When you're trying to get a risky comic-book movie made, it sometimes helps to have influential friends.
That's what Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, the screenwriters for Deadpool, revealed in a new interview with Collider. Wernick and Reese are part of the team, along with director Tim Miller and star Ryan Reynolds, who pushed to make Deadpool for more than half a decade, with the movie finally getting the green light from executives at 20th Century Fox last year.
But even though the writers say that the decision was a result of basically having the right executives in charge at the right time in terms of getting the movie made, Reese also admitted that a couple of filmmaking heavy hitters offered their support as well:
"We had some angels on our shoulder too, this movie had some very quiet unsung heroes. One of them was Jim Cameron, who’s a friend of Tim Miller, and read the script at a key moment a few years back. He said he would read it and we were like, [Sarcastically] ‘Oh yeah, he will read it.’ And literally he read it that night and got back to us the next morning.
"...he went to (Fox chairman) Jim Gianopulos and he got it on the radar in a really big way. David Fincher was another guy who was a big help for us, he’s also a friend of Tim’s, and he loved the script and he pushed forward with the executives at certain key moments. Having guys like Fincher and Cameron pushing certainly didn’t hurt and we very well might not be sitting here if it hadn’t been for those two guys."
While the efforts of the main creative team, who never gave up on the movie, have to be lauded (especially if it turns out as awesome as that first trailer), there's no question that having a director or two who are lodged in the upper echelons of the A-list in your corner can go a long way.
Just how valuable can that support be? Here's an example of the typical way that studios think, as related by Reese:
"One of the lowest moments was when we turned in the script on the day The Avengers came out, a Friday, and The Avengers made what, over 200 and some million dollars opening weekend? And we thought for sure, ‘How do you read this script as an executive on that particular weekend and not greenlight this Monday morning?’ and instead we got the word on Monday morning that Fox was gonna kind of rethink, given the success of The Avengers, rethink Deadpool possibly within the context of an ensemble as opposed to by himself, and we just went, ‘Ugh!’ So that was a low moment."
That's studio groupthink for you: If something makes a crapload of money, then let's make everything else exactly like it whether it works or not.
Luckily Deadpool avoided that trap, thanks to its core team and support at key moments from a couple of filmmaking heavyweights. If you're a Deadpool fan and you ever bump into James Cameron or David Fincher on the street, you might want to shake their hands.
Deadpool is out in theaters Feb. 12, 2016.