By now, we all know that Deadpool was a massive hit. But when the film was in development, it was far from a sure thing. For years, star Ryan Reynolds, director Tim Miller, and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick worked to convince 20th Century Fox that an R-rated superhero movie with a wise-ass protagonist was a solid investment, and they finally succeeded last year. However, even though Fox greenlit the film, they still hedged their bets by moving forward on a much smaller budget than most superhero films. Apparently the budget was so low that there was no room to have the writers on set during production, so Reynolds took matters into his own hands.
Speaking on AMC’s Geeking Out (via /Film), the screenwriters revealed that Reynolds paid to have them on set out of his own pocket:
“We were on set every day. Interestingly, Ryan wanted us there, we were on the project for six years. It was really a core creative team of us, Ryan, and the director Tim Miller. Fox, interestingly, wouldn’t pay for us to be on set. Ryan Reynolds paid out of his own money, out of his own pocket.”
It’s rare in Hollywood to see the same creative team remain on a project that’s stuck in development for as long as Deadpool, especially the screenwriters. In most cases, the studio brings in new writer after new writer to see if they can move the script more towards something they feel comfortable greenlighting. In the case of Deadpool, Reese and Wernick were the screenwriters from Day One, and clearly Reynolds felt it was important to have them involved while production was taking place.
While Fox hasn’t yet set a release date for Deadpool 2, we know that Reese and Wernick are once again penning the screenplay, Miller is returning to direct, and Reynolds is starring. That’s a great start, and one imagines this time around, Reynolds won’t have to pony up to have Reese and Wernick on set.