Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, the movie “Deadpool” tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson (played by Ryan Reynolds), who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life. Reynolds first played the wisecracking Deadpool character as a supporting role in the 2009 movie “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” His Deadpool character takes center stage and lets loose even more in “Deadpool,” which is a critically acclaimed massive hit with record-breaking ticket sales.
According to Box Office Mojo, “Deadpool” (which has also been released on IMAX screens) had ticket revenue of $132 million in the U.S. (and $265 million worldwide) during the movie’s first three days of release, making it the biggest weekend opening for these categories: a 20th Century Fox film, an R-rated movie, a movie released in February and a movie released in the U.S. winter season. Here is what Reynolds, “Deadpool” director Tim Miller and “Deadpool” co-stars Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller (no relation to Tim Miller), Brianna Hildebrand, Gina Carano and Ed Skrein said at the “Deadpool” panel at 2015 Comic-Con International in San Diego.
Ryan, how does it feel to be here to present footage from the “Deadpool” movie?
Reynolds: One year ago almost to today, some a**hole leaked that footage, and that’s why we’re standing here. Tim Miller, the director [of “Deadpool”], and I just sat back there and shook our heads in awe and said, “How did we get here?” It was that moment, you guys, the Internet, the fans, you guys made the studio do this. You bent their arms behind their backs, twisted their friggin’ necks, and here we are.
People love Deadpool, and they’ve been dying to see this character gets its own movie. Tim, what made you decide that now was the time to do the movie?
Tim Miller: Fox said, “You can make it if you want,” and I said, “OK.” That’s pretty much it. I would’ve made this f*cking movie anytime, but it had to come at the right time, and the studio was ready to make it now. And I think it’s because, as Ryan said, it’s the fans. [Deadpool] is the perfect character of our time.
Ryan, why do you think people are so in love with Deadpool?
Reynolds: I think this character inhabits a space in the comic universe that no other person can or ever will inhabit. It’s got everything you’d ever want. For one, I think it’s an absolute miracle that the studio let us make “Deadpool,” let alone a rated R “Deadpool.”
But don’t you think that’s the only way to stay true to the Deadpool character: to make the movie rated R?
Reynolds: But that’s us talking, not the people cutting the big fat check.
Did you have to convince them of that, or did they say, “Hey, do whatever you want to do?”
Tim Miller: Eventually, they said that. They didn’t say that at first. It was R, then it was PG, then it was R again. But ultimately, they see that the world is ready for something different.
Reynolds: No matter what the rating is, babies will love this. I’m telling you right now.
Ryan, do you feel like Deadpool is your soul, like when you put on the suit, you become Deadpool?
Reynolds: When you put on that suit, the whole energy and atmosphere on the set changes.
Baccarin: Not to mention the smell.
T.J. Miller: The smell changes dramatically.
Reynolds: That thing takes a beating. It’s sort of meant to be slightly disgusting, which is also a nice thing. It’s all sewn up shoddily by Deadpool himself. It’s definitely a game changer, you know? I’ve only done one other one proper — sorry, not proper — superhero movie, but I didn’t have a suit. It was a computer-generated suit, so I never got to experience what that was like to walk onto a set fully embodied.
And you didn’t get to talk that much [in “Green Lantern”]!
Reynolds: Yeah, this time I don’t shut up!
Morena, can you talk about your Vanessa character in “Deadpool”?
Baccarin: She’s a badass. It was really awesome to read the script, especially as a woman, you don’t get to read many superhero movies that has a badass romantic lead in it. She gives him lip right back — not necessarily the talking kind. She’s just really awesome, a really perfect match to his crassness.
Brianna, what can you tell us about your “Deadpool” character?
Hildebrand: I play Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and she is a 15-year-old superhero in training. She’s Colossus’ trainee. She’s pretty Gothic, apathetic, and she’s a very strong, young superhero who’s a female. And I love her.
What was your experience like coming into the cast?
Hildebrand: It was so fun. It was all fun. And it was such a dream come true, because I may or may not have had a huge crush on Ryan Reynolds, growing up. And this was my first film, really, so I had no idea what to expect, but it was so fun. The energy among everyone was great, and we got along great. And yeah, it was awesome.
Tim Miller: She actually showed me a photo of her Photoshopped, that photo of Ryan, where he’s like super 12-pack muscles, and she Photoshopped herself into the photo next to Ryan when she was in high school. She really did have a crush.
Did you show him that?
Hildebrand: Yeah, I did. I printed it out.
Ryan, what do you say to that?
Reynolds: I guess I was her Joey Lawrence. That’s who it was for me. I Photoshopped myself into every Joey Lawrence photo I could find. And I feel your pain.
Ed, what can you tell us about Ajax?
Skrein: Ajax runs the workshop that Wade Wilson comes into as a terminally ill ex-Special Forces soldier. We give him the superpowers that turn him into Deadpool, and he’s very disrespectful and ungrateful.
Does Wade Wilson/Deadpool feel like he owes them anything for the superpowers?
Reynolds: No. You should see what they turn me into, though. I think it’s a fair trade.
Gina, what can you tell us about Angel Dust?
Carano: Angel Dust has a lot of anger issues. So we helped create Mr. Deadpool, and it’s been kind of like a revolution. I’m looking out here, and it’s such a massive event. It’s such a pleasure to be a part of it with this cast and crew and Tim Miller. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it. And thank you for allowing me the outlet to have my anger issues resolved.
Tim, how much riffing on the set did you allow?
Tim Miller: Oh, f*ck yeah! First of all, I can’t stop it. Ryan does it non-stop, and T.J. is completely uncontrollable. Even when I would get angry at him and tell him to quit f*cking around, he would still do it. Everybody was great. We had a great set.
For a first-time director, it’s got to be one of the best experiences I could hope for, because we had no drama, no difficulty. The studio was behind us for all the decisions. They didn’t question anything that we did, even though they probably should have.
Baccarin: I think Tim was the biggest drama on set, right?
Tim Miller: Yeah. I’m a bit of a prima donna.
T.J. Miller: Very needy.
Baccarin: The stuff that comes out of your mouth.
Tim Miller: Ryan had to hug me at least twice a day.
Reynolds: He’s such a crybaby! God! He’s such a pervert too. This guy cries if he sees unadulterated rage. It gets to him.
Tim Miller: It’s true. Ryan did this scene where he comes in at a pivotal part of the movie that I won’t tell you about, and he’s just so f*cking angry. And Ryan’s like, “Dude, I’ve got like two f*cking takes in me for this because I’m [he makes a growling noise].” But it was brilliant. And I choked up a little bit.
Reynolds: I found him weeping the corner afterwards.
Tim Miller: It was so good.
Reynolds: None of the funny dramatic stuff does it — just the pure rage. You should direct the next “Hulk.” You’d just be crying like a baby the whole time behind the monitor.
Tim Miller: I cry for the emotional stuff.
Reynolds: Direct an episode of “Nancy Grace.”
Tim Miller: And then Ryan got really jealous because in the third act, Morena did this amazing scene. And then I teared up again, and then he did his side of it. And I was like, “Yeah, that was all right.” He’s like, “Where’s my tears?”
Did you ever think you took things one step too far?
Baccarin: Only every day.
Reynolds: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Baccarin: Every scene.
Reynolds: There’s stuff where I would be lying awake at home in bed, and I would text Tim just to say, “Hey, that thing I said, that extra joke at the end of scene when I’m walking out of the cab, can you make sure that’s never seen by anyone? Because there’s a number of organizations that will find me.
Tim Miller: There was a rewrite. T.J. Miller got involved in one of the scenes. He wrote some of the meanest jokes. That’s where I really said, “You know we can’t do this, because this is funny as sh*t, but it’s so f*cking mean. It’s so mean!”
T.J. Miller: I am not mean!
Carano: Thank you, and when you’re on the opposite end of those jokes, you’re laughing and crying, and then you go home, and you literally cry.
T.J. Miller: It’s true. Ryan’s very strong. I don’t know if you ladies know, but he has a very muscular body. He’s a strong man. And he was really sweet because when Tim would cry, he would hold him like the little true, big baby that he is. And he’d rock him back and forth until Tim [he makes a snoring nose]. Then we’d all put on the suit and f*ck around.
What can you say about “Deadpool” without giving too much away?
Reynolds: It’s everything we loved about the comics. We have a guy who’s obviously going to break the fourth wall. And this is just my opinion, but I think the most faithful adaptation of a supersuit, from a comic to a movie I’ve ever seen.
We actually have the Merc with a Mouth. The mouth is not at any point in our film sewn shut. I wasn’t even paid. They just promised me that on this movie. Yeah, you have the Merc with the Mouth. You have the guy that is doing his best to annoy the living sh*t out of everyone around him 24/7.
Tim Miller: And Rhett Reese and Paul Werner, the writers too. They deserve a lot of credit because this script, bar none, is the best script I ever read. I get choked up, it’s so good. The script was great, and they were tireless about trying to get this movie made with Ryan. We never let up with the studio, just constantly annoying them with emails to please make this movie. Rhett and Paul were beside me the whole time, saying, “This is the best script we’ve ever written, and it needs to be done.”
For more info: “Deadpool” website