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We Need to Talk About That ‘Deadpool 2’ Credits Scene

The Merc with a Mouth is back, and he's making even more money this time around. Yes, friends, Deadpool 2 shot into theaters this weekend to the tune of $125 million at the domestic box office. That wasn’t quite enough to beat its predecessor's $132.4 million opening, but it’s still pretty damn good for an R-rated comic book film—and powerful enough to unseat Avengers: Infinity War from the top spot.

Why is Deadpool 2 kicking so much ass? Because, as WIRED's own Angela Watercutter pointed out in her review, it manages to improve on the original. Deadpool one-liners that Ryan Reynolds reworked to perfection, a lot of fabulousness from Zazie Beetz as Domino, and cameos from Matt Damon and Brad Pitt—it’s full of wonderful surprises and more laughs than anyone can count. It is, in other words, a good time at the movies.

Yet everyone likes the latest Deadpool movie for different reasons. Some like Josh Brolin’s Cable, some like the perfectly choreographed action scenes, others are just here for the LOLs. Now that the film has been unleashed on the public and we can have a spoiler-filled discussion without feeling guilty about it, WIRED assembled an X-Force of writers and editors—Peter Rubin, Angela Watercutter, and Carter Melrose—to hash out the movie's best moments. Grab a chimichanga and join us, won’t you?

Angela Watercutter, Senior Associate Editor: There are so many things about this movie I want to discuss with you guys. And yet when I went back to look at my notes from the screening, I realized it’s just a lot of me trying to scribble down jokes and exclamations like “One-Eyed Willie joke!” Not very helpful. So, I’ll start with a question: Did you guys have any favorite scenes or bits? I really liked the gangster-killing montage at the beginning set to Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5.” And for some reason, Deadpool telling Cable, “You’re so dark. Are you sure you’re not from the DC universe?” cracked me up. So did anything with Blind Al (Leslie Uggams). What about you guys?

Peter Rubin, Platforms Editor: I admit to feeling a little cold for the first major chunk of the movie. It’s not that it wasn’t funny, or irreverent, or all the things that the original Deadpool was, it’s that it was exactly all the things that the original Deadpool was. And this time around, all those moves had diminishing returns. The same credits sequence that replaced writer and performer names with in-jokes seemed lazier this time around; Wade Wilson’s exploding body sending a disembodied bird-flipping hand tumbling toward the camera felt hackneyed and a little tryhard. Even Deadpool’s early rampage through the underworld left me cold, despite the Dolly Parton.

But then X-Force came around! I admit to not having kept up with the production of the movie, so wasn’t fully aware that they’d be building an ensemble for the franchise’s future, but I was on board from jump. Part of that was the way they applied the movie’s gleeful nihilism to the building-a-team trope, part of it was the blink-or-you’ll-miss-them dispatching of Shatterstar and The Vanisher—that’s my kind of Brad Pitt cameo!—but the biggest part was how the new blood made the movie feel urgent for the first time. (OK, and the action sequences that were constructed around Domino’s super-#blessed untouchability. More of that intricate chaos, please.)

So while the movie experience was very much a tale of two halves, I walked out feeling better about the result than I would have expected—and even more so about where Fox can go with this. My real question, though, is: can that last? Will X-Force be enough to sell tickets? Can the new gang feel fresh enough that the nascent X-Force won’t become just a biannual edition of Hard-R Mad Libs?

Carter Melrose, Writer: I agree on the pre-X-Force portion of the movie: it was just Deadpool being reshot and retold. But this now-team-driven Deadpool seemed a bit out of character for me. Wasn’t the point of his character to be a lone wolf? Someone who doesn’t want to join the X-Men, who doesn’t want to team up? But as the original roster met its end in various gruesome ways, I started to realize that maybe it was all just a plot device. The dead wife, the misunderstood child straight out of Looper—all of it a ploy in order to throw shots at the Avengers and X-Men, to hold the juggernaut franchises accountable for their team-up-for-profit business model. That was something I could get behind. Then again, I felt cheated by it too: If Deadpool is only a comedy, then don’t try to play my heartstrings. If it wants to be more, then it shouldn’t willfully undercut every emotional scene with a joke.

Watercutter: But Peter, I want a biannual edition of Hard-R Mad Libs!

OK, fine. Point taken. The novelty of heroes who say “fuck” can’t last forever. To answer your question, I think this can have legs if future installments flesh out characters like Domino (give Zazie her own movie!) or the Deadpool movies can get integrated into the larger X-Universe. Both X-Men: Dark Phoenix and New Mutants are coming next year, and if those storylines reference Deadpool 2, or even bring in characters from the film, then I think that will give the X-Force a little more gravitas. The mutant-torturing thread in Russell’s (Julian Dennison) storyline seems like it could tie in easily with New Mutants, which is about young people with abilities being held at a secret facility. Meanwhile, the time-traveling, timeline-fixing mid-credits scene—which was amazing, BTW—seemed like it was setting up something related to Dark Phoenix, since it’s set in the 1990s. The joke has always been that the studio won’t pay to put the big X-Men in the Deadpool movies, but it would be great to see Deadpool (or his X-Force cohorts) in X-Men films, which seems possible after that sight-gag in this movie showing that room full of the most recent crop of mutants.

Melrose: Would putting Deadpool in crossover films cheat other franchises? Since the whole point of his character is to constantly point out how it’s just a movie. I don’t think a one-liner like “that’s just lazy writing” would fly. The last couple of X-Men films have been all, “we’re gonna die, save the universe, this is a super important thing happening and there's no room to make light of it!” One could argue that the franchise is in need of some spice, but I like Deadpool movies and X-Men movies for very distinct reasons. The crossover would need to be extremely strategically written to work for me. Thoughts?

Rubin: Deadpool’s always been a crossover kind of hero, though. In the comics, he’s fought alongside Spider-Man, the Punisher, even Captain America. He’s completely insane—or that’s how everyone else in the Marvel Universe views his constant fourth-wall breaking—but he’s not always flying solo. That’s exactly why people were banking on Cable showing up in this movie: the two had a good thing going for years.

Also, as Cyclops’ son (!), the time-traveling cyborg provides a handy narrative bridge to the rest of the X-Men—which those mid-credits scenes toy with as well. So we’ve got something there to look forward to, apparently. But, now that Fox has done away with its no-core-X-Men-in-Deadpool-movies rule, as Angela points out, what’s the endgame here? Disney’s acquisition of Fox still hasn’t happened, and it sounds like Comcast is still trying to break up the deal. Is all of this just Fox’s insurance policy, trying to create as large and interrelated an X-Universe as possible? Over its first decade, the MCU has proved the value of allowing for movies of every tone imaginable, and that might be just the thing to help reinvigorate the X-Universe. (Worst-case scenario, though? It feels more like Marvel’s TV efforts, which have become incredibly disjointed and attenuated across multiple networks.)

But is this something they should do? Is this something fans event want? Is there room anymore for a big-but-not-Colossus-sized superhero universe?

Watercutter: That’s a good point, Peter. Cinema is already dangerously close to superhero franchise fatigue, trying to shoehorn Deadpool/X-Force into the rebooted X-Men universe might end up being a bit groan-inducing. That said, I think that now that the characters are established having them cameo in future films would be fun. Do I want to see Reynolds and Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique share a moment? Yes. Yes, I do. Would it make any sense tonally or narratively? Probably not. But maybe that’s what needs to happen. The DC movies have established themselves as the dark, serious comic book franchise. The Disney Marvel films are known for being rock-’em-sock-’em movies that are still fun and light on their feet. Maybe the best thing Fox can distinguish itself as the irreverent bratty sibling—the occasionally R-rated franchise that doesn’t take itself too seriously or care about being a capital-F Franchise. It’s not quite an endgame, but it might mean there’s hope for that Channing Tatum Gambit movie.

Rubin:_ A movie that has insane card-juggling and Magic Mike? Count me in.

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