Deadpool had the biggest opening ever for an R-rated movie, was the fastest R-rated film to gross $200 million domestically, and it’s on pace to beat (whip?) Passion of the Christ‘s $611.9 million for the highest-grossing R-rated movie. All that on a budget of only $58 million, a mid-range budget very few movies are allowed to have anymore (conventional wisdom being that only microbudget horror and $150+ million tentpoles can turn a profit) and which required cutting significant sequences and picking X-Men characters so obscure (and inexpensive) that Fox execs literally said, “Negasonic, what?”
Deadpool raking in so much cash has already ensured a sequel, which we know a little about, and it also means we may get an R-rated X-Force and an Old Man Wolverine. But will Deadpool 2 become a bloated, overlong mess as the studio tries to jam far too much into it, resulting in another sterile, over-focus-grouped tentpole? Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are already on guard against exactly that possibility. They tell Collider:
“We don’t want $150 million to go make the next movie, that’s not Deadpool. Deadpool doesn’t lift cities up into the air or battle aliens coming down to earth, that’s just not Deadpool. So we’re happy in that little small budget range that they have us in; we don’t wanna blow this next one out.”
They also spoke about what they learned the audience liked during test screenings: fourth-wall breaking, a clear storyline with “not a ton of plot twists or weird things you have to try to figure out or understand,” and a love story at its core. So, expect more of that in Deadpool 2, instead of an alien battle on another planet or some such.
They also tell Collider the timeline of X-Men: Apocalypse and its planned sequels will make it harder for them to pick X-Men characters for Deadpool 2 while still fitting in with the complicated timeline. They’ve already claimed Cable for the sequel, but they’ll need to enlist producer Simon Kinberg’s help to clear any other new additions. For what it’s worth, the earlier draft of Deadpool included Taskmaster and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.
And, just as a bonus to Collider‘s already-packed interview, Reese and Wernick also mused about what would happen if Deadpool ever popped up in the rest of the X-Men cinematic universe, which is typically PG-13.
“You’d have to have him pushing the edge of that PG-13 harder than any character in it because he does need to feel out of place in a PG-13 movie, if that makes sense. But I could see Deadpool very easily commenting on the fact that, ‘Suddenly I’m trapped in a PG-13, there’s certain things I can’t do around here.’ That could be fun for us. We get to break rules like that. Deadpool knows he’s in a movie, if he knows he’s in an R-rated movie and now he’s in a PG-13-rated movie, he’s probably gonna be frustrated by that. We would play to that, actually.”
Now we kind of want to see the confused faces James McAvoy would make if Deadpool started complaining to Professor X about the MPAA.