The best thing about 'Deadpool 2'? The writing
A thug on a motorcycle gets a wedgie. A man’s face is smashed into a crotch. But the funniest aspect in Deadpool’s bullet-time opening sequence might be the credit for the writers: “The Real Heroes Here.”
When Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese received a Writers Guild Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2017, critics did a collective spit-take. (Past winners include the writers of Brokeback Mountain and Schindler’s List.) But look beyond the pull-my-finger humour; Deadpool is a thinking-man’s superhero movie with fourth-wall breaks, deep cultural references, and the nonlinear structure of an art-house film.
It became the second-highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time and garnered a Golden Globe nod for Best Picture — Musical or Comedy, helping to usher in the era of smart, no-holds-barred comic adaptations like Logan and funny curveballs like Thor: Ragnarok.
The sequel aims to do more genre-busting. “If Paul and I have a brand, it’s the ability to look at a genre and make fun of it and be it at the same time,” says Reese. Before making mutants fart, they took the piss out of horror movies with Zombieland and reality TV with The Joe Schmo Show.
Ryan Reynolds, who stars as the Merc with a Mouth, paid for the writers to be on set for the first movie when the studio wouldn’t pony up. (The suits did so for Deadpool 2.) He so embodies the character’s boyish wit that he became part of the sequel’s writing team. And because Deadpool wears a mask, zingers can be added well into postproduction, as in an animated film.
What has the trio’s scripting relationship been like? “I can’t get my Davis Love III joke in there, and it’s killing me,” says Reese, referring to the pro golfer. “It’s gold, and yet Ryan Reynolds will not allow it.”
“The Deadpool team is going to break up over Davis Love III,” says Wernick.
Deadpool returns to the big screen (this time with Josh Brolin’s Cable) today