**Spoilers ahead** “Fox told me a number. They said, ‘Here’s where the budget needs to be if we’re gonna do this as an R-rated film.’ The number had to start with a four. And then it was up to the point where the senior execs at Fox were looking at it. [Fox chairman] Tom Rothman just said, ‘No. We don’t get it.’ Tom told me, ‘Love your passion but I just don’t care for the script. Don’t get it,’” “Deadpool” director Tim Miller told EW about trying to get his movie off the ground. Luckily, Fox was finally convinced to make the movie [Rothman is now at Sony], and not only did the superfans love it, so did everyone else, with the movie breaking all sorts of box-office records. However, in the years of development, the script went through many versions, and Ryan Reynolds reveals that different characters from the Marvel-verse were in the mix at various points.
“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,” the actor told Empire in their spoiler podcast.
It would seem that fitting a character that’s been PG-13 into an R-rated “Deadpool” might’ve been tricky, but the Taskmaster tease is interesting. That character is also a mercenary, and would’ve served as an interesting counterpoint and foe for Deadpool. Overall, the process of landing on the final screenplay and figuring out who they could include on a budget was a difficult one.
“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,” Reynolds said. “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?’ “
Lack of recognition or not, the gamble worked, and now the job is looking at Deadpool’s bright future. One thing that Reynolds has already said he wants to do is an “X-Force” movie, while he also mentions Cable, who is teased in the “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off“-inspired post-credit sequence in “Deadpool,” and has already been talked up as a must-have character down the line.
“I think the natural progression is Cable, ‘X-Force,’ hopefully. I’d like see ‘X-Force’ to be rated R as well and have the flexibility to do that stuff. If ‘Deadpool’ does what they want it to do [financially], it affords you that ability to do that,” he said.
And don’t think an R-rated “X-Force” is out of the question. “I think there are some stories that could be R-rated. I don’t know what they are, I mean I think the mainline X-Men movies have their own tone, which is a more operatic tone. It’s more dramatic, it is more PG-13 in a way. ‘X-Force’ I could see being R-rated, and who knows?” producer Simon Kinberg told Collider.
As for “Deadpool 2,” it’s moving right along. “We are on a script, we are well into a script,” Reynolds said.
Listen to the actor’s full talk with Empire below.