Deadpool made more than $750 million worldwide and spawned a highly-lucrative new superhero franchise for 20th Century Fox, and yet the studio doesn't want you to know that there's a sequel. This is after reports surfaced that a follow-up was already in the works with screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick set to return, and after it was reported that star Ryan Reynolds had agreed to reprise the profane, violence-loving Merc with a Mouth.
Here's something inevitable: there were questions about Deadpool 2 at Monday's press day for the film's upcoming DVD/Blu-ray release (May 10), and the tension between what we already basically know and what's actually been announced became apparent at a roundtable session I attended with Reese and Wernick.
“We're opening up to some fun choices because we aren't really constrained as much,” said Reese when asked directly about the follow-up. “We can go almost wherever we want. There's a massive body of material in the comics. We have our own ideas, Ryan has his ideas, and so much of the fun of writing Deadpool is the freedom, the freedom to break rules, the freedom to do crazy things, and I think the sequel probably provides even more opportunity than the first movie to do that.”
Here's where it got sorta awkward.
“I don't think the sequel's officially been announced,” added Wernick pointedly. “But…yes.”
“I mean, yeah, I don't know, yeah, I'm sorry, we're not supposed to be talking about a sequel,” Reese responded apologetically. “So…there is no sequel. It's kinda like the Matrix. There is no…glass on the table right now, none of it's here.”
Still, Wernick's clarification didn't change much. One of the next questions — albeit one couched in speculative terms — concerned Marvel mutant Cable, who is teased in Deadpool's inevitable post-credits scene. So will the gun-slinging antihero be appearing in the prospective next movie, and if so, what's the angle there?
“I hate to say, but we just shouldn't talk about it,” Reese responded before talking about it. “…There's a lot of fun in that he's very serious and he does take on more serious weighty issues than Deadpool's used to taking on, so I think there's a juxtaposition there that can be fun. We had a lot of fun with Colossus in the first movie, just by virtue of him being a foil to Deadpool, being a goody two-shoes and a straight shooter and Deadpool being irreverent. And I think Cable offers us the opportunity to provide another really cool, different foil for Deadpool.”
A couple of other takeaways regarding the purely-hypothetical Deadpool sequel:
1. They don't want to go “bigger.”
Wernick: “We don't want to make a $200 million epic superhero Deadpool movie. We want to make the $50 million Deadpool sequel. And I think people tapped into this being a character piece, you know? This was a movie about a broken character, a broken guy who's just trying to make his way in the world, and I think we're gonna continue that moving forward.”
2. They will not be “upping the stakes.”
Wernick: “I think it goes against who the character is. You know, Deadpool wants to save himself, he doesn't want to save the world. You know, he's not lifting cities up or fighting alien invasions.”