and improvised lines. Jokes made after Vanessa is kidnapped by Ajax were removed because they felt inappropriately timed, while scenes with less jokes such as Wilson being tortured by Ajax were "too much. You took too long to recover [and] get back in the irreverent spirit of the movie.". During the editing process, a linear version of the film was produced, but they decided to go with interweaving the timelines to make the film cohesive since the first half of the movie was very serious and the second half very silly.[81] One sequence removed from the film saw Wilson and Vanessa travel to Mexico looking for a cure after he turned down the recruiter. It was removed for pacing reasons, and was replaced with a short scene of Wilson sitting beside his window that was originally filmed to show him thinking about his diagnosis, but in the new context implies him thinking about the recruiter's offer.[83]

Because of the animation required for Deadpool's mask and Colossus, Reese and Wernick had more freedom than they usually would on a film to keep adjusting the script during post-production, which they called an "incredible blessing". Throughout the process, Reynolds recorded any new lines of dialogue for Deadpool using his iPhone. Once the film was finalized, he re-recorded the lines in an additional dialogue recording session to improve the sound quality of the recordings. Lines added once filming was completed included Reynolds doing an impression of Wolverine star Hugh Jackman's natural Australian accent, and another where Deadpool asks whether the character Professor X is being portrayed by James McAvoy or Patrick Stewart at that point in the X-Men timeline, which became a favorite line in the film for many audience members.[49]

Visual effects

Visual effects for Deadpool were produced by Digital Domain, Atomic Fiction, Blur Studio, Weta Digital, Rodeo FX, Luma Pictures, and Image Engine.[25] Reynolds credited Miller and his visual effects experience with producing a visual effects heavy film that "still feels like you are watching one of these movies with these massive budgets", even though Deadpool had a fraction of the money.[79] Motion capture supervisor Greg LaSalle, who also worked with Miller on the test footage, agreed with this assessment, noting that Miller held off on working on the CGI for Colossus until after the film was edited, to avoid spending money on shots that would not end up in the final film.[84] Miller worked with visual effects supervisor Jonathan Rothbart to design and complete the film's 1500 visual effects, up from a planned 700. 800 of the shots were completed in the last four weeks of production.[85]

Top: Andre Tricoteux on-set as Colossus, wearing a gray tracking suit. Bottom: Final shot, with CG Colossus by Digital Domain and environment by Atomic Fiction.

Digital Domain was responsible for Colossus, using the facial performance of motion capture supervisor Greg LaSalle and the body motion performance of T. J. Storm, replacing on-set performer Andre Tricoteux, who had been unable to move "too athletically" due to the platform shoes he had to wear to replicate Colossus's height on set. The effects company took all of those performances, and mapped them on to a digital model of the character that was designed to be comic-accurate. The team sought out specific reference for the character's metallic finish to avoid making him look too "chromey", visiting a metal company to look at various samples. They settled on cold rolled steel, with the much darker hot rolled steel used for his hair. The model also includes ridges on the character, which could be moved separately from the rest of the model to keep them always perfectly straight as in the comic books.[25]

Digital Domain also created the model of Deadpool that was used by all the vendors. Deadpool's mask is animated around the eyes to be expressive, as in the comics, which also helped balance out the "chinwag" caused by Reynolds' acting coming through the bottom of the mask. Replacing Deadpool's head with an animated version of the mask was going to be too costly, so the approach used by Weta Digital was to instead warp each shot of Deadpool based on facial references provided by Reynolds, which was called an "ingenious 2D-ish solution". The company then adjusted the lighting on the mask to reflect these changes. Image Engine used a similar process for promotional materials featuring Reynolds in the suit. For the character's scarring transformation, Rodeo FX referenced rotting fruit and maggot-eaten meat. Rodeo also added a CG penis to Reynolds ("you don't even notice it [but] when it wasn't there it looked really weird"), and augmented the practical fire in the sequence. Rather than just layering on more fire as the scene goes along, the vendor made more things burn, to show a progression in the burning down of the building and to avoid the fire looking "flat".[25]

Atomic Fiction created a freeway environment for the "Twelve Bullets Fight", with a backdrop based on plates shot in Detroit, Chicago, and Vancouver. The vendor also created the vehicles, around interiors and character actions that were filmed on a greenscreen stage.[25] Many of these assets were used by Blur for the opening title sequence, which moves through a frozen moment where Deadpool is fighting thugs inside a crashing car. The sequence was realized with CGI based on macro photography of real cars, and includes titles such as "Directed by an overpaid tool" and "Produced by asshats".[25] Reynolds, Miller, and the writers each came up with their own credits, which they hoped would set the tone for the rest of the film.[11] R-rated blood and gore for the film was mostly contributed by Luma Pictures, using digital effects for more complex scenes, and also compositing in footage of pressurized PVC piping 'spewing out' practical blood and gore for other sequences. When Deadpool cuts off his own hand, Digital Domain did not want to be "outdone" by Luma, and so had "buckets of blood pouring out". Luma created the regrowing hand, inspired by the hand of a fetus.[25] For when Deadpool breaks both his hand, Digital Domain went through 20 or 30 different versions of what broken fingers could look like.[68]

The different vendors all collaborated for the final battle sequence, which takes place in the wreckage of a helicarrier: Luma created the climactic fight between Deadpool and Ajax; Digital Domain created the majority of the Colossus effects, except for when he is damaged later on, which was handled by Blur Studio; Digital Domain also created the effects for Negasonic Teenage Warhead's abilities as well as expanding the helicarrier's deck; Rodeo contributed matte paintings for the background; and Weta provided the facial animation for Deadpool.[25][86] Negasonic's abilities were the only "supernatural effect-sy thing" in the film, and were based on fuel-air exposives and solar flares to try ground them in reality.[85] Setting the final sequence on the wrecked helicarrier was Miller's idea, to help expand the scope of the third act and include more connections to the comics and wider Marvel Universe.[87] To avoid rights issues with Marvel Studios, the helicarrier for Deadpool was designed to be "as different as possible from the one in The Avengers."[86] Additionally, a French animation artist with a "unique style" created 2D cartoon characters that dance around Deadpool after he is stabbed in the head during the fight.[25]

Music

Tom Holkenborg announced in October 2015 that he would compose the score for Deadpool.[88] He had been approached by Tim Miller, a fan of Holkenborg's DJ work, to work on the film.[89] Holkenborg noted that Deadpool only makes musical references from before 1990 in the film,[89] and so wanted to use sounds from the 1980s, which he considered serious at the time but now "they're actually very funny." He used an Oberheim and a Synclavier for Deadpool's main theme, layered over a riff produced by an ARP 2600 synth. Holkenborg also used a Yamaha DX5 synth for some of the other recurring Deadpool riffs in the film, and a Roland JD-800 for the character's more emotional scenes. A Eurorak Modular synth was used for Ajax's music, which is more modern and "glitchy" than Deadpool's music. A traditional orchestra was used for the X-Men characters to give them a "noble" feeling and to honor the scores of the previous X-Men films.[90][91] Julian Clarke had initially edited the film to a temp track mostly featuring the score from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which he said "worked for action and for comedy because it’s not so emotionally leading and it’s rhythmic in the way that comedy is rhythmic."[83]

The script included the songs to be used in the film, but some of these ultimately did not work as intended and were replaced. Clarke explained that in the script, the sex montage between Wilson and Vanessa played out to Frank Sinatra's version of "It Was a Very Good Year", but the song was replaced during editing with Neil Sedaka's "Calendar Girl".[83] Miller explained, "We wanted something that reinforced the passage of time as they fell in love and felt a little fun, a little cheesy and contrasted the steamy action." Other songs heard in the film include Salt-N-Pepa's "Shoop", a late addition to the film that "everyone immediately saw how perfect it was";[92] "Deadpool Rap" by YouTube personalities Teamheadkick, which they originally wrote for the 2013 Deadpool video game, and revised so the lyrics would fit the film;[93] "X Gon' Give It to Ya" by DMX, which "fit the scene perfectly, referencing the ‘stainless steel’ for Colossus and, of course, the X for X-Men"; George Michael's Wham!, which was always in the script; and Juice Newton's cover of "Angel of the Morning", described by Wernick as "an ironic choice. But the ironic choice can also work in an unironic, very earnest way. The song is there because we love it."[92]

A soundtrack album featuring Holkenborg's score and the songs heard in the film was released digitally on February 12, 2016, and physically on March 4 through Milan Records.[94] The record company released a second album, Deadpool Reloaded, on May 27. The second album featured previously unreleased tracks from Holkenborg's score, along with several remixes and covers of existing music from the film, and some additional songs.[95]

Release

Deadpool held its world premiere at the Grand Rex in Paris on February 8, 2016,[96] before beginning its release in Hong Kong the next day. This was followed by 49 other markets over the next few days, including North America on February 12.[52][97] It was released in several formats, including IMAX, DLP, premium large formats and D-Box.[83] Kinberg explained that unlike the previous X-Men films, Deadpool is "a hard R. It’s graphic. Nothing is taboo. You either commit to a truly outrageous boundary-pushing kind of movie or you don’t."[98] The film was denied a China release due to this, and though R-rated American films are often "cleaned-up" for release in the country, it was decided that "it wasn't possible to excise the offending material without causing plot problems."[99] It was also not released in Uzbekistan, after the theater owners in the country decided against showing the film because "it has an age restriction and is not in line with ethical norms in our society."[100] Deadpool received seven "general cuts" to get approval for release in India.[101]

Marketing

Reynolds was heavily involved in the marketing for the film, working closely with Fox domestic marketing chief Marc Weinstock, which the latter noted was unusual for an actor. Reynolds noted his surprise that the marketing department was open to many of his ideas, and explained that, like the film's budget, the marketing budget for Deadpool was also relatively small. Looking back, he felt that "the ad buys for Deadpool were minimal compared to the reward we reaped because we hijacked the internet".[102]

Reynolds promoting the film at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con

In March 2015, Reynolds revealed the Deadpool costume with an image of himself wearing it, parodying a famous magazine shoot of Burt Reynolds lying on a bear skin in front of a fire place.[103] The next month, Reynolds appeared in an apparent interview on Extra with Mario Lopez to confirm that the film would be aiming for a "family friendly" PG-13 rating, only to have Deadpool seemingly murder Lopez and announce that the video was an April Fools' joke, saying, "Deadpool will of course be rated R."[104] In July, director Miller and several cast members attended the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con to present the first trailer for the film, which received a standing ovation from attendees who requested that it be played again.[105] Writing for Business Insider, Joshua Rivera praised the trailer for being faithfully to the source material, translating the humor, tone, and violence from the comics.[106] Graeme McMillan of The Hollywood Reporter opined that Deadpool "looks like the first movie that talks to the fan audience in their own language", and praised the meta humor of the trailer as well as Stan Lee's strip club cameo.[107]

The trailer was released online several weeks later, after the visual effects for the shots seen in it were completed.[106] Before the trailer's release, two teasers were revealed on August 3 featuring Deadpool: an extended teaser where the character promises the arrival of the trailer and describes Fox as "the studio that inexplicably sewed his fucking mouth shut the first time",[108] and a short tease at the end of a new trailer for Fox's Fantastic Four, where he announces "But wait, there’s more! See Fan Four in theaters this Friday, and I’ll throw in my Deadpool trailer for free!"[109] After the full trailer was released, Miller noted that it was shorter than the Comic-Con version, with a few "real in-joke things" like Lee's cameo removed for the general release, as they were less applicable to the general audience than Comic-Con fans.[8] For Halloween, Reynolds released a video with himself in the Deadpool costume, interacting with a group of children dressed up as members of the X-Men. He asks the children questions such as "How many of you have taken a human life?"[110] On December 14, a "12 Days of Deadpool" campaign began with "new images, a featurette, or maybe a new poster" released for the film each day by companies such as People, JoBlo.com, Fandango, and Mashable leading up to the release of a new trailer on Christmas Day.[111]

In January, fan events in New York City and Los Angeles that promised "first look footage" were actually early screenings of film. Reynolds attended the New York screening, while Tim Miller attended the Los Angeles screening with Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld, Stan Lee, T.J. Miller, Reese, Wernick, and Hildebrand.[112][113] For Super Bowl L, Fox arranged for Reynolds to run a taco truck on the Friday before, serving Deadpool's favorite food chimichangas; on the Saturday, a location near the Super Bowl stadium was transformed into the Sister Margaret’s Bar from the film, with Reynolds and T.J. Miller present to socialize; and during the game, Fox bought a commercial for the film while Reynolds was given control of the company's Snapchat account.[114] For the week beginning February 8, Fox teamed with Viacom to show commercials starring Deadpool in a three hour block featuring specific television series on five different Viacom networks. The commercials were made by Viacom's in-house marketing team, and were customized for each of the series chosen. The networks altered their programming to match these selections. The aim was to cover several different demographics, not just a "young, male audience". The series chosen were Teen Mom and Ridiculousness on MTV; Tosh.0, Workaholics, and @midnight on Comedy Central; Love & Hip Hop on VH1; The Golden Girls on Logo TV; and Cops on Spike. @midnight also featured a segment dedicated to the film for the promotion, which expanded to Viacom's websites and social media accounts as well.[115]

Additionally, unconventional billboards for the film were put up in the lead up to its release, including one selling the film as a romance film because of the closeness of the film's release to Valentine's Day, and one featuring the emojis "💀💩L", which was described as both idiotic and brilliant.[116][113] Reynolds later released a poster playing on this, giving the film's title as "Skull Poop L".[117] Videos released for the film included a public service announcement parody instructing men on how to check for testicular cancer,[117] made in association with charity Ballboys and played during an episode of The Bachelor;[118] holiday messages for Chinese New Year and Australia Day;[114] a cross-promotional video with Manchester United;[114] a video starring Betty White, encouraging viewers to go see the film;[114] and an appearance on Conan where Deadpool gives Conan O'Brien a massage using "panda tears".[116][119] Reynolds also promoted the film across social media, including taking part in a faux rivalry with Hugh Jackman on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.[116] The campaign also took advantage of Snapchat, Tinder, and Porn Hub.[119][120] In the two weeks before the film's release, there was an average 10,000 to 20,000 tweets about it a day, which jumped to 90,000 after the early screenings of the film.[118] Regarding the use of social media, Weinstock said, "There's a lot of debate as to whether or not social media can really open a movie ... and this proves it can." He added that the "team was able to create a lot of content that wasn't movie-based, but Deadpool-based."[121]

Discussing the overall campaign for Wired.com, Emma Grey Ellis called it "a relentless marketing siege of every platform you would think of—and some you didn’t ... as crazy and unrelenting as it all is, isn’t this exactly what we want from Deadpool?"[116] Bobby Anhalt at Screen Rant called it possibly "the best film marketing campaign in the history of cinema", and noted that Deadpool's fourth wall breaking allowed "the marketing team [to] make stunts that appear as though the character himself is crafting them."[113] HostGator's Jeremy Jensen attributed the campaign's success to Reynolds, as well as Fox embracing the film's R rating. He concluded that, "More than anything the Deadpool marketing campaign managed to create a relationship with the people who ended up going to see it. They were honest, creative, and completely relentless."[119] Alisha Grauso of Forbes felt the campaign's success came from the marketing team understanding the character, having freedom from the usual creative constraints put on film marketers, and not revealing much of the film's actual content. Grauso also praised the marketing team for utilizing Reynolds, and said, "Audiences have been more than ready for the weird and wild, and that's the point—Fox was smart enough to see that and run with it. Most marketing campaigns don't give audiences credit for being all that intelligent or open-minded, but the campaign for Deadpool didn't hold back ... [it] was just like the character himself. Unpredictable, non sequitur, hilarious, perverse, and popping up in the strangest of places."[120]

Home media

Deadpool was released for digital download on April 26, 2017, moved up from the physical home media release, which came on May 10. The latter release, for Blu-ray and DVD, included behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, a blooper reel, and audio commentaries by Tim Miller and Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld, and Reynolds, Reese, and Wernick.[122] On November 7, Fox re-released the film and its special features on Blu-ray for the holiday season, as Deadpool's Holiday Blu-ray package.[123]

Reception

Box office

Deadpool grossed $363.1 million in the United States and Canada and $420 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $783.1 million, against a budget of $58 million.[2] It broke numerous records for its opening weekend gross across the world, and went on to become the highest-grossing R-rated film and the highest grossing X-Men film,[124][125] as well as the ninth-highest grossing film of 2016.[126] Deadline.com calculated the net profit of the film to be $322 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues for the film, making it the 2nd most profitable release of 2016. When discussing potential reasons for the film's surprise success, the site highlighted its marketing campaign.[127]

At the end of January 2016, the film was projected to earn $55-60 million over its opening weekend in the United States and Canada.[128] Fox's rivals projected the film to earn closer to $80 million. It ultimately opened at No. 1, making $132.4 million for the weekend, and $152.2 million over the long Presidents' Day weekend. Trying to explain this surprise, Fox's domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson said "it’s hard to comp and predict. You’re doing something that’s never been done. It’s like you throw the rulebook out the window." The weekend included $12.7 million from preview showings on February 11, $47.5 million on its opening day, $42.5 million on February 12, and $42.6 million on February 13, as well as $19.8 on February 14 to end the long weekend. These were all records for R-rated films and days in February. Additionally, $16.8 million of this came from IMAX screens, a record opening weekend for R-rated films and February releases in that format.[129] Deadpool gained an additional $55 million dollars in its second weekend, down over 50% from its first weekend. This kept it at No. 1, and made it the fastest R-rated film to cross $200 million dollars, doing so in nine days.[130][131] It became the highest grossing X-Men film and R-rated comic book superhero film the next day.[132] It remained in the No. 1 position for its third week,[133] but fell behind Zootopia and London Has Fallen the next week.[134] Deadpool's domestic run ended on June 17, after 126 days, with $363.1 million.[135][2] This was shortly after it became the highest grossing R-rated film worldwide.[124] The film's U.S. audience, across its whole run, was 59% Caucasian, 21% Hispanic, 12% African-American, and 8% Asian. It was also 62% male, and had an average age of 35.[136]

The film was released in 80 markets around the world, many of them in its first week. This included the United Kingdom, France, and Australia on its first day, February 9, where it was the No. 1 film and broke several records. The film also opened well in Asian countries, notably Taiwan, which Reynolds had traveled to for promotion and made the "central hub" of South East Asia for the film, and Hong Kong, where the film had the biggest Chinese New Year single day ever.[137] The film went on to gross $132.2 million for its international opening weekend, over $7 million more than was predicted. This included $9 million from IMAX showings. It was the No. 1 film in all markets it was released in for the weekend, except Poland and Malaysia where it was No. 2 behind local films Planet Single and The Mermaid, respectively.[138] The film broke the record for biggest opening weekend in Russia and Thailand, and set records for biggest R-rated film and February opening weekends in several other markets.[139] It remained in No. 1 for the international box office for its second weekend, dropping 47% to make an additional $84.7 million from 77 markets. The film made No. 1 debuts in 17 new countries, including Korea, Spain, and Italy, and maintained its No. 1 position in countries like the UK, Germany, and Brazil. Its continued performance in South East Asia was compared favorably to bigger superhero films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.[140] It topped the international box office for a third consecutive weekend,[141] before falling to No. 3 behind Ip Man 3 and Zootopia in its fourth weekend.[142] Deadpool opened in its final market, Japan, in June. It was the No. 1 film there, with a $6.5 million opening weekend.[143]

Critical response

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 84% based on 293 reviews, with an average rating of 6.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Fast, funny, and gleefully profane, the fourth-wall-busting Deadpool subverts superhero film formula with wildly entertaining—and decidedly non-family-friendly—results."[144] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 65 out of 100, based on 49 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[145] Audiences polled by CinemaScore and PostTrack gave the film an average grade of "A" (on an A+ to F scale) and an average score of 97% excellence, respectively. 45% of the latter felt that their expectations of the film had been exceeded.[146]

Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post scored Deadpool three-and-a-half stars out of four, calling it a "voraciously self-aware comedy" and the first R-rated Marvel film "with real teeth". O'Sullivan praised the film's attitude and tone, along with Reynolds for making Deadpool a likeable character, and the film's action scenes.[147] TheWrap's Alonso Duralde said Deadpool "shouldn’t work, but it absolutely does", feeling that it successfully balanced the comedy with superhero action, and that the chemistry between Reynolds and Baccarin gave enough weight to the plot to support the tone and violence.[148] Calvin Wilson at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch also gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, and said that it was "smart, sexy, and outrageous", but that it would not work without Reynolds.[149] Peter Bradshaw gave the film four stars out of five for The Guardian, calling it "neurotic and needy—and very entertaining", and comparing it to Kick-Ass and Kill Bill. He did feel that the film's villains were underused though.[150] Writing for Uproxx, Drew McWeeny described it as "the world’s most violent and vulgar Bugs Bunny cartoon", and praised the film's unconventional plot structure, its personal stakes, the difference in tone and storytelling from other superhero films, and the cast.[151] Variety's Justin Chang said the film is "terribly arch and juvenile [but] also startlingly effective", praising Reynolds' performance (and the film's willingness to hide his looks under prosthetics), the script, and director Miller for staying "out of the way of his script and his star".[152] Todd McCarthy at The Hollywood Reporter felt the film took a while to get going, "but once it does, Deadpool drops trou to reveal itself as a really raunchy, very dirty and pretty funny goof on the entire superhero ethos".[153]

Rolling Stone's Peter Travers said the film "goes on too long and repetition dulls its initial cleverness" but the "junky feel is part of its charm." He praised the cast, particularly Reynolds, as well as Tim Miller's action sequences.[154] At the Boston Globe, Tom Russo gave the film three stars. He criticized the "featherweight" plot, but said that there is enough humor to support it, and that Reynolds was "born to play" Deadpool.[155] Chris Nashawaty graded the film a 'B' for Entertainment Weekly, saying it "doesn’t have the most adrenalized action sequences or the deepest origin story" but makes up for that with R-rated fun. Nashawaty felt Reynolds was the perfect star for the film, and is "a blast of laughing gas in a genre that tends to take itself way too seriously."[156] Tasha Robinson at The Verge felt there was too much juvenile humor, but was positive that the film did not make homophobic, racist, or sexist jokes, and that its overall tone remained joyous despite the material. She also praised the smaller scope of the film.[157] David Edelstein of Vulture said the film's jokes save it from a lack of subtext and strong villains, and noted the gratifyingly twisty" structure.[158] Manohla Dargi at The New York Times did not give the film a pass for listing its genre cliches in the opening credits before using them, but instead highlighted the "human" elements in the film and the moments where Reynolds and Tim Miller did "more than hit the same bombastic notes over and over again."[159] For IndieWire, Kate Erbland gave the film a 'B-', praising its style, and Reynolds' Deadpool for breaking the superhero mold, but criticizing the overall film for following genre conventions and focusing on "numbing" violence and un-original swearing and nudity.[160]

Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan said that Deadpool "gets off to a fun start but eventually wears out his welcome", noting that though the film has a complicated narrative, that is just masking a conventional Marvel origin story. Turan did highlight the film's romantic element and Baccarin's performance.[161] Jonathon Pile of Empire gave the film three stars out of five, saying the number of jokes "will soon numb you to their impact", but calling the film a fun alternative to other superhero films.[162] Robbie Collin at The Daily Telegraph also gave the film three stars out of five, saying it is not "the future of superhero movies, but it’s an enjoyably obnoxious detour." He also felt that some of the film's jokes about superhero cliches were out of date by the time the film was released.[163] The San Francisco Chronicle's Mick LaSalle did not appreciate the humor, fourth wall breaking, or violence, and concluded that the film is "bad, borderline garbage, but disturbing, too, in that it’s just the kind of fake-clever awfulness that might be cinema’s future."[164]

Accolades

Deadpool has received numerous awards and nominations, recognizing the film itself, as well as: the performance of the cast, particularly Reynolds as Deadpool; several technical areas, including the film's makeup, sound, and visual effects; and the film's marketing campaign. It was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards,[165] four Critics' Choice Movie Awards (winning two),[166] a Directors Guild of America Award,[167] five Empire Awards,[168] seven Golden Trailer Awards (winning two),[169] two Key Art Awards for marketing (winning both),[170] eight MTV Movie Awards (winning two),[171] a Producers Guild of America Award,[172] four People's Choice Awards (winning two),[173][174] six Teen Choice Awards (winning two),[175] and a Writers Guild of America Award.[176] It has also been nominated for three Saturn Awards and a Hugo Award.[177][178]

After being nominated for awards such as the Golden Globes, Critics' Choice, and Writers Guild of America, Deadpool was considered a serious contender for several Academy Awards despite its content and tone,[179] including potential nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and, after its Producers Guild of America nomination, Best Picture.[180][181] When the film did not receive any Academy Award nominations, it was widely considered to have been "snubbed".[182] Analyzing potential reasons for this, Screen Rant's Alex Leadbeater said that though the film "earned a solid thumbs up from most", it was generally not praised by top critics for offering any "depth or related subversion of its genre." He also noted an apparent bias that Academy voters' have against superhero films; the lack of a targeted campaign for the awards by Fox, who did not seem to be expecting any of the film's previous awards either; and the large amount of other films in contention, as "2016 was, all in all, a pretty good year for movies".[183] A variant cover for Marvel Comics' X-Men: Gold #1, with art by Ron Lim, references Deadpool's Oscar snub.[184]

Top ten lists

In addition to awards and nominations, Deadpool appeared on several critics' lists of the ten best films of 2016:[185]

Industry impact

After Deadpool's opening weekend, a Hollywood executive not involved with the film opined that it was successful because it "has a self-deprecating tone that’s riotous. It’s never been done before. It’s poking fun at Marvel. That label takes itself so seriously; can you imagine them making fun of themselves in a movie?" James Gunn, director of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, responded to this quote by saying that many of Marvel's films, including his own, had made fun of the company, and that "after every movie smashes records people here in Hollywood love to throw out the definitive reasons why the movie was a hit." Gunn felt that Deadpool was a success because "it’s original, it’s damn good ... and it wasn’t afraid to take risks", and hoped that studios would learn "the right lesson" from the film and not just try to make more films "like Deadpool".[186]

Though Hugh Jackman always intended for his last Wolverine film, Logan, to "up the intensity factor" and aim for an R-rating even before Deadpool's success, it was felt that the latter "can't hurt" in regards to Fox green lighting such a film.[187] Before Logan's release, a survey by Fandango found that 71% polled wanted more R-rated superhero films.[188] After Logan also became a success, several commentators reiterated Gunn's sentiments. Forbes' Paul Tassi said, "While the R-rating was appropriate given the “adult” nature of these two heroes, it is not the reason for these films’ success ... I will absolutely welcome more R-rated action blockbusters going forward, superhero or otherwise, but I think too much stock is being put into unrestrained violence rather than people examining what actually makes these movies work".[189] Graeme McMillan at The Hollywood Reporter concurred, saying that "the actual lesson might be ... 'Why not take the freedom that comes from that rating and try to re-approach the mainstream genre with that attitude?'"[190]

In March 2017, a Warner Bros. executive said that an R-rated DC Extended Universe film could "absolutely" happen "with the right character(s)."[191] Also that month, Sony Pictures was developing an R-rated adaptation of the character Venom to begin a new shared universe based on Spider-Man-related Marvel characters. They were aiming for an R-rated film made with a smaller budget, inspired by Fox's success with Deadpool and Logan.[192] In June, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said in response to the successes that, though that company was not planning any R-rated films for its Marvel Cinematic Universe, "it’s not out of the question".[193]

Sequels

Before the film's release, Fox gave a sequel the greenlight, with writers Reese and Wernick returning to write the screenplay.[194] The involvement of Reynolds and Tim Miller was confirmed at the 2016 CinemaCon in April,[195] but at the end of October, Miller left the film over "mutual creative differences" with Reynolds.[196] The next month, David Leitch signed on to replace Miller for the sequel, while Fox was looking for another filmmaker to take on a third film.[197]

No Good Deed

A short film, No Good Deed, was written by Reese and Wernick and directed by Leitch to be played in front of Logan in place of a post-credits scene setting up Deadpool 2 being added to that film.[198][199] Reynolds returns as Deadpool for the short, which parodies the character Superman.[200] A slightly different version of the short was produced for release online on March 4, 2017,[201][202] and includes a cameo appearance by Stan Lee.[203]

Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 is set to be released on June 1, 2018,[204] with Leitch directing from a screenplay by Reese and Wernick.[197] Drew Goddard, who had been in the running to direct the film, consulted on the script.[205] Filming began in Vancouver in June 2017,[206] with Reynolds returning alongside Baccarin,[207] T. J. Miller,[208] Uggams,[209] Hildebrand,[210] and Kapičić.[210] After an extensive search, Josh Brolin was cast as Cable in April.[206] The film explores the team X-Force, which includes Deadpool and Cable.[211]

Deadpool 3

Fox was planning a second sequel by November 2016, which was said to include X-Force.[212] In March 2017, Reese clarified that though Deadpool 2 sets-up the X-Force team, a future film focused on that group would be separate from Deadpool 3, "so I think we'll be able to take two paths. [X-Force] is where we're launching something bigger, but then [Deadpool 3 is] where we're contracting and staying personal and small."[213]

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