Deadpool red-band trailer

Screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese are feeling good. After years and years of waiting, the screenwriting duo is finally seeing Deadpool reach the big screen. The screenwriters behind Zombieland have been working on the profane, sweet and funny Marvel character for a long time, and not only did the movie get made, it’s also doing well with fans and critics.

So, for a variety of reasons, Wernick and Reese have plenty to be feeling good about.

Did I also mention the screenwriters are already working on Deadpool 2? We’ll see if that sequel comes to fruition, but taking into account the early reviews, the quality of the film, and strong tracking, there’s a good chance we’ll see more of Wade Wilson/Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) in the coming years.

Here’s what Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese had to say about the development process on Deadpool, the challenge of writing another origin story, and more:

It’s rare to see a superhero movie with so many interior and walk-and-talk scenes. Because the character work is so strong, it feels like that’s all the spectacle you need.

Wernick: Thank you. A lot of that was because of the budget. We couldn’t have superheroes taking off, alien invasions, and all that stuff. [Laughs.] We just didn’t have the money to do it. Necessity was the mother of invention, and it really allowed us to dive deep into the characters and have some fun with that.

It sounds like you both benefited from the budget restrictions. 

Reese: It certainly was [the case]. The sad thing is, there was even more fun stuff that didn’t make it due to budget, but that’s life. There’s not a single Hollywood movie that’s ever been filmed where the filmmakers didn’t make the budget. For instance, we had three subordinate villains under Ajax, and we ultimately had to combine those villains into one — Angel Dust. In Angel Dust, I think we found this amazing physicality in Gina Carano. She crushes it. I don’t think we’d trade her battle with Colossus for any of those characters. Sometimes the budget means you have to make a new choice, and you fall in love with the new choice.

Plus, that fight scene is a nice breather from seeing hundreds of extras running or cities exploding.

Reese: And yet it looks big. We got the helicarrier in the background.

Wernick: Our director, Tim Miller, is a visual-effects genius and brought it all to life in such a way that makes it feel big. You kind of get the best of both worlds: the character stuff we had to do and wanted to do, because of budget, and you have what feels like a cool, big action scene at the end. It’s awesome. [Laughs.] Of course I say that, but we have such a passion for it. It’s just so cool to see it come alive.

How many years did you both work on Deadpool?

Wernick: Since 2009, so going on seven calendar years. We had at least one draft written and dated each of the last seven years, from 2009 on. We have pushed the ball up the hill for all these years, and we had that ball continue to roll back and crush us, year after year. You know, it’s been a long, long process.

We were told “no” very many times. It was just the perseverance of Rhett, myself, Tim, and Ryan to just say, “We’re not taking no for an answer. We’re making this movie.” A lot of people don’t know this, but Rhett and I said, “If we can’t get this movie made, maybe we shouldn’t write screenplays anymore.” If the studio system doesn’t make a movie like this… Again, it was a big risk for them to make a movie like this, but we just believed in it so much. We never took no for an answer.

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