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Were there any other scenes or lines that didn’t make it into the film?

Wernick: I think what was in the script and in our head is on the screen, which is great. There were little moments here and there we miss, but overall, we couldn’t be happier with how well it turned out.

A part of the challenge of origin stories is that most of the time audiences just want to get the hero in the suit. The structure of this origin story plays with the timeline, so it’s different, but did you ever have conversations about how long you could make audiences wait to see Deadpool?

Reese: You always want to balance the origin story and tragedy with the zaniness of Deadpool. Once we committed to an origin story, we thought the best way to do that was to do a nonlinear narrative, bouncing back between the past and the present. The present only takes place over the course of 24 hours, with Deadpool trying to get revenge and save his girl. That’s all very zany and irreverent, and while the past is irreverent, it’s much more laden with pain, suffering, and loss. We used that dual narrative to keep the tone balanced, to keep people from finding it too serious for too long or too silly for too long. I think bouncing back and forth was how we solved that particular challenge.

[Spoilers for Deadpool ahead.]

Forgive me, I might be butchering the line, but when Vanessa says, “That’s a face I would be happy to sit on,” that really strikes the tone you’re talking about. Was that line in one of the earlier drafts?

Wernick: It’s so funny you mention that, because I’ve talked about it before. Rhett wrote that line. When I was home reading that scene, I said, “Oh my God, big studio 20th Century Fox is never, never ever going to make this movie.” I think it’s brilliant, maybe my favorite line in the movie, but I just thought, “We’re done.” [Laughs.]

Reese: [Laughs.] You were right for about five years!

Wernick: Really, they got it. Here we are and there’s the line and the 20th Century Fox logo. They took the jump in the waters with us. We must say, Fox, despite not making it for all these years, ultimately saying yes with this group of executive, was a huge, huge risk. They’re releasing an R-rated movie where the heroine says, “It’s a face I’d be happy to sit on.” Holy shit. It almost doesn’t feel real.

Reese: [Laughs.] No, it doesn’t.

Wernick: For all rights, they never should’ve done this movie. [Laughs.] What were they thinking?

[Spoilers over.]

Lastly, what kind of work went into making Vanessa not feel like another damsel in distress?

Reese: Ultimately, we knew she was going to be captured by our villain and our hero would have to save her, and that’s about as cliche and non-feminist of an idea you can get; it’s been done a million times. We felt like she darn well better kick ass in every other moment in the script, because that [cliche] is really lame. It really challenged us to write that character as fun as we could.

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Deadpool is now in theaters.

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