Deadpool 2 sees Wade Wilson/Deadpool assemble the X-Force, to protect a young mutant from time-travelling mercenary Cable. STACK chatted with director David Leitch about the movie, and approaching the home releases in a Deadpool way…
Warning: Possible mild spoilers
How do you think Deadpool 2 will work as a home entertainment experience?
What’s going to be great about the home entertainment version is that you’re going to see multiple versions of scenes, deleted scenes and Easter eggs. There’s a lot of fun things that you’re not capable of seeing in one viewing. There are also a couple of scenes in the extended cut that are fun. There’s a little bit of brother and sister banter between Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Deadpool that people will love. There’s a little bit more explanation around Russell and the orphanage. Then there’s stuff in the third act – a little bit more Domino action and a little bit more of Deadpool dying. There’s a lot of fertile ground. It’s Deadpool and we’ve approached it in a Deadpool way. We’ve had fun and been irreverent with it.
What’s your favourite Easter Egg?
My favourite Easter egg is in Blind Al’s, when Deadpool is getting the cocaine out of the floorboards. He pulls the packet of cocaine out and underneath you see a book called A Cure for Blindness. We also put an Easter egg of Christopher Plummer turning down a role in Deadpool 2 in video graphics at the last minute. That was pretty funny.
What were the most memorable moments on set?
The ‘Baby legs’ scene was probably the most memorable. You’re hoping you can make seven pages of dialogue compelling enough to carry the audience through it. Most scenes don’t last that long. We started shooting it and the jokes are working, everyone gets a moment and it turns into something magical, special and hopefully iconic. We had to transfer the tone from heightened comedy to that almost surreal psychedelic moment with the legs to a real emotional moment and then back to comedy. It was a juggling act.
What did you wish to retain about the first Deadpool and what did you want to add?
The original had such a beating heart. The love story was real, believable and authentic. I just wanted to make sure we had a real emotional story and we didn’t just go for the bells and whistles or just for the comedy. So, I wanted to make sure that we had a soul. After that, it was really about, ‘Okay, we’re in the summer marketplace we need something bigger’. So just the scope had to be bigger, but that came naturally with the addition of characters.
Deadpool 2 centres on Deadpool’s search for a family, and the family that he finds is the X-Force. How would you describe them?
I think they’re all broken toys in a way. Everybody has a strength and a weakness, but together they solve each other’s problems. I think that’s what a good family does.
It’s a more emotional film than the first one. How did you think about Deadpool’s journey?
I think I wanted Deadpool to really learn tough lessons. It’s hard to like a character like Deadpool if you don’t empathise with him. You might have a friend who is a motor-mouth and a jackass, but if he isn’t likeable or if you don’t care about him, you don’t spend much time with him. I really wanted the audience to want to spend time with Deadpool. For that you need to create a situation of empathy. It may or may not be a classic trope, but we took everything away and exposed him. Ryan is great at being human and being vulnerable even through the heightened caricature Deadpool becomes. He still has moments when he connects with the audience and is completely believable and authentic. You’re just like, ‘Damn, h is a great actor’. He brings humanity to that guy.
How would you define the relationship between Deadpool and Russell?
I do believe that movies should have a message and a moral. If you tell stories, you want to walk away with hopefully a truth. The story I was trying to get across with Deadpool and Russell was nature vs. nurture, analysing that question and landing on the answer that we have to try. One moment of kindness or one act of sacrifice could change someone’s destiny. That’s the biggest idea inside Deadpool. Outside of his personal lot and him getting a family, it’s really about him learning the lesson of taking care of somebody – just a simple act can change them from being a mass murderer into a good kid.
What was the toughest action set-piece to shoot?
The convoy was really difficult. To shut down Vancouver so you can get that huge rig up to speed and do some dynamic action with it, it’s a big undertaking. But you also have to make sure the story is working. With all the spectacle, we still had to keep on point that Deadpool really wanted to save Russell and wanted to save Firefist. It’s a balancing act for sure.
The film also has stunning fight sequences. How did you think through the fight in the shower?
That really came from this idea of exploring Deadpool’s healing powers. We thought, ‘What would you do if you never had consequences to your actions?’ We came up with the reverse arm choke. I love that that’s the type of powers he has – you wouldn’t be afraid to jump off a balcony, land on your back and break it because you can get right back up. It’s fun, but there’s a fine line to walk. If someone is invincible, how do you create peril? So, there’s always a problem to solve when designing action, but it opens up a whole new world.
Finally, how would you sum up the appeal of the Deadpool character?
He is a flawed human being like everyone is but, ultimately, he wants to do the right thing. His heart is in the right place. I think that’s why we like him. As fun and irreverent as he is, he really wants to do good.