Spoilers for Deadpool 2 follow below.
The one aspect of Deadpool 2 that everyone seems to be in agreement about is the film’s post credits scene. Given that this is a movie that involves time travel, the idea of Deadpool stealing Cable’s time travel device and going back in time to “fix” various things was a brilliant idea, and then doubling down by having Deadpool go back and “fix” the worst X-Men movie—X-Men Origins: Wolverine—was a stroke of genius.
So when we spoke to Ryan Reynolds and director David Leitch about the film, we wanted to dig deep into the Deadpool 2 post credits scene. How did it come about, and were there any other ideas that were scrapped or abandoned? Luckily, Reynolds and Leitch were more than happy to discuss this topic at length, revealing quite a few different iterations that were considered.
But first, let’s talk about the post credits scene that exists in the movie. In speaking with Collider’s own Steve Weintraub, Reynolds revealed the time travel idea came from David Leitch:
“Well, it was initially how we always do stuff. I mean everything we do in Deadpool is a collaboration. It’s not one person that sort of leads the charge; it’s just this super great team of people that huddle up. I think it was Dave Leitch that suggested, ‘Hey what if we just did a funny little tag where we saved Vanessa and where Deadpool sort of steals Cable’s time travel device and saves Vanessa?’ And then we all sort of debated back and forth, and then from there, we started saying, ‘Well, fuck it, if we’re gonna save Vanessa, why don’t we go back and fix X-Men Origins: Wolverine?’ And then it was, ‘If we’re gonna do that, let’s save Peter.’ ‘If we’re gonna do that, let’s blow Ryan Reynolds’ head off.’ It was a lot of fun.
Reynolds says there were alternate versions of the X-Men Origins scene that were shot, and that the Peter scene was created in post-production:
“I had the most fun shooting the X-Men Origins: Wolverine stuff, just cause I did a bunch of different versions and hopefully they’ll show up on the [Blu-ray], where I’m begging him to come out of retirement, and I’m saying all kinds of different things to him. But yeah, those were a ton of fun to shoot. The Peter one we sort of cheated, because we reshot Peter’s part of it, where I tell him to go away, but we just used other footage from earlier with Deadpool up on top of the billboard and I just re-looped with the new information.”
As for whether it was tough to get these scenes approved, especially using footage from X-Men Origins which necessitated a greenlight from Fox and Hugh Jackman’s go-ahead to use his likeness, Leitch says it was no trouble at all:
“Honestly everyone was really supportive. The love for Ryan and for Deadpool, the whole comedy aspect of Deadpool—it’s so beloved, there’s a lot of goodwill. The studio was really supportive and Hugh was obviously game to play with Ryan and with us, so it was easy to get that footage. The studio was fine making fun of Origins, they were like, ‘Go ahead.’… It’s really cathartic for comic book fans, and for Ryan!”
But X-Men Origins wasn’t the first idea the Deadpool 2 filmmakers had for the post credits scenes. It was revealed last week that one post credits scene was shot which showed Deadpool going back in time to approach Baby Hitler, and Leitch confirms this was his original idea:
“That was my original one that I wanted to do, he’s like, ‘Why don’t you go back in time and kill Baby Hitler?’ in the movie, and then he actually steals the time travel device and goes back in time and saves Baby Hitler and Vanessa, and we were like, ‘Well what else could we fix?’ So we shot the Baby Hitler scene, and I think it’s great.”
But Leitch says this post credits scene left it ambiguous as to whether Deadpool actually killed Baby Hitler or if he saved him:
“I disagree [that it went too far], and I heard that too from some of our creatives… I’m not upset about it, I just think that people laughed. It’s like when somebody tells a joke that’s a little bit disturbing, but you still laugh… It’s left open-ended. It’s the baby’s POV and you see him [come towards the camera], and you don’t know, he might be picking up the baby and cradling him… But we don’t know. You leave it to your imagination.”