Despite some very promising test screenings, the creative team behind 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool were as shocked by the film’s global success as the rest of the industry.
“There was certainly a lot of anxiety, neuroses, and Judaism involved,” joked producer Simon Kinberg, who gathered with star Ryan Reynolds, co-star Ed Skrein, director Tim Miller and scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills to tout the film’s May 10 Blu-ray release.
Perhaps because the film had languished so long awaiting a green light, Kinberg didn’t see the blockbuster potential, even when Deadpool tested higher than most Fox films. Miller, on the other hand, felt they had something special when Reynolds first suited up.
“I thought, holy sh*t, this is really going to work,” Miller said.
The group was in agreement that the success of the project reflected the creators’ winning irreverence. “The [studio] note that frightened me the most,” Miller said, “was, ‘We should make this linear.’ The story was always this fractured narrative, and to be honest, it’s a pretty simple story. To tell it linearly would not make that exciting of a movie.”
Ultimately, Miller and crew did in fact cut a linear version, but fortunately the studio decided to release the other version that had scored so well with audiences. Miller and Kinberg also believed the film would be better served as a conventional 2D experience, despite shooting test footage in 3D.
The end result: After an 11-year development, Deadpool has grossed $358.4M at the domestic box office and $756.8M globally. It is the highest-grossing of Fox’s X-Men franchise and finished slightly behind The Passion of the Christ as the top grossing domestic R rated film of all time.
Deadpool 2 is underway and Reynolds has already conjured some dream storylines of his own. “I really do genuinely want to see a Deadpool and Han Solo team-up,” he said. “I have a non-vocal commitment from Harrison Ford — I read his astrological chart and it looks good for us.”