Deadpool was a bigger hit than anybody expected, taking a lewd, violent, subversive comic book anti-hero and making a joyfully irreverent movie out of him. The sequel is already one of the most anticipated films of 2018, and although Deadpool 2 doesn’t start shooting until June, we’ve already got a teaser; in the US, before screenings of Logan, fans are being treated to a short, three-minute tease for the film.
The clip – which is Fox’s alternative to doing a standard post-credits scene – is classic Mr. Pool. We see Wade Wilson casually walking down a street, only to witness a mugging in process. He runs to a phone box to change into his superhero garb, but takes too long to fatal results and we leave him chilling with some Cherry Garcia ice cream.
It’s got the exact tone that audiences fell in love with to the tune of $783 million worldwide, although this is Deadpool – there’s more to it than just a few laughs. Ryan Reynolds claimed the first film had over 100 easter eggs and was if anything underestimating. The same is true of the tease, which has copious winks to the X-Men series, wider superhero cinema and some rather bizarre cultural touchstones. Here’s a breakdown of everything hidden in there.
Update: a longer version of the clip has been released online, which offers up several more cool easter eggs. The references just in this extended tease are highlighted thusly.
The Opening (And Ending) Music
The clip opens with Wade Wilson walking down the street and listening to Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning”. This 1980s cover will be instantly familiar to Deadpool fans – it’s the same song that scored the mick-taking opening sequence to the film. The song’s initial inclusion was the idea of Ryan Reynolds, who was very keen to have Deadpool’s pop culture references be incredibly eclectic, finding a forgotten rock ballad the perfect way to open the movie. Not only did it help make one of the film’s best scene, but it’s clearly stuck with the character; Wade’s a big Juice fan.
As the clip closes, we get another interesting musical choice; the calming song that plays over the ending is “You’re So Cool”, the theme song from True Romance. That’s right – the teaser goes from Juice Newton to Quentin Tarantino, all in the space of three minutes.
The extended clip opens a little differently, with a moody soundtrack playing into Wade’s introduction, something intended to – like the rest of the clip – parody superhero conventions.
Logan Is Playing In The Cinema
The street where the mugging takes place is the home for a fleapit cinema that, according to the sign outside, is actually playing Logan. It’s the classic sort of background meta reference that makes Deadpool such a fun read in the comics – Wade Wilson can go see the very movie he’s introducing – and further shows the series’ lack of interest in X-Men‘s admittedly convoluted continuity.
Logan gets a more overt reference at the end when Wade says to the victim “You probably wouldn’t be dead if it was Logan. What’s he got to change into? Guy wears a f*cking tank top and a pair of jeans”, referencing Hugh Jackman’s iconic look. Rather humorously, the version of Wolverine’s costume that Deadpool’s referencing is the one seen most prominently in Origins: Wolverine, the film where Ryan Reynolds made his X-Men debut and the character was utterly bastardized.
In the extended, online version, Wade tops off his Wolverine jab by going ‘in-character’ with an Australian accent, an obvious jab at Jackman’s country of origin; “Yeah. want to get my tank top on. Bit of perspiration. Have a nice, little crime-fighting spree. Yeah. Happy hug a koala day.”
The Superman Parody
The core of the tease is a parody of Superman; the mugger in the alley is a well-worn superhero trope and changing in the phone booth the classic way Clark Kent transformed into his heroic alter ego. To really hammer it home, John Williams’ still-definitive score plays over the action. Of course, we soon learn – complete with rear nudity – it’s not as practical as Kal-El made it look. The real sting of the gag comes at the end, when Wade comments on how ridiculous it is there’s even a phone booth on a street anymore.
It’s a pretty pointed jab at the original superhero, one that feels affectionate but definitely highlights Pool’s progressiveness. Although it is worth pointing out that Superman: The Movie actually made a similar point at the impracticality of phone booths in 1978, with Christopher Reeve opting instead for a revolving door at super speed to change.
In the online teaser, the song placement is changed a little – Williams’ music stops after the phone booth beat, and John Parr’s “St. Elmo’s Fire” plays over the shot of Deadpool running instead.
“Nathan Summers Coming Soon”
Perhaps the most exciting easter egg in the tease is the graffiti on the phone box – scrawled on the side is “Nathan Summers Cumming Soon!”, a reference to the imminent big screen debut of Cable. The time traveler has been set to appear in Deadpool 2 ever since Wade Wilson announced it in the original film’s second post-credit scene, and now it’s moving closer to realization.
There’s been a lot of casting rumors for the character in the past few months, with Stephen Lang, Pierce Brosnan and Russell Crowe all the subject of fan speculation. Recently, it’s emerged that Michael Shannon was at one point in the running and Stranger Things’ David Harbor has screen tested. There’s been no word on whether Deadpool’s personal choice – Kiera Knightly – has been approached.
The extended tease has the already-long phone book bit run for that bit longer, with Wade not only struggling to put on his costume, but also making a call. He inserts some coins, waits for an answer and asks “May I please speak with Laird“, and then asks “Just tell him Wade called.” At the end of the clip, we get an explanation; “Actually, I made a call. It was to the costumer. His name is Laird. He usually helps me put the suit on.”
Deadpool‘s costume designer was Angus Strathie, so it’s not quite clear where the name comes from – nobody on the production of the first film was called Laird. It’s possibly a nickname or gag about Wade never having bothered learning it, but, either way, the joke is obviously once again at the expense of the tight suit and how impractical it is. This is a common behind-the-scenes comment on superhero films – Batman famously couldn’t turn his neck until The Dark Knight – and the exact sort of convention Deadpool will spear.
Stan Lee doesn’t have a cameo in Logan, but as a consolation he makes an appearance in the Deadpool 2 tease; when Deadpool finally emerges from the booth, Lee exclaims “wow, nice suit”, to which Wade swiftly quips “zip it, Stan Lee.” The former Marvel Comics head and creator of an encyclopedia of iconic characters has become a massive running joke in movie adaptations, cameoing in over twenty films. This one acts as a nice subversion of the well-established convention, with Deadpool breaking the fourth wall by having no time for his usual schtick.
This wasn’t in the theatrical version of the tease, which is rather strange, but it can be viewed it all its glory online. Interestingly, it isn’t the same as the rumored appearance; it was reported Lee would say “Hey, aren’t you Ryan Gosling?”. Maybe that jab at Reynolds is being saved for Deadpool 2 itself.
After Deadpool runs out of the box, in the background there are two posters for Firefly. Joss Whedon’s unfortunately short-lived sci-fi western has developed a massive cult fanbase post-cancellation, with speculation constantly circling the possibility of a return. Having the show referenced is a nice wink from the creators of Deadpool to another property that Fox woefully mishandled and was only corrected when it was pretty much taken out of the studio’s hands.
Although could it mean something more? Coupled with the Nathan Summers tease, this could be read that Nathan Fillion, star of the series, is the one who will be taking on Cable. Of course, it’s possible that it’s all just misdirection.
The Old Man and the Sea
At the end of the tease, after the “Deadpool Coming Not Soon Enough”, there’s a fast scroll of text the rushes up the screen. It’s very hard to tell at full speed, but this is actually a beat-by-beat plot synopsis for Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and The Sea, the story of an aging fisherman and his attempts to catch a giant Marlin with suitably Deadpool commentary on the events (his concluding sentiment is that “Many years later, there’s a Red Lobster Restaurant in nearly every city in America offering a casual dining experience and convenient parking“).
Like “Angel of the Morning”, it’s a rather eccentric choice, although does have some links to Logan. Like the movie it plays before, the book dealing with an old man pushing himself to his limits on one last journey and, as Hemingway’s last story, was too the end of a creative era. However, its inclusion may just be a bit of fun and the reference is just Reynolds telling us that Deadpool is a bigger fan of classic 20th Century literature than we thought.