Over the course of Deadpool's years-long development process, a number of ideas for the movie came and went.
In a new interview with EW and a podcast with Empire, respectively, director Tim Miller and star Ryan Reynolds discussed the decade-plus it took to bring Deadpool to the screen, a gauntlet in which the pair faced studio indifference and negativity, budget reductions, debates with studio execs (who told them, "We don't get it") and the countless other little cuts that have consigned many a promising film to death in development hell.
One of the results of the endless back-and-forth over the budget (which had to meet a certain level if the filmmakers wanted to keep the movie R-rated) was that several great cameo ideas had to be jettisoned, as Reynolds revealed:
“We had endless [conversations about other X-Men]. Taskmaster was in the script originally, too expensive. We had versions where we wanted Hugh Jackman in there, we wanted all kinds of cameos from different people, but it just becomes a big mess for the studio.
"We went through such hell developing the script and which X-Men we could keep and which we couldn’t and it just turned into a nightmare. The studio would just say, ‘too expensive, too expensive, too expensive’ to everyone. So finally we were like well, ‘what about Negasonic Teenage Warhead’ and they said, ‘Negasonic, what?'"
So the tradeoff for getting an R-rated Deadpool -- which is the only way to go -- was using Negasonic Teenage Warhead in the film instead of, say, Wolverine (although his image certainly shows up). I suppose that's a fair exchange. But Miller admitted that they tried floating a PG-13 version, too, to see if that would get the studio to give them the green light:
"At one point I asked if a PG-13 would move the needle and then they let me do a more sanitized version of the script. We lost a few ‘f—s’ and we lost a few sexual references. But we didn’t have to adjust the violence at all. Wolverine is stabbing people with swords on his hands and that’s happily PG-13."
Miller also acknowledged why Fox was so hesitant about this R-rated, raunchy superhero movie: Reynolds' career had taken a beating with Green Lantern and Miller himself had never directed a feature before. But neither of them gave up, and as Miller himself added, "It’s a particular confluence of momentum and money and talent that leads to any movie getting made."
That confluence finally happened, and now, years later and with a record-breaking $150 million opening weekend's box office in the bank, it's chimichangas for everyone. Are you bummed that Wolverine and Taskmaster didn't make it into Deadpool? Should the filmmakers get a bigger budget and add more X-Men for Deadpool 2?