Back in November, before anyone knew that Deadpool was going to become one of the biggest hits of 2016, director Tim Miller opened up about the long, arduous road he took in getting this unconventional R-rated superhero movie made. And at the time, he sited acclaimed directors and Hollywood tastemakers James Cameron and David Fincher as strong supporters of the project from early on. Now, he has explained how these two iconic filmmakers helped get the movie made.
While star Ryan Reynolds and Miller are most often credited for the success of Deadpool, which is the second biggest movie of the year behind only Captain America: Civil War, there were two other tsunami-like forces that helped push and pull it to the big screen. And no, we’re not talking about the often celebrated writers behind the screenplay either. While Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are said to be, perhaps, the most important cogs in the machine, David Fincher and James Cameron didn’t have a direct hand in matters, but remained longtime supporters throughout the whole process.
Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have now gone on record alongside Miller to champion Fincher and Cameron for their ‘unwavering’ support. And without them, it’s possible that the blockbuster comic book adventure could still be sitting in development Hell. These two helped convince 20th Century Fox that they needed to take a chance on the movie, and strike while the iron was hot. They also helped convince the studio that this should be an R-rated affair, and not PG-13 like Fox originally wanted. Says Reese to CBM.
“They read the script each of them at two independent key moments during the script’s development. And each one of them was kind enough to go to 20th Century Fox and essentially throw in their good word just saying ‘Hey, what are you guys doing with Deadpool? You should be making this!’ David was a help before Jim and he was just kind of nudging along the way. And then Jim ultimately weighed in, in a key decision node moment and got Fox to free up some money to try a PG-13 draft at the time. That was not Jim’s idea, that was Fox’s idea. But I think a project that is dormant often just suffers from neglect, and I think having those powerful people weigh in at certain times just lodged with Fox and I think it had a cumulative effect more than anything.”
As he’s stated in the past, first time director Tim Miller knows full well that, in a collaborative effort such as this, a few voices from the outside is sometimes a very good, and much needed thing. And that’s what Fincher and Cameron brought to the project. Their want and need to see the movie for themselves would eventually help convince Fox that they were sitting on a hot property that needed to go soon. Says Tim about the grueling affair.
“First of all they’re probably mad at me for ever having… because that was never intended to be public knowledge! Listen – the industry listens to tastemakers and you could not find two gentlemen who have better taste in what should become a movie or be made into a movie and so I just thought that maybe they could help push the boulder up the hill a little bit, which they kindly did.”
Even though Deadpool sat in development hell for what seemed like forever, the movie opened this past Valentine’s Day weekend to become a true phenomenon. It proved to be Fox’s highest grossing X-Men movie to date, and is the biggest R rated movie of all time. Not even X-Men: Apocalypse could come close to touching its box office numbers. The movie eventually went onto earn $771.1 million dollars worldwide and is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD. A sequel is already in the works with the original team returning. And it may even shoot as early as this fall.