Deadpool is a comic book movie that was a passion project for everyone involved. This meant making a superhero movie on a very small budget—and one slashed at the last second at that. A bunch of characters and scenes got the ax for budgetary reasons, but know we know everything that almost made it into the movie.
Some minor spoilers follow!
In the comics, Patch is the bartender who hands out mercenary assignments at the Hellhouse bar. For the movie, Weasel took on that job as well as his snarking one. Writer Paul Wernick explained to Cinemablend, “Weasel basically assumed Patch’s behind the bar job. A lot of it had to do with consolidating and budget and making sure that we focused on fewer characters and fewer scenes.”
In the movie, Ajax is the Big Bad behind the experiments that turned Wade Wilson into Deadpool. In the comics, he worked for Dr. Killebrew, which makes sense. Mad doctors abound in Marvel, and it makes far more sense for one to be doing these experiments than Ajax, who is the Swiss Army Knife of villains in Deadpool—he does experiments, he sells people, he fights, he kidnaps them, etc. Originally, Killebrew was supposed to be revealed as the true mastermind at the end of the movie, but Wernick said in the same Cinemablend interview that it was both the need to have a single core bad guy and budgetary concerns that fueled this cut.
In the comics, Kane is another product of the Weapon X program that produced Deadpool. He was originally in the movie, but was cut because his robot arms were a budget breaker. Directer Tim Miller told Empire:
In the original script the action in the third act was great, but it was just Deadpool and a lot of guns. One of my notes early on was that I wanted to see more superhero stuff. We had Garrison Kane in there for a while, but in the final round of budget cuts we had to take him out, because he was a pretty expensive dude. He’s got these bionic arms that change shape; he would have been a visual effect for a large part of the movie. And as it turned out, a visual effect too far.
Miller wanted more superhero fighting in the third act, and the script included it for a while. In addition to Garrison Kane, the villains Sluggo and Wire were slated to appear. Writer Rhett Reese told us that Kane, Sluggo, and Wire’s roles were all condensed and given to Angel Dust, played by Gina Carano.
In an earlier version of the script, Cannonball was Colossus’ young X-Men partner. That part was reworked to be given to the very minor character Negasonic Teenage Warhead. In the Empire Film Podcast (via Indiewire), Ryan Reynolds said that getting even two X-Men was a nightmare:
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?”
Miller had another explanation, which was that Cannonball would have “been a stupid hick character.” Negasonic, on the other hand, opened up the realm of deadpan teenagers to the writers.
In the same podcast, Reynolds said that they had originally wanted to have Taskmaster, the mercenary with the ability to instantly replicate the physical skills of anyone he sees, in the film. This would have probably been a brilliant fight sequence and had mercenaries on both sides of the line. But, as Reynolds said:
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.
Since Taskmaster has no abilities that need particular special effects—other than the usual hand-to-hand combat stuff—the expense had to be in a) the character rights, since Taskmaster is in the hands of Marvel now and b) just the general expense of a big fight sequence.
As we mention above, Reese told us that the last second cut of seven million dollars from the budget, which meant losing nine pages of action from the script:
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.
If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know that both of these cuts resulted in moments where Deadpool the character had to act as efficiently as Deadpool the movie was with its budget. Deadpool doesn’t chase Ajax, but he manages to cut him off by throwing his sword into the spokes of the motorcycle’s tire. And Deadpool has to sneak around instead of going in guns blazing at the end of the film.
In the comics, Bob is an incompetent Hydra agent that is an occasional sidekick to Deadpool.S ince Disney and Marvel own the rights to Hydra, Bob was not available to the writers of Deadpool. So a different Bob shows up. Wernick explained to Cinemablend, “That’s why he’s just called Bob. The hardcore fans will go, ‘Oh my God, is that Hydra Bob?’ but the lawyers at Marvel won’t go, ‘Wait, that’s Hydra Bob, they don’t have the rights to it.’”
At the end of the day, Ryan Reynolds was probably right when he said, “We don’t have the kind of money that most superhero movies do, but that’s great, actually. Necessity is the mother of invention, and that’s why we get to make the movie we want to make.” Deadpool is a streamlined film, possibly to the point of being too simple. But when you see all the things they just couldn’t afford, it makes the success that much more impressive.
Images from 20th Century Fox.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.