MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Deadpool lost his gun bag in “Deadpool” because budget cuts forced the filmmakers to cut out the scene where the character used the guns.
As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” That’s particularly true when it comes filmmaking, where directors and producers are constrained by a budget as to what they can actually do. You may want to have an epic battle sequence, but if you don’t have the money in the buget, you have to go with a small fight scene (or, of course, try to invent a new way to depict an epic battle sequence for less cash). We’ve previously seen how budget concerns have dramatically affected the plotlines, from the Ghostbusters going from a team of inter-dimensional time travelers to being “regular” Ghostbusters to Marty McFly going from traveling to the future in an atomic bomb explosion to taking a ride in a DeLorean.
Budget had a similar impact on one of this year’s biggest films, the surprise blockbuster “Deadpool,” which saw major scenes and characters altered due to cutbacks, including one of the most memorable sequences in the film, when the Merc With a Mouth loses his bag full of guns right before the climactic battle.
Not many studios had confidence that Marvel’s Deadpool property could become a successful film. In fact, Fox only had the right to the character because another studio couldn’t get a movie made. However, the project had at least one thing going for it: star Ryan Reynolds, who had been devoted to playing the role for more than a decade before the film actually came out. His dedication definitely helped to sell “Deadpool” to Fox, but in the end, the budget was relatively modest for a superhero action film.
The reduced budget meant making some difficult decisions with the script. One character the filmmakers could not afford was Garrison Kane, Wade “Deadpool” Wilson’s fellow Department H subject who was briefly known as Weapon X. “Deadpool” director 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.
Morena Baccarin’s Vanessa also saw an increased role due to the budget. The film was originally written to have more action sequences, but when they were cut for financial reasons, they had to fill that time, so they gave more scenes between Wade and Vanessa. For instance, a good chunk of their interactions over Wade’s illness were originally handled in Wade fighting his way to a doctor in Mexico to try to find a cure, with Vanessa nowhere in sight. TJ Miller’s Weasel also received increase screen time, as the producers dropped a character who would have been Weasel’s boss at the bar where Wade hung out..
Budget was also why they ended up with such a minor character like Negasonic Teenage Warhead, as Reynolds recalled to Empire:
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?”
However, even after making all of those budget-inspired decisions, the filmmakers were then stunned when the studio cut another $7 million to $8 million from their budget (more than one-tenth of the overall budget) right before production began.
Rhett Reese, one of the film’s screenwriters, told io9 how the last-minute budget reduction resulted in three major changes. First, Ajax’s henchmen were condensed into just Gina Carano’s Angel Dust. Second, there was a big motorcycle chase sequence between Deadpool and Ajax that was cut. Finally, and most importantly, there was a big action scene at the end of the film that involved Deadpool using all of the guns in his gun bag. That was eliminated entirely, with the explanation in the film being the hilariously memorable scene where Deadpool just forgets his gun bag in the cab on the way to the final battle.
As Reese noted, however the reduced budget ended up being a blessing in disguise:
The script was very efficient and not too long. That was a function of budget more than anything, but I think it really made the movie pace nicely.
The gun bag scene was great, so I think it certainly worked there.
The legend is …
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