It takes a lot of talent to get a movie across the finish line and into cinemas. And the story of how Deadpool made it to the silver screen is truly a modern miracle. Interestingly, in the film’s darkest hour of development hell, two people surprisingly pushed it at Fox harder than anyone else: David Fincher and James Cameron.
Hindsight is a beautiful thing. If Fox knew that they were going to make $770 million from the worldwide box office of a film, they would have been all over it from the word go. But Deadpool took its time to be made, met with a little bit of heel dragging at the studio, who at one stage green lit a PG-13 version of the script.
But we got Deadpool in all his glory, with a wonderfully large R-Rated sticker on the poster (and soon to be DVD box). In a recent interview with IGN, the film’s co-screenwriter Rhett Reese says it had some unlikely help getting there, which makes its Cinderella-with-a-lot-more-swearing story to the big screen all the more glorious.
The involvement of David Fincher and James Cameron
When talking about Fincher and Cameron’s involvement, Reese says “They read the script each of them at two independent key moments during the script’s development. And each one of them was kind enough to go to 20th Century Fox and essentially throw in their good word just saying ‘Hey, what are you guys doing with Deadpool? You should be making this!’”
Speaking about how both men contributing independently, he continues, “David was a help before Jim and he was just kind of nudging along the way. And then Jim ultimately weighed in in a key decision node moment and got Fox to free up some money to try a PG-13 draft at the time – that was not Jim’s idea, that was Fox’s idea. But I think a project that is dormant often just suffers from neglect, and I think having those powerful people weigh in at certain times just lodged with Fox and I think it had a cumulative effect more than anything.”
I love how you can always tell who is in Cameron’s good books by the fact they call him Jim.
Adding to the tale, Deadpool’s director Tim Miller said ““First of all they’re probably mad at me for ever having… because that was never intended to be public knowledge! Listen – the industry listens to tastemakers and you could not find two gentlemen who have better taste in what should become a movie or be made into a movie and so I just thought that maybe they could help push the boulder up the hill a little bit, which they kindly did.”
Whether or not this was meant to be put out there, it’s genuinely nice to know that guys like Fincher and Cameron have their fingers on the pulse and are looking out for creative risks like Deadpool.