Have we ever seen anything quite like Deadpool 2 before?
I don’t mean the actual movie. The bigger and better superhero sequel is almost as old as the genre itself, even if this particular sequel seems set to actively comment on the genre. No, I mean everything surrounding the movie. There’s obviously the on-set death which occurred as well as accusations of a crew being overworked in defiance of union rules.
But before any of that, we first saw Deadpool again in the Superman parody video Fox dropped in front of Logan. That was over a year ago. When they made that they hadn’t even started filming Deadpool 2 yet, and director David Leitch had just been hired.
Then came the teaser featuring Deadpool’s Bob Ross impression, which mostly entailed getting high on paint fumes. Then another teaser which was interrupted halfway through so that Deadpool could play with toys while the special effects department finished work on Cable’s mechanical arm.
Today, we finally get what is arguably the film’s first real, traditional trailer and it’s almost a disappointment. Almost. There’s no stunt behind any of it. Deadpool and Ryan Reynolds don’t directly interact like they did in the advertising for the first film. There’s no Infinity War or Thanos reference. It’s just a trailer for a movie, albeit what looks to be a pretty damn good movie.
Ryan Reynolds and his relentless social media presence has turned Deadpool into the ever-present Bugs Bunny of the superhero game, always quick to crack a joke and drop a famous catchphrase. It’s become an almost performance art piece or Avante-Garde form of film advertising. But, at the end of the day, it’s all just in service to A) Making sure Deadpool always stays in our memories despite how easily distractable we’ve all become and B) Promoting a movie, plain and simple.
It’s gotten to the point that just two months before the release of Deadpool 2 I’d kind of forgotten I actually have no idea what’s going to happen in this movie. This new trailer changes all of that. For the first time, we have some hint of the actual plot, beyond “Cable’s in it!” Like Logan, it’s all about saving a kid! Unlike Logan, though, it looks to be funny as hell:
As a 90s kid, the nostalgia from hearing LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” again is almost overwhelming.
That feels entirely like a Deadpool movie. That might seem like an overly obvious statement, but we are looking at a movie with a bigger budget and new director here, since Tim Miller was reportedly pushed out after losing a creative tug-of-war with Reynolds. After all of that, whose to say Deadpool 2 won’t quite feel the same. But, no, it does. Even with its ramped up scale, bigger special effects budget and expanded roster of supporting characters, it’s absolutely on brand and looks set to possibly feature a Iron Man 2 or Age of Ultron set-up narrative that actually gets to comment on the fact that it’s a set-up narrative, thus the various jokes about X-Force in the trailer. Frankly, I didn’t know the film was going to push quite so hard into X-Force, but what they’re doing with it looks fun.
For those who care or put any stock into these kinds of things, recent headlines have been touting Deadpool 2‘s recent record-setting preview screening test scores which bested even the original film’s scores. Plus, they have apparently used re-shoots to add in a crowd-pleasing cameo (or cameos), and when interviewed by EW for their Infinity War cover story Josh Brolin didn’t shoot down the high likelihood that Deadpool 2 will include a Thanos joke or reference. It’s going to have to happen. They can even film it after Infinity War comes out if need be. But there’s no way Deadpool 2 arrives and doesn’t in some way acknowledge the inherent weirdness of Brolin starring as the villain/anti-hero in two Marvel movies released less than a month from each other, right?
So, after Thanos kills all the Avengers maybe it’ll be fun to see Brolin playing in a very different kind of sandbox, one where the rocks are probably just turds left behind by Deadpool (because that’s totally something he’d do).
Deadpool 2 is due May 18. Solo: A Star Wars Story is still due the week after that…for some reason.
My favorite moment of the trailer?