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DEADPOOL – About The Production – Part 2

deadpool prod notes

IT’S ALL FUN AND GAMES UNTIL SOMEONE GETS SKEWERED ON A KATANA

Bringing the exploits of an unconventional superhero to life sometimes created an equally unexpected vibe on set.  Notes Stan Lee: “When you see Tim Miller and Ryan Reynolds working together, they are both so in sync; they see the movie the same way.  It’s though they’re playing a game and each one of them is doing his job so magnificently.  When I did my scene in DEADPOOL, I didn’t even know I was working.  When it was over, I said, ‘When do we start?’ and Tim said, ‘You’re finished.’  That’s how effortless he makes it seem.”

That kind of playfulness, intermixed with a badass physicality, marks the film’s acrobatic action sequences.  “Deadpool’s always been more lithe and agile than other characters in the Marvel universe,” says Liefeld.  “Without even thinking about it, he can drop into a moving car and then take out a small army of tough guys, all the while cracking wise.”

Wade is a tactically-trained ex-mercenary, and his newly acquired mutant powers allow his body to regenerate.  So, “it’s kind of like all bets are off, when it comes to Deadpool fighting,” says stunt coordinator Philip Silvera.  “There’s also an off-the-wall, tactical approach to combat.  To the observer, Deadpool’s martial strategies don’t make a lot of sense, at first, but in the end, you realize his methodology works!”

One of the all-time boxing greats inspired some of Deadpool’s approach to fighting.   Notes 2nd Unit Director/Supervising Stunt-Coordinator Rob Alonzo:  “When we trained with Ryan, we incorporated some of Muhammed Ali’s boxing moves.  Ali was known to constantly talk during a bout, and when we watched Ali’s early fights with Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier and George Foreman, we noted that Ali was both dangerous and carefree.  The physicality that Ryan brings to Deadpool is playful and comedic, but at the same time I’ve held mitts for Ryan, and I’ll tell you, he can pack a wallop on a punch.”

Adds VFX Supervisor Jonathan Rothbart: “Deadpool’s moves are dynamic.  He’s a superhero, so we wanted to make him more than human, but we also kept the action grounded.   We did amazing stuff on set, and in-camera, to which we would add some visual effects to make the action even more over-the-top.  We went just a little crazy with the action, which is something I love about it.”

In one memorable face off, the Merc with the Mouth wields his signature katanas against Ajax, who’s armed with a pair of deadly axes.  “We created a hybrid style for the katanas,” Silvera explains.  “It’s not a traditional Japanese sword style; it’s more of a mix of tactical thinking, Japanese and Chinese sword work, and [the Filipino martial art] Kali strikes – always making sure that Deadpool is attacking vital points and control points.”

Another key mutante a mutante fight sees Colossus squaring off against Angel Dust.  It’s truly a clash of the titans, even if one of the combatants was largely created months later, as a CG figure.  In the X-Men comics, Colossus is over seven feet tall and massively strong, so “I was after that enormous, bigger-than-life quality, and the only way to accomplish that was with CG,” says Miller.

For the Colussus-Angel Dust battle royale, Gina Carano enjoyed taking on what would become a CG figure.  “I’ve never fought a CG character before, and most of the actors that I’ve fought are usually around my size or just a little bit taller,” she says.  “All my moves in the scene had to be so big and so strong, so the audience believes that Angel Dust has the strength to take on Colossus.”

From a technical standpoint, Colossus presented some unique challenges and opportunities.  “He’s entirely reflective, so we used a 3-D camera system to capture all the action that happens around him,” Rothbart explains.  “Then we put that back onto him as a reflective component of his body.  It’s going to be fun because we have a lot of scenes where Deadpool is running circles around him and doing all sorts of crazy things, and we really wanted to make sure that we didn’t just capture Ryan’s performance on camera, but also caught it in the reflections on Colossus.”

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