Superhero fans have been flooding into theaters in the past few days to see the latest outing of the Merc with a Mouth as he teams up with Cable and the X-Force. There were certainly a lot more shocks and surprises and plot twists this time around. There are so many jaw-dropping and unexpected moments in the movie that we’re left with a lot to think about as the credits roll – or even as they roll, when the mid-credits scenes kick in. Here are 10 lingering questions on our minds from Deadpool 2 and their answers – and be warned that SPOILERS for the movie will follow.
10. Why did Deadpool only go back to save Peter?
One of the biggest shockers in Deadpool 2 was the fact that all the X-Force characters we’ve been geared up to spend “ten to twelve years” with in an expanding fictional universe were immediately killed as soon as the team was formed and they set out on their first mission. But then during the credits, Deadpool goes back to change all the shocking twists from the movie, including this one. However, the only one he saves is Peter. Why didn’t he save any of the rest of them? Well, Ryan Reynolds actually has a very good explanation for that. “I love that he just completely ignores this marquee cast that he could’ve saved of useful and wonderful superheroes, but instead went back and saved [Peter].” Sure, it’s funny, but why did he do it? “Here’s the thing…I always felt that it was important to save Peter, just because in the helicopter before we jump, I say to him, ‘I’d never let anything happen to you, sugar bear. I’m just saying this to impress the other guys.’ And we all jump out of the thing. So, I felt like that was a promise that Wade made early on in the movie, and it was nagging him, so he went back and got Peter.”
9. Did they really get all the X-Men in one room?
In one of the more meta gags in Deadpool 2, Deadpool finally asks Colossus, “Where is everybody?” since there only ever seems to be the same two X-Men at the X-Mansion, and then we see the entire new X-Men cast – James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters etc. – for just a second, all gathered in the same room, closing the door on old ‘Pool. So, how did that happen? Were all of those actors really in the same room just for that one shot? To be fair, they are all together shooting the next X-Men movie, Dark Phoenix, right now for the same studio and the same producers, so it’s no huge stretch of the imagination that they could’ve been available to do the shot. As David Leitch explains, it was very difficult to pull off. “It was filmed during production and it was logistically difficult for not the reasons that you’d think. They’re shooting Dark Phoenix. They’ve got the cast of Dark Phoenix. They’ve got to figure out how to get them all together and shoot a plate shot for us. So, we had already done our shot and set up our shot in the hallway. There’s a greenscreen in the door. We have all our camera angles and measurements and we need the plate to put behind there. So, it’s a visual effect. They’re not in the same room. So, thank God that Simon [Kinberg], one of the producers [of both Deadpool and Dark Phoenix], was shooting that movie and all the people are in one spot. We didn’t have them all in the same place, but it was like wrangling cats for a couple weeks to get it to happen.”
8. Who played Juggernaut?
The team behind Deadpool 2 did a better job of hiding all the twists and turns in their movie than J.J. Abrams could ever dream of. Yet another surprise twist that they hid from the world was the appearance of the classic X-Men character Juggernaut. The character had previously appeared on the big screen in the abysmal X-Men: The Last Stand, where he was played by Vinnie Jones, but according to writer Rhett Reese, he and the rest of the team felt that The Last Stand botched their depiction of the character in the same way that X-Men Origins: Wolverine botched the appearance of Deadpool. They decided to bring him in because they wanted to have a second villain who could assist Firefist in the boss battle at the end, and they picked Juggernaut because he’s “a force of nature [who] was probably the coolest character never to be used as of yet in the right way.” In the credits of the movie, you’ll see that Juggernaut is credited with having been played by “himself,” but of course that’s not true. The actor who did provide his voice and the motion capture performance that brought him to life will shock you – because it’s Ryan Reynolds!
7. Where did all that footage from the trailer go?
If you’re a diehard fan of either the X-Men movie franchise or the comics, then you probably spent a good chunk of the past year examining the Deadpool 2 posters and trailers, analyzing every single shot, every single frame, as you searched for clues and hints and details about the plot. You’ll remember that those trailers included a lot of action scenes involving characters like Bedlam and Shatterstar and Zeitgeist – action scenes that didn’t end up in the final movie, so what gives? Where was all that footage? According to writer Rhett Reese, it was all fake: “That day on set was the most fun we had, too, because the actors were very generous, and they were willing to shoot extra footage for marketing and for commercials. So, during the day, before we shot the helicopter jump, the skydiving shot, Terry [Crews] and Bill [Skarsgard] and the guys were all out back, like fighting stuntmen and getting shot against green screen, and knowing that it was all fake – it wasn’t going to go in the movie.” The trailer was jam packed with fake footage to get us all excited, all in the name of eventually shocking us into hysterical laughter. It turns out the rest of the team were only really there to introduce Domino’s powers of luck, since they were all so unlucky that they died during their first mission, while she survived without a scratch.
6. How did that Brad Pitt cameo happen?
In the split second that the Vanisher becomes visible as he is being killed by electrocution, you may have recognized the terrified face you saw as one of the biggest movie stars in the world. It was actually Brad Pitt, who shot his cameo late in the production process in just two hours, for which he was paid scale and a cup of a coffee. So, how the hell did that all come about? Well, as it turns out, Pitt was actually in the running to play Cable, and since he didn’t end up playing the biggest supporting character, he played the smallest supporting character instead, and appeared in just eight frames (a third of a second) of the movie. Director David Leitch explained, “I was ecstatic [about the Pitt cameo]. I couldn’t believe it. We had early talks with him about Cable – you remember the artwork was leaked and we had to pull it back from the internet. It was serious talks and I think he was really interested. He loves the universe and he loves Deadpool. But for whatever reason, it didn’t work out, and he kind of left the door open when we left that meeting, like, ‘If you guys ever need anything, give me a call, I’d love to be involved,’ and Ryan just said, ‘Oh, I have an idea.’ So, we started to think about what it could be and the Vanisher thing was perfect.”
5. What about the Matt Damon cameo?
You probably noticed Brad Pitt, since he was front and center for his brief appearance, with his face filling the whole frame, but you may not have noticed Matt Damon, because he was hidden under all kinds of prosthetics. You may be surprised to discover that he was actually one of those rednecks who are discussing different toilet paper brands when Cable travels back in time and takes their truck. This was the result of Ryan Reynolds and Matt Damon actually being close friends in real life. Director David Leitch explained, “The Matt one came from Ryan just having dinner with Matt and he was telling him about the gag and was like, ‘Would you want to do it?’ It was that simple. I don’t even know if Matt knew I was directing the movie at the time.” Apparently, Damon was in the makeup chair for three hours to make him unrecognizable – and even the crew who were there with him couldn’t recognize him. Leitch said, “We didn’t even tell the crew, his name wasn’t on the call sheet – it was a fake name. Nobody really knew what that scene was about, they were like, ‘Why are we shooting these two rednecks?’ We just didn’t tell anybody.”
4. Why no Stan Lee cameo?
Okay, while we’re speaking about cameos, let’s address how Stan Lee wasn’t in this one. He was a DJ at a strip club in the last one, so there might have been a high anticipation for what role he would play in this one. And then he was nowhere to be seen! But don’t speak too soon, because according to director David Leitch, there was a Stan Lee cameo appearance in the movie. He just didn’t appear in person for it. Leitch says, “There’s a Stan Lee cameo. There’s graffiti art as Domino is flying through the city. It’s a huge graffiti of Stan Lee as she’s flying past this building. It’s almost half the frame…well, actually a third of the frame. We’re always aware that you want to get a Stan Lee appearance in there, but it wasn’t his health that was the issue for us. It was more like what would work and what was the time and place, and our schedule was tight and things got away from us. So, by the time we were done with the movie, we were thinking where could we plug him in during reshoots.” Fair enough. And since this isn’t an MCU movie, there’s no prerequisite for a Stan Lee cameo. It’s not heresy not to have one.
3. Why doesn’t Cable use any of his mutant powers?
Cable is one of the most complex characters in the Marvel universe, with a backstory that is simply impossible to understand. Seriously, try to figure it out. Even if he had a whole movie to himself, you couldn’t get through the full Cable story. So, it makes sense that his supporting role in Deadpool 2 left out huge chunks of his character. As screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese have since explained, this was simply a case of condensing the character down so that we weren’t overloaded with new information. Wernick explained, “It could be a little overwhelming, I think, for a mainstream audience, so we wanted to keep it simple and relatable. You’ve got this time traveler from the future who’s trying to save his family, I think was the core of who Cable was in a Deadpool 2 movie.” But if he doesn’t use any of his mutant powers in the movie, does that mean he’s not a mutant in the movie universe? “I think it is a little of an open question,” Reese said. “We’re going to explore Cable more moving forward, we just didn’t want to overload it. We did have versions of the script where he was using telekinesis, and it just became – suddenly he was Force-hurling stuff, it felt like Star Wars. We just decided to dial it back. Let’s keep it about technology. Let’s not overwhelm the audience.”
2. Is Vanessa really dead?
One of the biggest shocks in Deadpool 2 comes when the Merc with a Mouth’s soulmate Vanessa is shot dead, right after they’ve decided to start trying for a baby. It’s tragic and totally out of the blue (well, not that out of the blue – the writing’s on the wall as soon as she’s decided she wants to start a family). The death scene has been criticized by many comic book fans as a textbook example of “fridging” – where female characters are killed off for no reason other than to advance a male character’s plot or development. But then during the mid-credits sequence, Deadpool goes back in time to the night she was killed and saves her life, so is that canon? Did that really happen or was it just a gag? Ryan Reynolds says, “We’re still sort of figuring all that stuff out. But I would assume that Vanessa is alive and well. But that’s not something we’ve all really totally dug into. Right now, that’s just my sort of Monday morning quarterback spot.” So, basically, the producers have not yet determined if she’s really dead yet or if they’ll do a twist later where she somehow comes back or maybe they’ll just leave it where Wade went back in time and saved her, so she’s alive, even though that would really screw up the timeline and radically undo the events of Deadpool 2 (if the self-aware franchise even takes that stuff seriously). But either way, Vanessa in the comics later becomes a mercenary herself under the name Copycat, so many fans were hoping that would eventually happen – and who knows, maybe it will.
1. Why did they kill off the entire X-Force?!?
One of the ballsiest plot moves in Deadpool 2 is the killing off of the entire X-Force, save for Deadpool, Cable, and Domino. They introduce all these beloved characters from the comics who finally make it to the big screen, played by famous actors like Terry Crews and Bill Skarsgard, and then kill them off almost immediately in a completely unceremonious manner. Writer Paul Wernick admitted to being worried about what the fan response would be to the killing of all the X-Force, but said that he does stand by the decision to do it, because it is something you would never see in any other superhero movie. “[We were] absolutely terrified [of the fans’ reaction]. These are characters that childhoods grow up on. So, the idea that Shatterstar just jumps out of a plane and dies, then yeah. But our test with Deadpool is, if you couldn’t do it in another superhero movie, then you should do it in Deadpool. It’s like we’re given the license to push the boundaries and it’s a boundary we definitely worry about. It’s shocking and crazy and funny and we built our whole marketing campaign around these guys. People are coming to the movie thinking these guys are gonna team up and be part of this X-Force and, in an instant, they’re all dead! Comedy trumped better judgment.”