Reshoots have now become the norm with Hollywood blockbusters.
While extra days of production were previously seen as a sure-fire sign that a film was in trouble, studios now use them to expand characters and elements that test audiences have really responded to.
“Deadpool 2” was no exception. I recently had the chance to talk with its director David Leitch, who told me what really went on during the extra days of shooting.
“We shot really close to the script. And at the end of the day, when we cut the initial film together, and we screened it, we landed in really great numbers and the audience had a great response to it. But we had time to polish a couple of things. And the will of the creative team to do it, too.”
“We went on to refine our joke paths. We had a lot of alts in the can to play with. And we needed to buff out the convoy sequence, because we had left out a few days of photography that we weren’t able to complete. Then in doing that we got to make the scene with Cable and the convoy bigger.”
It was clearly quite a collaborative and open shoot even during principle photography, though. Because when I spoke to Rob Delaney about his role as Peter the comedian admitted that he was asked to stay on for more and more scenes after just one day of filming.
“At the end of the first day, I think it was Ryan who said it first, he went, ‘I wish this guy did a little more.’ And I was like, ‘Hahaha. Great. So do I. But that’s not going to happen.’ And then the next day the writers were like, ‘That’s great stuff.’ And then David Leitch and people from Fox were like, ‘Let’s keep you on for a few more days’.”
“So it did become this thing where the role of Peter became larger. Which was a dream come true. Even as I say that out loud I am like, ‘Wow! What a lucky kid that happened to.’ And now I’m like, ‘No wait, that was me.’”
Delaney went on to provide even detail on how the part grew even after filming. “I don’t think anyone thought Peter would be a big deal. But they were pleasantly surprised to the reception to Peter in the screenings.”
“So I think they decided to lean on him in some of the trailers. Which was fine with me. But they definitely weren’t sitting around 2 years ago going, ‘OK, so we are going to make a film. It is going to be about Deadpool and then Peter a close second. Mostly about Deadpool but also about this character Peter who we are about to give birth to.’ I think it was just a pleasant surprise.”
As you’d expect, Delaney was overjoyed at the reaction. “I never thought it would happen. So I was just excited. It was funny, because when the trailer came out, people were like, ‘That’s not you. Guess what Rob, this is silly, but there is a guy that looks like you in the trailer for ‘Deadpool 2’.”
“Then people thought that I wasn’t really in it. And that it was a gimmick. But a gimmick for what? Having someone 1/500ths as famous as any film star in ‘Deadpool 2’. But I guess that people organically respond to Peter. Even though I don’t want to admit it because I am extremely humble.”
After a bit more probing, Rob gave his theory behind the viral success of Peter. “I mean, if I am really going to unpack why people like Peter, I think it might be because, you know, everyone wonders what it would be like to be a superhero.”
“So it is fun to see normal people interact with superheroes. But I think in some of the other superhero films they would be like, ‘Well that’s just not sensible. We are trying to save the day here’.”
“Where in ‘Deadpool’ they are trying not to be sensible. So they can make some schmuck, i.e. Peter, and really take it to the normal. That wouldn’t make it past a few drafts in a normal superhero film.”
You can finally see if Peter really does steal “Deadpool 2” when it is released on Friday May 18.