Back in 2013, when I first interviewed Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, they were fresh off the success of Zombieland and were promoting G.I. Joe: Retaliation. What makes this memorable was, even back then, they were telling anyone who would listen about their script for a then C-list (maybe B-List, but his X-Men Origins: Wolverine appearance sure didn’t help) superhero named Deadpool. Even having it described over the phone – a script touting jokes about Deadpool’s pretty terrible appearance in the aforementioned X-Men Origins: Wolverine – it sounded really different. But these descriptions were always followed with disclaimers like, “Well, it’s never going to happen.”
Now, here we are five years later and the pair is promoting their second Deadpool film – a now enormous franchise (the first film made just over three fourths of a billion dollars) that probably won’t be stopping anytime soon.
I met with Reese and Wernick at a hotel in Midtown Manhattan and, honestly, they seem like the two happiest people on Earth. Deadpool 2 is already getting great reviews and the “dark days,” as they call them, of not being able to get a Deadpool movie made are long over. Ahead, we avoid spoilers (we will have more with the pair, and director David Leitch, later in the week that gets into spoiler material) but for now they give us a taste of a couple of scenes that didn’t make it into Deadpool 2 that would have included a cameo by Chris Evans and Deadpool killing baby Hitler.
The first time I interviewed you two was for G.I. Joe: Retaliation and back then you guys would talk about your “never going to be made Deadpool script”…
Reese: Those were dark days.
Wernick: They were. We were so desperate. It was this little movie that we believed in so much and we were so passionate about it. We couldn’t stop talking about it.
You would tell anyone who would listen.
Wernick: Even people who wouldn’t listen.
Reese: Then the script leaked online and that didn’t help. And then the footage leaked online and that didn’t help.
Was the footage a real leak? That felt like a planned leak.
Wernick: It was a little bit of a plan, but it wasn’t through Fox. It was actually leaked – you know, I don’t think we can ever reveal it.
Reese: No, I don’t think so. But it was twice removed from anyone on the movie. So it was someone who was a really big fan of one of our people in the movie and just wanted him to see justice and put it out there. And it actually didn’t help.
Wernick: It helped…
It had to help. I remember that day and everyone was talking about it.
Reese: It didn’t get it made though.
Wernick: It didn’t get it greenlit.
Reese: It was still a little bit later that it actually happened, but it didn’t hurt.
And now here we are for the sequel.
Reese: I know. It really is a “pinch us” moment.
Wernick: Not to get all teary-eyed, but it’s a dream come true for us and we never, ever could have expected. At the premiere, there were people waiting out there in Deadpool suits since 5 a.m. to just be in the area, not even see the movie. It feels amazing.