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 famous saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.” This is very true when it comes to making films, as filmmakers are constrained by the budget of their film as to what they can actually do in their movies. You might want to have an epic battle sequence, but if you only have money in the budget for a small fight scene, 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 money). We’ve seen how budget concerns have dramatically affected the plotlines of films over the years, from the Ghostbusters going from a team of inter-dimensional time travelers to being “just” regular Ghostbusters to Marty McFly going from traveling to the future in an atomic bomb explosion to traveling to the future in a DeLorean. Budget had a similar impact on one of 2016’s biggest films, the surprise blockbuster, Deadpool, which saw major scenes and characters altered simply due to budget cutbacks, including one of the most memorable scenes in the film, when Deadpool loses his bag full of guns right before the climactic battle.
Deadpool, in general, was not a property that a whole lot of film studios had any confidence in it becoming a successful film. Fox only had the film license to the character because another studio couldn’t get a Deadpool movie made. Luckily for the film, it had a star in Ryan Reynolds who had been dedicated to playing the role for over a decade before the film actually came out. Reynolds’ dedication to the project definitely helped sell the movie 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 that 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 in the film due to budget reasons. The film was originally written to have more action sequences, but when they were cut for budget reasons, they had to fill that time in the movie, 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 got his screen time increased, as they dropped a character who would have been Weasel’s boss at the bar that Wade hung out at.
Budget was also why they ended up with such a minor character like Negasonic Teenage Warhead, as Ryan 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 $7-8 million from their budget (more than a tenth of the film’s overall budget) right before work officially began on the movie.
Rhett Reese, one of the film’s screenwriters, told io9 how the last minute budget reduction resulted in three major changes. First off, Ajax had a few henchmen and those were condensed into just Gina Carano’s Angel Dust. Secondly, there was a big motorcycle chase sequence between Deadpool and Ajax that was cut. And finally, 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, though, 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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