Unlike some other comic book movies, Tim Miller’s Deadpool is a film that stays very close to the tone and look of its source material, and includes many of the great supporting characters that circulate in and out of the Merc With The Mouth’s life. This is a list that includes Weasel (T.J. Miller), Blind Al (Leslie Uggams), Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and Ajax (Ed Skrein). The movie is pretty great in this respect (particularly for fans), but I recently learned that the big screen adventure nearly feature two more key individual’s from Deadpool’s history: Patch and Dr. Emrys Killebrew.
It was during an in-depth interview with Deadpool screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick last week that I learned this interesting bit of trivia about the film, which should perk the ears of everyone who knows and loves Deadpool from the comics (especially the long, early run by writer Joe Kelly). So who are these two characters? Allow me to break it down.
PatchPatch, a.k.a. Bob Stirrat, was one of the first supporting characters introduced in Deadpool comics, arriving in issue #1 back in 1997. He is the diminutive, mustache-sporting proprietor of Hellhouse, a bar and hangout for mercenaries that was built into the remains of what used to be Sister Margaret's School for Wayward Children. In addition to serving drinks, he also gives out jobs to the various freelance tough guys in the join… which becomes the role that is played by T.J. Miller’s Weasel in the Deadpool movie.
Speaking to the need to combine characters, Paul Wernick explained,
Weasel basically assumed Patch’s behind the bar job. A lot of it had to do with consolidating and budget and making sure that we focused on fewer characters and fewer scenes. For example, Weasel, became Weasel and Patch. He became the bartender.
Patch was probably a fairly easy character to write out of the Deadpool script, if not only because his removal would just make the whole thing a lot simpler – but the second character that wound up getting axed was originally going to be part of a big twist.
Dr. Emrys KillebrewIn Deadpool, Ed Skrein’s Ajax is shown to be the director of The Program where Wade Wilson is institutionalized for cancer treatment – taking it upon himself to make sure the future anti-hero is tortured as much as possible. This is a slight change from the comics, where Ajax is actually the number two to a guy named Dr. Emrys Killebrew. This relationship wasn’t just included in an early version of the movie’s script, but was actually being planned as a big third act reveal. Said Paul Wernick,
Dr. Killebrew, basically, it was revealed at the end of the movie that Ajax wasn’t the brains behind the operation. He was just a puppet to Dr. Killebrew, and Dr. Killebrew walks on screen and you think, ‘Holy shit!’ But ultimately that was a decision of just simplification and feeling like we need one core villain and one core villain alone. So we eliminated Killebrew. Some creative choices and some budget choices ultimately dictated which characters we used and how we used them.
In the comics, Dr. Killebrew actually winds up getting some degree of forgiveness for his torture of Deadpool and the creation of the hero’s scarred skin/increased healing factor – but that doesn’t stop him from meeting a terrible end. After basically coming back from the dead with a powerful new suit of armor, Ajax winds up killing his former boss in hopes of finding and taking revenge on Deadpool (pictured above). It doesn’t seem like we’ll ever see this play out on the big screen, however.
Watching the movie, it’s easy to see why Dr. Killebrew and Patch didn’t make the cut, so I wouldn’t worry too much about missing their inclusion. Instead, prepare just to have a lot of fun when Deadpool arrives in theaters this Friday, February 12th.