There's no denying Deadpool and the big screen have a temperamental history. But there's also no denying the brilliance of Ryan Reynolds and co's meticulous marketing campaign for their upcoming film. Latest on the list of viral gold for the Merc with a Mouth? A brand new trailer, dropped on Christmas Day, no less.
Director Tim Miller gave us the lowdown on the film's previous trailer a few months back, but this time finds himself joined by producer Simon Kinberg to discuss some of the juicy new tidbits on offer.
Consider this thorough rummaging through Deadpool's sack our Christmas present to you.
Go hard or go home
TM: Deadpool’s kind of shockingly different from most Marvel characters and it’s a nice thing that we can kind of ease people into this character and the really different sort of space he inhabits from usual comic book films.
SK: And the viral pieces I think have done that too. There’s obviously a huge viral presence with this character more than any other mainstream character I’ve ever seen and a lot of the tone people have been getting from those pieces online.
Pre-post apocalypse now
TM: I always like the way the writers described the city in the script which was ‘a pre-post apocalyptic Detroit’. And that's about as specific as they got. And I liked that. You know, it doesn't say that it's anywhere specific. I think there are some certain geographical clues in our story in that everybody knows that the X-Men live in upstate New York-ish and so we can’t be too far away. But the idea was that it should look like a shitty place because you want to set Deadpool and his world apart as something different: grittier, nastier, you know, more like Daredevil where it's down in the streets where he’s dealing with small-time shit that the X-Men and their shiny hi-tech world don’t deal with.
TM: He’s like a kid with ADD who’s had too much sugar and he can’t sit still - he’s constantly fidgeting and looking to entertain himself. I’m sure there’s a word for it that therapists have for those kids who need constant input! But he’s definitely that guy. He needs to talk. He’s a fidget.
Merry Christmas, everyone
SK: I guess I would say - without ruining anything - it’s Christmas for his character. But his character isn’t necessarily connected to all of the reality of our world. But we did plan the film to be a heartwarming holiday classic - we had to work Christmas in there!
Say hello to my spiky friends
SK: They’re part of the group of people who turned him into what he is and that’s about it. He’s going after them to fix what was done to him. And you know the villain of the movie is Ajax, and so he obviously figures prominently as part of that group.
Weapon of choice
TM: Those are his Desert Eagles. The classics. If you haven’t ever held one of those things, they weigh about 50lbs each. They’re huge, heavy pistols that can basically blow your head apart. So they’re pretty powerful!
The Recruiter will see you now
TM: His character is the guy that sort of puts the bait out there for Wade at his most desperate time, so, you know, whether he’s a mutant or not, we don’t really say, but he certainly is very, very good at convincing people to do things that they shouldn’t do when they’re vulnerable.
SK: We’ll keep some of it a secret, but it is a facility: it’s a workshop where Wade has willingly come to try to fix his life but it gets a lot more broken. And it’s sort of a big turning point in the movie for his character.
TM: And you could say it’s a poor man’s Weapon X, right?
Gina Carano: Wonder Woman
TM: I mean, Gina was amazing, Her powers in the comics are - she’s a little like the Hulk, in that the angrier she gets, her adrenaline sort of activates this super strength. So the angrier she gets, the harder she fights and stronger she is, so that’s her power in the comics and we try to play that up a little bit in the fight sequences. But Gina herself, she was amazing: in hindsight, I can’t even imagine considering an actress who didn’t have the kind of history that Gina did, because just on our budget level and the way we wanted to do these fights to keep them grounded there was no way that a stunt person could step in and do what she did, which was just incredibly physical. She would do these scenes with the stunt guy and then we’d take him out and she’d do them by herself so we’d have these clean actions and it was amazing. She’s got photographic reflexes and every fucking take she was going all out. It was great.
T.J. Miller’s improv. How much could he go off-piste?
SK: We have an embarrassment of riches of T.J riffing lines, some of it scripted and obviously a lot of it is improvised with T.J. and he also works closely with Tim and the writers. But for that particular moment that he’s reacting to seeing Wade scarred for the first time, I mean, he just went and went and went. Honestly... There was one take that was probably ten different versions of it - they were all improvised and were all fucking hilarious. And they’re so specific and insane and I think could only come out of T.J.’s brain. Like, eventually a gag reel or something on the DVD somewhere we’ll put it all together and just show some single takes of it and you can see how gifted and scary his brain is.
TM: Yeah, you can’t stop him once he gets rolling. And even, you know, long after I’d said ‘ok, great, we’ve got it’, he would go, ‘let me go again, let me go again. Wait, wait, wait, I’ve got another one, hold on, go again’! And we literally had to say, ‘ok, we’ve got to move on’, because he really is uncontrollable in the best possible way.
TM: She plays a role similar that she does in the comics, although in the comics it has some darker aspects as to why she’s with Deadpool that we don't really explore, but I think she’s great. And it’s funny, because we filmed all the stuff in the apartment - that was the first stuff we filmed, it was the beginning of our shoot - and for the first time, I mean, for me, even living with the script for so long, I really just felt this love for Wade as the character because I could see their interaction and ‘I like ya’. Ryan’s likeable in and of itself, he can be doing horrible things to children and you would still like the guy, because he’s just that nice. But, in this case, Deadpool does some things that are hard to stomach and not normal things that heroes would do, but to see their relationship was a really, really beautiful thing. And I think where it falls in the movie really makes us root for him even more because he's going through this horrible thing but he still has very human scenes with [Al]. And Leslie’s just fucking amazing. She would do anything, I mean, I would go, ‘ok, Leslie, say “sounds like you’ve got a dick in your mouth”’, and she’d go, ‘sounds like you’ve got a dick in your mouth’! There was no restraint. She would just do whatever was needed to get a great shot and a great scene. I love her, one of my favourites.
SK: It’s a part of the plot, I don’t think we should ruin it, but there’s so many people that are on his naughty list that he is hunting down for reasons we can keep mysterious and then you can discover when you watch the movie. But yeah, it’s the equivalent of a serial killer or FBI agent’s wall of targets and we watch him go after them.
TM: We have a couple of allusions to it and then we also have a few allusions to it or references or direct references in the promotional material, specifically the IMAX one. To me, those things are kind of hard to work into a bigger place in the plot, but you want to get those things in there that the fans really love. That was one of my little requests to the trailer team because it wasn’t in the first pass and I said, ‘fellas, we’ve gotta get some fucking chimichanga references in there’! And it really is a nice shot, the way it sort of kicks of the big third act action sequence, so it was both a great nod to the fans and just a great shot, I thought.
Negasonic Teenage Warhead
TM: I think Deadpool wishes she’d keep her mouth shut more than she does in the film! Because she’s quite snarky. But, you know, her whole attitude is this disaffected teen who thinks Deadpool’s just a douchebag. And so that’s her whole attitude. She’s really not that silent in the film or at least she’s silently surly because she just can’t be bothered to engage with this asshole. That’s the basics of her personality: silently shaming, judgemental personality.
TM: Her power, I mean, we chose her because we wanted a trainee for Colossus in the film and the writers and I just fell in love with her name. It’s just so out there and so Deadpool and it was Grant Morrison who named her, so we knew we had to get her in there. And then we thought, well, we’re going to need to make her powers fit with who she feels like she is in the movie and so to me it’s just like other characters in the Marvel universe, like Nitro, for instance, whose power is to just explode parts of their body. But we did try to do it so that it wasn’t just a simple, ‘oh, I can explode’, she can transfer the force of the explosion down so she can move upwards - she can put it into a punch if she wanted to. So it was really just her fist exploding as she hit somebody. we tried to mix it up, even though we didn’t use that particular thing in the movie, but it was the idea. Actually, we did use it in the movie, it’s just not in the movie now!
TM: We got a big old fight with him in the third act which is great. He's always been one of my favourite characters just because he’s just so visually impressive and you know, when you’re a comic book reader, the writing’s important, but also you want these incredible looking characters and action and I always loved him from my early days collecting comics. But to me he was always this giant behemoth, and to do it as sort of a normal-size guy didn't seem to fit the character, and more importantly I think we got a lot of value out of him being larger than life and, you know, this fantastic physical presence in - and I mean fantastic like otherworldly - this otherwise very grounded film. And he really connects us to the X-Men universe too which is a good thing in small doses.
Breaking the fourth wall
TM: I didn’t have any trouble with it at all. I guess if you didn’t know the character and feel like that was the right way to handle him, it could be a little difficult to figure out where and when to deploy it, but because I knew Deadpool did that and I was comfortable with it - it was one of the things I liked about him - we tried to do it. I mean, it was built in from the get-go, so it was kind of planned. We did go back when we did some additional photography. We liked it so much that we got even a little more. And we tried to use it more for an opportunity to just lay down exposition on people which I think is cool. Because you could use that as a crutch, but I don’t think we did at all. I'm sure I'm going to get skewered by fans for one thing or another. But he’s really complicated and there’s stuff we couldn’t - like the schizophrenia is a big thing in the comics, but you couldn't really explore that in the film. It was just too much to load into an origin story, an introduction.
TM: Is there such a thing as a conventional relationship, because I think every love is different! When we cast her in her role in the film, again we stayed true to her origin in the comic, but I really wanted somebody who could keep up with Wade, because there really has to be a reason for these people to fall in love. And he’s so unique a character that she had to be unique too. Personally, I never understood the man who wants to find the wife who’s just going to do what he says and adore him and things like that and she was never meant to be the damsel in distress sort of relationship, it was always meant to be a woman that could keep up with him. Or, in many ways I think you’ll see in the movie, she’s a lot stronger than he is and that was always the goal. I love super-strong female characters. And incidentally, as we’re screening the film, the women love it. The love story is really strong. Real strong.
TM: Just on the note of 'gory', I’m not a fan of gratuitous gore. I think it’s appropriate, so we did more than I think the studio was comfortable with, even for an R, but I don’t think it’s going to really ruin the movie for people that are uncomfortable with it. Maybe a little bit if you have a low tolerance. But there’s a fight in the second act that I think we have a couple of shots for, where Deadpool and Ajax fight in this burning building that is one of my favourite moments. It’s a great action piece and it’s also a really amazing character moment both for the character of Deadpool but for Wade as well, in the movie. And it was a really terrible two days shooting it, but man, I fucking loved it. It’s just a great scene.
With great power comes no responsibility
TM: Well you know, honestly the suit-up sequence wasn’t something we had in the original plan and there was just so much pressure. I kind of felt like, ‘fuck I’ve seen the suit-up sequence a thousand times, I don’t want to do another suit-up sequence’. But then, we found this way to make it different and more Deadpool and you see him, in the movie you’ll see him during this little montage we have, it’ll kind of progress from the beginning to the end of his evolution and costume design. And it makes it very Deadpool and fucking cool. But yeah, he’s a self-made man, it’s not like he had money and he can go and hire the best superhero tailors out there. He’s got to do it himself.
Deadpool V Anyone: Dawn Of Carnage
TM: I’d love to see Deadpool fight Batman - no, I'm just kidding, that’s not even in the Marvel family! I’d love to see Deadpool go up against Taskmaster who’s another Marvel total fuckin’ badass. But if I was to stay inside the Fox family, I would like to see him fight X-23, the female Wolverine. The female clone of Wolverine. It would be totally messy, but just to have it be a girl against - you know, she’s young, in the comics she’s about 16 or so - but to see a young girl kicking the shit out of him would be pretty fucking awesome.
Deadpool is released in UK cinemas on February 10, 2016.