[If you haven’t seen Deadpool 2, there are spoilers ahead. So if you don’t want a great post-credits scene ruined, you should stop reading.]
Ah, the superhero post-credits scene, something we now expect ever since Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury appeared in Tony Stark’s house talking about something called the Avengers Initiative. (It’s a shame they never followed up on that and made any Avengers movies.) Over the years, some have been pretty good! Some have been not so great. But now Deadpool 2 may have just topped them all. (Actually, I’m going to walk back my passive language here and just declare that it did pass them all. This is the best one.)
Here’s your last chance to leave for spoilers.
In the end-credits scene, Deadpool is in possession of Cable’s time-traveling device, so he decides to right some wrongs. The first of these is the death of his fiancée, Vanessa, who is killed at the beginning of the film, which drives the whole story.
Director David Leitch explains, “We were circling a lot of codas, right. Part of me was always instinctual as we were making the movie: how do we bring her back? I was even thinking of moments of how I tie her into the bigger plot. Or we can always leave it open-ended as a sort of contingency plan, because I was thinking after our first test screening we’ll know. But the movie works so well emotionally with their love, their loss, their acceptance of the loss, her acceptance of death, that we didn’t need it. We screened the movie without the coda and people accepted it.”
Leitch than pitched the idea to Ryan Reynolds, who had some ideas of his own. “But I always had this idea of saving her,” says Leitch. “So when I pitched the idea of time travel to Ryan he said, ‘That’s great, we should do it. Then we have the best of both worlds. We’ve gone on this emotional journey, but we still have the ability to bring Morena Baccarin back as anyone we want. And then I can solve some of my own problems!’”
Leitch continues, “Then Ryan has a litany of things we could do. And saving Peter was something else. When we came up with that idea, we didn’t know how much a phenomenon he was going to be. So it was great that we did. Rob Delaney is amazing. We were lucky to get him.”
“My own problems” would also include Deadpool’s fairly disastrous appearance in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which present-day Deadpool now uses the time machine to visit in an effort to kill that horrible version of himself. Then Deadpool shows up at Ryan Reynolds’ house as Reynolds is gleefully reading a script. We then see the script is for Green Lantern and Deadpool shoots Reynolds in the head.
“Oh, that was Ryan for sure,” says co-writer Rhett Reese about the Green Lantern scene. “Ryan was like, ‘Oh, I know what I’d use it for. We have to go back and take back the Green Lantern decision!’”
“Those codas are always the last thing we shoot,” adds co-writer Paul Wernick. “We don’t write them in the original draft. We go shoot the movie and cut it together and decide what does this movie need and how do we end it. So it really is, let’s catch our breath and talk about the coda.”
“It’s Ryan using time travel to purge his demons,” says Leitch. “It’s about as meta as you can fucking get, I want to end this! And I think it’s cathartic, too. Once and for all, this is my vindication. And it should be! Deadpool 2 is a vindication in a lot of ways, I think. The first one wasn’t a fluke. This world that he started with the creative team has only grown. And it can absorb new ideas. And I think it’s going to go on and get better from here.”
And what makes the scene really work is that Green Lantern is the type of movie that can dog an actor for years, but instead, Reynolds tackles it head-on. Leitch explains that Reynolds just isn’t the type of actor to let it get to him, “That’s just not him. He’s just too much of a falling forward kind of guy. He’s a really positive person. There’s not a lot of negativity on our set. It’s, ‘How do we make this better?’”
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