When director Tim Miller and producer Simon Kinberg brought “Deadpool” to the big screen, they essentially looked at the conventions of superhero movies and, in the spirit of Wade Wilson, said “F— it.” And while they were required to remain coy about their sequel plans in the days before the official announcement was revealed, in a discussion with CBR News, the pair certain hinted that the same sensibility will dominate any follow-ups.
Promoting the upcoming home video release of the off-kilter X-Franchise film phenom (which debuts on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital download May 10), the filmmakers discussed a wide-range of topics related to the Merc With a Mouth, including their surprised reaction to the whopping extent of the film’s success. The duo also provided some hints at what comic book territory they may be interested in exploring further, and if they think Marvel’s big-screen heroes may ever throw down with their mutant cousins in 20th Century Fox‘s X-Men cinematic universe.
CBR News: You’ve said you weren’t entirely prepared for the massive success that this movie achieved.
Tim Miller: Or at all.
Tell me when that full impact of that hit you. When did you realize, “Oh, my God — I think we’re a phenomenon!”
Miller: Saturday morning, having breakfast with my wife. You start to get the texts and see what it’s doing. It was pretty unbelievable. Honestly, I’m not a very excitable person, so I didn’t run around screaming. It felt more unbelievable. It still feels unbelievable.
There’s not a day that goes by that 99% of the day, I still feel like that I am hoping to be a filmmaker someday that makes a successful film. And then I go, “Oh wait a second — I made at least one.” It’s a surprise every time.
Simon Kinberg: Yeah, it was opening weekend for me. I was actually in the middle of working. I was up in Montreal doing — it wasn’t even pickups actually; it was a scene that we planned on shooting later for “X-Men: Apocalypse.”
Miller: Somebody should publish these texts — Simon texting me: “Holy shit! Holy fucking shit!”
Kinberg: I know, I know. The whole weekend seems kind of surreal, because the numbers we anticipated — you have tracking, and going into the weekend, we were nervously excited that we would do [well]. My hope really was that we would gross in our opening weekend what our budget was, which was $50-ish million. I think we did that in the first day or thereabouts. Then it just all felt surreal.
The R-rated aspect of the success is something that people really picked up on. It now seems like something can and probably will be applied to other comic book and superhero projects. Tell me how much of a game-changer it feels like at this point — especially how you might apply it to the “X” franchise in particular.
Kinberg: I think it does change the way that studios approach the notion of doing a bigger budgeted R-rated movie, [and] not just in the superhero genre. My hope is that, having grown up on “Terminator,” and “Lethal Weapon,” and “Beverly Hills Cop,” and “Die Hard” and the “Alien” movies — like, all my favorite movies growing up, the majority of them are R-rated. So I do think it’s going to change, it’s going to make it a little easier. It won’t take every movie ten years of fight to get green-lit.
In terms of the “X-Men” movies, I think there’s some titles within the “X-Men” universe where it’s appropriate, exactly appropriate, to do R-rated. There’s some titles that actually make more sense as a PG-13. Like, “New Mutants” to me should be a PG-13 movie, and “Wolverine” is something that we’ve always talked about potentially as an R-rated movie. We started talking about, well before “Deadpool” came out, and committed to making the next “Wolverine” R-rated before the success of “Deadpool.” It’s something Hugh Jackman’s always wanted to do, and Jim Mangold wanted to do.
There’s some that want to be PG-13, there’s some that want to be R. It’s just, now we’re in a universe, probably, where we can more easily convinced the studio, or any studio, to go R when the material warrants it.
As you think about Deadpool’s corner of the universe, obviously Cable’s on the table for a sequel. What are some of the things in that Deadpool mythology that get you excited about potential for future movies?
Kinberg: We’re not allowed to talk about the sequel. But obviously, Cable we mention in the tag of this “Deadpool,” and he’s a character we all really dig.
Miller: “Deadpool kills the Marvel Universe.” I love that. There’s an arc. There’s a story.
Are you at a point where everybody’s a lot more willing to play in each other’s sandboxes? Can you see, let’s say, a Deadpool/Spider-Man movie? Or a Wolverine/Captain America movie? Are we ready for these sort of cross-studio encounters?
Miller: I’m ready for it, but the studios are not ready for it.
Kinberg: We would love it. I mean, Tim and I talked about it quite a bit. We grew up on comics that did it all the time, quite freely. Not just within the Marvel Universe, but outside the Marvel Universe. So it’d be rad to see it. Those decisions are made by people at a much higher part of the food chain than Tim and I — we just go execute it.
But yeah, we would love it, and we certainly each have a really good relationship with Kevin Feige. Maybe one day there’s a sit-down, “Godfather”-style dinner where we could broker a deal. It’d be cool.
Miller: I honestly can say, as an adult who works in this industry, you certainly can see all the reasons why it doesn’t happen. The corporate inertia, just the lawyering of that deal alone is so daunting that I don’t think anybody would seriously consider it.
But as a fan, you just want to go, “Fuck man! Why can’t I see that?” Because that’s what I got in comic books. What’s more, they had DC/Marvel crossover events that were just stupendous. On a creative level, you just want to say that comic books is just a huge world. I read Marvel, and I read DC, and I read Image, and I read small independent publishers. I’ve got a “Goon” comic book from Dark Horse. I love all of that stuff. To me, it’s all one big world.
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