As excited as fanboys and girls are about ‘Deadpool’, believe it or not, this R-Rated action-comedy based on a character that isn’t a household name and who debuted in the poorly-received ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ was actually a big risk for 20th Century Fox. It was only star Ryan Reynolds’ persistent stumping that got the movie made at all, but the studio was still wary about shelling out too much on such a precarious venture. The result was that this movie was made on the cheap.
This was a lesson that screenwriters/producers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick had to learn over and over. We previously reported on two characters that were cut, partially due to budgetary reasons. Now Reese admits that Gina Carano‘s role as Angel Dust was used to replace three more characters that the writers had used in an early draft. For the record, the bad guys Reese and Wernick had hoped to use were Garrison Kane, Wyre and Sluggo. Kane (also known as Weapon X– join the club) was a recurring character that was also created by Rob Liefeld who co-created Deadpool. The other two are more obscure. Wyre debuted as a foe of ‘Alpha Flight’ and Sluggo was another product of the project that turned Wade Wilson into Deadpool.
In the end, it took one woman to accomplish what three men couldn’t. Enter Angel Dust.
As Reese explains:
“We consolidated, in the first draft, Ajax has really three underlings. It was Wyre, it was Garrison Kane and it was Sluggo. And then ultimately due to budget, we had to consolidate those into one character. And we wanted the movie to have a really strong kick-ass female presence. That was a mandate from Tim, so we introduced Angel Dust as sort of a combination of those three to provide the muscle for Ajax…
“There was a reduction of action. We had a motorcycle chase between Deadpool and Ajax on the freeway that we took out. We had a big, big gun fight in the third act that we took out and we basically had Deadpool forget his guns as a means of getting around it. So there were just reductions…
We had to carve something like $7-8 million out of the budget in a 48-hour window. And we, as a group, just put our heads together, got creative, and said ‘How do we cut what is essentially nine pages out of a 110 page script?’ It was that last, lean and mean chop that got us to a place where Fox was willing to make it. The script was very efficient and not too long. That was a function of budget more than anything, but I think it really made the movie pace nicely.”
Considering that ‘Deadpool’ is already raking in cash ($12 million opening day overseas) and seems to be a true crowd-pleaser, it doesn’t seem that the edits made much of a difference. And with this success, the sequel will surely have a much bigger budget and maybe the filmmakers can put back some of what they had to delete this time.
What do you think? Are Ajax and Angel Dust enough? Or would you have liked to have seen more bad guys?