Paul Wernick

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Paul Wernick
Paul Wernick by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Wernick at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con
OccupationScreenwriter, Producer

Paul Wernick is a Canadian television/movie screenwriter and producer.[1] He is best known for writing the screenplays to the 2016 superhero film Deadpool and its 2018 sequel with his creative partner Rhett Reese.


Early career[edit]

Wernick has produced several network reality shows, including CBS's Big Brother 2 and ABC's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here!. Wernick has won three Emmy Awards for his work in news,[2] which included producing stints at KVOA, KOLD, KTVK, KSL and KCAL.

Big Brother 2 inspired Wernick and Rhett Reese, a screenwriter friend of his brother back from Phoenix, Arizona, where both attended high school - Reese was a senior on Wernick's freshman year - to create their own take on reality television, The Joe Schmo Show.[3][4]


Wernick and Reese's first feature collaboration was the 2009 film Zombieland, which they created and also executive-produced. The film was released by Sony Pictures in theaters October 2, 2009, and went on to become one of the highest grossing zombie movies of all-time.[5]

Wernick and Reese followed Zombieland with Paramount PicturesG.I. Joe: Retaliation,[6][7] starring Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum, and Bruce Willis, which was released on March 27, 2013. The sequel outperformed the original, grossing $375 million.[8]

Paul Wernick wrote and executive produced 20th Century Fox's Deadpool, along with Reese. Deadpool starred Ryan Reynolds, and was directed by Tim Miller.[9] The R-rated film was released on February 12, 2016. Its opening weekend was the highest grossing of all time for R-Rated films, and it went on to gross more than $780 million worldwide.[10] The team's next project, sci-fi thriller Life, was released in March 2017. The film was directed by Daniel Espinosa, produced by Skydance, and through Sony Pictures, with Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Rebecca Ferguson starring. They wrote Deadpool 2 in 2018, which like its predecessor was released to positive reviews.

Wernick and Reese were announced as the co-screenwriters of the feature film adaptation of Cowboy Ninja Viking. Reportedly Chris Pratt will star in the film as well as also serve as executive-produce. The film is being distributed by Universal Pictures.[citation needed] Their original science fiction spec screenplay Epsilon was sold to Sony Pictures; with contracts to co-produce in partnership with Michael De Luca.[citation needed] Wernick and Reese recently optioned Thomas Oliver's book, The Real Coke, The Real Story, about the failed launch of New Coke. The pair will write and produce the project.[citation needed]


Wernick and Reese first collaborated in 2001, creating, writing, and executive-producing The Joe Schmo Show for Spike TV. The series drew Spike’s highest-ever ratings. Joe Schmo was named to numerous Best Of lists, including Time's "Top 10 TV Shows of 2003" and Entertainment Weekly's "50 Best TV Shows Ever on DVD."[citation needed]

The Schmo format has sold internationally, in the UK, France, Spain, and New Zealand. Wernick and Reese followed up with Invasion Iowa, a high-concept, high-stakes comedy hybrid starring William Shatner. The show premiered on Spike in the first quarter of 2005 and aired internationally immediately following. Invasion Iowa was released on DVD in May, 2009.[citation needed]

Reese and Wernick created and executive-produced Stuck on ODB, a comedy reality show starring Ol' Dirty Bastard (ODB) of the Wu Tang Clan for Spike TV. ODB died before the show ever aired.[citation needed]



Year Title Writer Executive
2009 Zombieland Yes Yes Ruben Fleischer
2013 G.I. Joe: Retaliation Yes No Jon M. Chu
2016 Deadpool Yes Yes Tim Miller
2017 Life Yes No Daniel Espinosa
2018 Deadpool 2 Yes Yes David Leitch
2019 6 Underground Yes Yes Michael Bay
Zombieland: Double Tap Yes Yes Ruben Fleischer
2022 Spiderhead[11] Yes No Joseph Kosinski
TBA Ghosted Yes No Dexter Fletcher
TBA Deadpool 3 Yes Yes Shawn Levy


Year Title Writer Producer Creator
2005 Invasion Iowa Yes No Yes
2003-2004, 2013 The Joe Schmo Show Yes Yes Yes
2019 Wayne Yes Executive No
TBA Twisted Metal Yes Yes Yes


  1. ^ New York Times
  2. ^ Reifsteck, Greg (June 19, 2000). "Nine is KCAL's lucky number at L.A. Emmys". Variety.
  3. ^ Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick: From High School to Deadpool
  4. ^ Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (DEADPOOL)
  5. ^ "Weekend Report: Weekend Report: 'Wild Things' Roars, 'Citizen,' 'Activity' Thrill". Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  6. ^ Steve Weintraub (January 6, 2010). "Exclusive: G.I. JOE SEQUEL is Happening; Zombieland's Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick Writing G.I. JOE 2". Retrieved 2010-01-13.
  7. ^ Tatiana Seigel (January 11, 2009). "Par OKs 'G.I. Joe' sequel, dates 'Trek'". Variety. Retrieved 2010-01-13.
  8. ^ "G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Biggest Opening R Rated Movies at the Box Office". Retrieved 2017-12-29.
  11. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. "Netflix Unveils A 2021 Film Slate With Bigger Volume & Star Wattage; Scott Stuber On The Escalating Film Ambition". Deadline. Retrieved 12 January 2021.

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