SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Deadpool 2. If you have not yet seen the film, please bookmark this page, and save the read until after your screening!
To quote Dean Pelton from the television show Community, time travel is really hard to write about. Sure, there are a lot of fun narratives to play with, but things get super complex really quickly when you start dealing with alternate timelines, chaos theory, and paradoxes. A perfect example can be found in the end credits scenes of Deadpool 2, where the titular antihero is shown going back in time to stop the event that started the entire story. Does this mean that nothing in the movie actually happened as depicted? Screenwriters/producers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick recently told me...
Paul Wernick: Yes.
Rhett Reese: So we invalidated the whole movie job. Great job! We're telling everybody, 'You didn't even need to be here for two hours, because everything is solved!' But yeah, we do at least want to leave the possibility open for Vanessa and Peter.
Paul Wernick: More lazy writing.
Rhett Reese: Or was it really smart, clever fore-thinking? I think it was lazy. [laughs]
The thought of the entirety of Deadpool 2 not occurring because of the end credits time travel may have occurred to you when you were walking to the parking lot after your screening -- and now you know the reality. This was one of the many things I had the chance to speak with Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick about last week during their movie's New York junket, and they confirmed that Deadpool's antics will have an effect on the X-Men franchise timeline.
Reflecting on the whole thing, Paul Wernick did throw some regret into the mix, noting that it probably wasn't the best thing for them to do from a storytelling standpoint -- but that the big laugh and the nature of Deadpool as a character just made the whole thing too irresistible. Said Wernick,
It was one of those things where we all looked at it, and go, 'Yeah, I mean on a purely tactical screenwriting basis it's probably not the wisest thing to do, but it was just too funny and so much fun that I think the audience will forgive us for doing it, because time travel in general is kind of a funky thing. And so we just took our license with it and made it Deadpool.
Because of the lead character's fourth wall-breaking ability, future stores about Deadpool can easily address these alterations to the timeline, and even directly confront all of the canonical issues. That's simply one of the best things about the Merc With The Mouth as a protagonist. What would have been significantly harder, though, would have been repairing the timeline after another idea that the Deadpool 2 filmmakers contemplated including. Said Rhett Reese,
We did have the killing of baby Hitler in the original, and that would have changed world events completely. But we didn't take it out for that reason. We took it out because it's sort of left that movie on this weird note where Deadpool was strangling a child. Perhaps that's not the right message to send... Now he's got to go befriend Baby Hitler and put him on the good path, get them into arts school or whatever. Like that's not gonna happen. So, yeah, we took it out.
With Deadpool 3currently being a big question mark, we have to assume any of these developments and/or the issues they create will be addressed the next time the lead character appears -- which will be in Drew Goddard's X-Force. That film doesn't have a release date, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens, but for now be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for all of the latest updates.