How Deadpool 2 Chose Its Pop Culture References, According To Ryan Reynolds

Wade Wilson staring into sky in Deadpool 2

There really is no other hero quite like Ryan Reynolds' Wade Wilson -- at least on the silver screen. The Deadpool franchise has carved out a very unique niche for itself as the king of R-rated raunchy and fourth wall breaks, including a ton of insanely meta pop culture references. That said, the franchise rarely overdoes it, so how do the folks behind the series walk that line? Well, on the commentary track for Deadpool 2, Ryan Reynolds opened up and explained that it was all about finding natural references that fit in Wade Wilson's pop culture-obsessed world. Reynolds said:

Yeah, you want them sprinkled throughout the movie. You don't wanna overdo, though, either, and you try to wanna find stuff that's not, you know, as you guys know, that's not just of the moment and out the next second. Sometimes they're just off the cuff, and we just fucking roll with it. I love that Deadpool's so invested in pop culture and drags it into every scene he can.

If you have seen Deadpool 2, then you already know that Wade Wilson pulls some pretty impressive deep cuts from his well of pop culture knowledge. These include Top Gun, Bambi, 9 to 5, Say Anything, Yentil, and Frozen (though those last two are lumped in together in the same reference). Ryan Reynolds seems to have a firm understanding of how these work within Wade's personality, and he uses that to create some great "off the cuff" references that work within the context of a given scene.

It is also worth mentioning the fact that Deadpool and Deadpool 2 are both lucky in the sense that they have an entire genre of films that they can naturally pull from. The Deadpool series is set within the X-Men world, and because Wade can break the fourth wall at any given time, he can skewer anything from Logan to X-Men Origins: Wolverine to Captain America: The Winter Soldier to Green Lantern. The superhero genre is at Wade's fingertips, so Reynolds never has any shortage of material.

In the end, these pop culture references helped pay off for Deadpool 2. The film has gone on to become a massive box office success, solidifying the once-dead property's current stranglehold on the realm of R-rated blockbuster cinema. The film ends with a promise that Wade is going on even more adventures throughout time, so we will have to wait and see what other pop culture references he brings with him on that journey.

Deadpool 2 is currently available on Digital HD, and the 4K Ultra, Blu-ray and DVD versions of the film will hit shelves later this month on August 21. As always, stay tuned for more updates related to Wade Wilson and his hilariously meta journey through the X-Men universe, and head on over to our movie premiere guide to read up on all of the films that are currently set to debut on the big screen in 2018!

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.