When 2016's Deadpool became a bigger-than-expected box office hit, it was only a matter of time before a sequel was put into motion. We got that follow-up a mere two years later.
Deadpool 2 has turned out to be another blockbuster. Audiences just can't get enough of the "merc with a mouth." The odds of a third installment would appear to be 100% at this point.
One of the best things about this franchise is that many of the people involved have social media accounts, including stars Ryan Reynolds and Josh Brolin.
Throughout the production, they shared photos of events happening behind the scenes, thereby giving fans an inside glimpse into the making of Deadpool 2. This had the effect of making viewers feel intimately connected to the movie, even before it was released.
We've collected the best of those pictures, along with a couple snapped by the media, and paired them with some notable backstage facts about the making of this frequently exciting, often hilarious superhero adventure.
You'll learn how certain scenes were accomplished, how the actors prepared for their roles, and how a really funny Easter egg was implanted into the movie. We guarantee you won't see it the same way afterward.
Here are the 20 Behind-the-Scenes Photos That Change Everything About Deadpool 2.
20 The director of the original movie was fired
The original Deadpool was a somewhat unlikely box office hit. The character was not as well-known to the general public as many other Marvel superheroes, the movie wasn't an official part of the MCU, and it was distinctly R-rated, featuring profanity and very explicit violence.
Nevertheless, it went on to gross $363 million in North America and another $420 million overseas. By all accounts, it was a global blockbuster.
Once a winning formula has been hit upon, it's rare to see the core makeup of the creative team changed in any way. The presumption is that bringing back all the same people will help catch lighting in a bottle a second time.
This made it shocking when director Tim Miller did not return for Deadpool 2 due to creative differences with star Ryan Reynolds over the tone of the sequel.
Specifically, it was rumored that Miller objected to the casting of Josh Brolin as Cable. Rumors also indicated that Reynolds and the other producers wanted something that felt similar to the first film, whereas Miller wanted to make it substantially more epic, and therefore more expensive.
When asked about the departure almost a year later, Miller said that he was relieved to not helm another Deadpool adventure because he felt that it would merely be repeating what he'd already done. He added that he was eager to tell different stories.
Whatever the reason, Miller and Reynolds, pictured together above, at least collaborated on one well-received movie.
19 Josh Brolin's head cast
On April 18, 2017, Josh Brolin posted this picture to his Instagram account with the caption "You know, just meditating."
It's a bizarre photo, for sure. Many of you probably realize what's happening here. If you don't, the actor is getting a mold made of his head for use in Deadpool 2.
The process is common whenever a character's head is going to be severed or destroyed during the course of a movie, or if it is supposed to appear that they have been injured at some point. Prosthetic pieces specifically designed to fit the actor are made from these molds.
A special kind of plaster is applied to the person's face, allowed to harden over the course of several minutes, and then removed in one piece. Ask anyone who's been through it and they'll likely tell you the same thing. It's an incredibly claustrophobic procedure because you can't move, lest you ruin the cast.
Since the plaster covers your ears, it's virtually impossible to hear anything. Worst of all, you can only breathe through your nostrils because your mouth is covered, too.
There are stories of actors having panic attacks while getting this done for the reasons just mentioned, although we have to say that Brolin looks quite calm and comfortable in this picture.
18 Deadpool's sword Easter egg
One of the things common to both Deadpool movies is a high number of in-jokes. The character not only riffs on himself, but also on superheroes and pop culture in general.
You almost have to see the movies more than once to get all the Easter eggs, some of which are tucked away in the corners where you don't initially notice them.
Then there are the jokes that you probably won't really be able to see onscreen at all, but which are there nonetheless, if for no other reason than to help the actors get into character. For instance, take a gander at Deadpool's katanas. On their handles are two words. One reads "Bea," the other "Arthur."
This is, of course, a nod to comic actress Bea Arthur, best known for playing the title character on the hit '70s TV series Maude, as well as Dorothy on the classic sitcom The Golden Girls.
This is not some random joke, by the way. Readers of the comics will know that Arthur is Deadpool's favorite celebrity, having been mentioned a number of times over the years.
Emblazoning her name on the swords was just the production's way of bringing a little extra bit of authenticity to the filming, even if audiences never quite get a clear glimpse of it.
17 Zazie Beets matches the commitment of Ryan Reynolds
Chemistry between actors is important, so it's helpful when they like each other off-screen. These pictures of Ryan Reynolds and Zazie Beetz suggest that they liked each other greatly, even if their characters sometimes butt heads on-screen.
Beetz is a true rising star in Hollywood, as her scene-stealing role as Domino helped a lot to solidify her career. The actress first gained real attention playing Van in the acclaimed FX series Atlanta, opposite Donald Glover.
A supporting role in 2017's Geostorm followed. That movie was a flop, but she was praised as one of its few good qualities.
Beetz was so excited to be part of Deadpool 2 that she began working out daily after getting cast. She also learned fight choreography. Making sure that she was as fit as possible was important to her, because she knew that playing Domino would require a maximum amount of energy.
"I fight and a lot of that movement is full-body and physical,” she told the International Business Times. “You’re doing that for 12 hours a day and they just want you to have the stamina.”
The actress's interpretation of Domino has been singled out by both critics and audiences as a high point of Deadpool 2. Her commitment to the role was likely a connecting point with Reynolds, who has been equally dedicated to the franchise.
16 Fans intrude upon filming
When movies are filmed on studio lots or closed sets, there's a measure of control. Only approved people can get in to watch the filming, which helps prevent distractions. Stars often like it because they can concentrate on getting into character, rather than being hounded by fans.
Sometimes there's no choice but to shoot in a public location, though, and that can result in curious bystanders intruding.
Much of Deadpool 2 was shot in Vancouver on actual city streets. This photo shows Ryan Reynolds in costume, waiting to film a scene in which Deadpool rides a scooter. He's waiting to be towed by the camera vehicle.
The other man is one of several spectators who somehow found out or randomly discovered that a major motion picture sequel, featuring one of the biggest stars in the world, was going to be filming nearby.
Because we conveniently all walk around with cameras these days, the guy whips out his cell phone and gets a picture that he undoubtedly showed his family and friends.
We can't tell how Reynolds feels about this, since he's wearing the Deadpool mask. However, he has a reputation for being pretty nice to his fans, so we're guessing he doesn't mind too much.
15 Brolin's pre-production workout
Josh Brolin signed on to play Cable in four movies. They could be more Deadpool sequels, a Cable spinoff, or both. Whether or not those movies ever come to fruition remains to be seen.
What we know for sure is that the actor takes playing the character with utmost seriousness. Considering that he reportedly beat out Michael Shannon and Stranger Things' David Harbour for the role, he understandably wants to do the best job possible.
Brolin is already a fit guy. That said, he needed to be suitably buff to portray Cable. After all, this is a character who is supposed to be physically intimidating -- a believable threat to Deadpool. He therefore needed to be even more muscular than Ryan Reynolds. No easy feat!
To accomplish this, Brolin altered his diet, eliminating sugar, bread, and pasta. Instead, he ate fish, rice, and vegetables. He drank water, rather than soda or alcohol.
He also spent three hours per day at the gym, according to Men's Journal. That included working out on a treadmill, jumping rope, doing boxing moves, and extensive use of dumbbells.
All of this work helped to give Brolin the massive arms and frame that he needed to be the physical embodiment of Cable.
14 Riding a scooter rig
Here are two pictures that give you a little peek at how a certain type of scene is accomplished on film. Whenever a character is driving a car -- or, as is the case of Deadpool here, riding a scooter -- the actor playing that character is rarely in control of the vehicle.
There are many reasons for this. Safety is one of them-- you can't be expected to act and pay full attention to maneuvering a moving car simultaneously.
A greater reason is that the camera needs to stay trained on the actor during the shot. If the camera was in a different vehicle and either of them sped up or slowed down, the shot would be ruined.
The way around this is to create a rig like the one seen above. Deadpool's scooter is locked into place on a trailer that's attached to a truck, and the camera is mounted right in front of him.
A professional driver takes control of guiding them through the necessary route. This way, both the character and the camera are moving at the exact same speed, ensuring a smooth shot.
Look closely in some movies and you'll see actors jerking the steering wheel back and forth in a manner that would cause them to swerve all over the road if they were driving for real. It's a subconscious effect of the process.
13 The monotony of filming
There's an old saying about being on a movie set, specifically that it's "a lot of sit around and wait." This is because it takes a considerable amount of time to set up a new shot.
The camera angle has to be reset, the lights have to be moved, cables have to be adjusted, and so on. Add in blocking the scene and it can take all day just to shoot a minute or two of screen time.
This picture illustrates the concept nicely. There's a lot going on in it. Most apparently, you've got Ryan Reynolds walking off set, either because his part is done or because they're taking a break. He has an assistant of some sort at his side. A star of his magnitude always has people on set attending to their needs.
On the right side of the image, you can see the crew members working around the camera rig. Something always needs adjustment in this department, as elements like framing and focus must be perfect.
Now look at the top left. There, you'll see a horde of spectators watching the proceedings. A couple are snapping pictures with their cell phones. People who show up to watch the filming of movies often just stand around, witnessing more of the rigmarole than action.
The bottom line is that even a movie as exciting and fast-paced as Deadpool 2 is made with a certain degree of monotony, as this photo proves.
12 Casting Julian Dennison
Deadpool 2 took a very big chance. The decision was made to prominently feature a child character. Adding children to an adult-oriented franchise doesn't always work. Sometimes it's a sign that the series is going soft, while other times it's a source of desperation, like when kids are brought in just to provide comic relief.
Then again, Deadpool 2 didn't just cast any child actor. They chose Julian Dennison, who plays the pyrokinetic mutant Russell Collins (also known as Firefist), broke out in 2016's Hunt for the Wilderpeople, in which he gave a hilarious and touching performance as a hip-hop loving foster child outrunning some armed lunatics in the New Zealand bush, with the help of his foster father (Sam Neill).
There's an edge to this young man that many of his peers lack.
Dennison knows that his casting in Deadpool 2 is unique.
He told the Hollywood Reporter, "For me, playing a chubby or fat superhero was so special because I would go and watch these movies with my friends and would never see anyone like me. I am excited to be that for other kids who look like me."
After an initial round of auditions, Dennison was brought in to read with Ryan Reynolds. Their chemistry was just right -- not sappy or silly, but sharp and funny, and the rest, as they say, is history.
11 Working with a noted action director
After the departure of Tim Miller during pre-production on Deadpool 2, the search for a new director began. The producers and studio knew that they needed someone who could handle the complex action sequences, but also someone who understood the timing and attitude necessary for the story's quirky, self-referential humor.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Snow White and the Huntsman's Rupert Sanders and The Cabin in the Woods' Drew Goddard were on the short list.
However, at this same time, a director named David Leitch was rapidly making a name for himself in Hollywood. Along with Chad Stahelski, he made John Wick, the Keanu Reeves movie that earned raves for its innovative action scenes. He was also working on an action-thriller with Charlize Theron called Atomic Blonde that had a lot of buzz surrounding it.
Given that a vital quality of the Deadpool franchise is its ability to stand out from all other superhero movies and action pictures, the idea of bringing in a filmmaker like Leitch made sense. He would be the right guy to deliver an experience that would take the series to the next level.
As both producer and star, Reynolds also needed to trust the man in the director's chair. From this picture, you can see they worked very collaboratively.
10 A friendly rivalry between Josh Brolin and Ryan Reynolds
This picture was posted by Ryan Reynolds on his Instagram account in August of 2017. He captioned the photo, "The camera really does add ten pounds."
What we can surmise here is that the nature of the relationship between Reynolds and co-star Josh Brolin is very playful. As you can see, Brolin bulked up considerably to play Cable.
Not only that, but he also chose an especially small version of Deadpool to pose with, which only serves to make him look even bigger. Is this a subtle, friendly dig at his pal? Probably so. We can also safely assume that Brolin is Team Cable.
If Brolin can dole out a little razzing, so can Reynolds. The star's implication is that the camera has added ten pounds of bulk to his colleague. If that's the case, Reynolds seems to be joking, as Brolin is not really physically superior.
Then again, we have to wonder whether the camera is also adding ten pounds to that puny Deadpool, in which case Brolin still wins.
Regardless, this is just a fun picture that captures the enjoyable, self-referential spirit of the Deadpool pictures.
It's part of what fans love about the franchise. The off-screen chemistry between the two men comes across on-screen.
9 Colossus motion capture
Colossus has a fairly sizable supporting role in both Deadpool movies, but especially in Deadpool 2. He's a huge figure, bigger than any human, standing eight feet tall. He's also made of metal, so his movements tend to be on the stiff side.
Because of these factors, there's clearly no way that a normal acting performance could capture his essence. That's where the miracle of CGI comes in.
The website Visual& offers an intriguing glimpse of how Colossus was created for the movie. Believe it or not, it took two actors to bring him to life.
On the set, stunt performer Andre Tricoteux wore a special motion capture suit that recorded his movements and fed them into a computer. Attached to the top of it was a helmet that allowed him to match the character in size. This gave the other actors the proper eyeline so it would appear that they were looking Colossus in the face when speaking to him.
Elsewhere, actor Stefan Kapicic provided the voice of the character. He, too, wore a motion capture suit so that his facial expressions could be recorded as he delivered certain lines of dialogue.
From there, Framestore -- the FX company charged with creating Colossus onscreen -- had to figure out complicated issues, such as how his steely face would move. They additionally added some little tricks to give him an intimidating quality, such as never having him blink.
8 Faking a skydive
In one of the action highlights of Deadpool 2, the X-Force heads out on a mission, but to get to their desired location, they all have to jump out of a plane.
The sequence ends with a dose of dark humor, as several of them essentially parachute to their doom. Domino is the only X-Force member who ends up surviving the drop.
Unless it's Tom Cruise, most studios won't let their actors do dangerous, potentially fatal things like skydiving. Instead, a variety of tricks can be used to simulate such an activity.
The use of green screen effects is one way of accomplishing this. Suspend a star on wires in front of one, blow some fans at them, and add in the sky later. Presto, you've got skydiving.
As for landings, take a gander at the pictures above. Here's Zazie Beetz strapped into a harness and hoisted a good way into the air.
She's high enough that the camera is under her feet, pointing up to make it seem like she's even higher than she is.
Once the cameras roll, she can be lowered down, then pulled back up for the next take. The cable that's part of the rig securing Beetz, seen on the far left, will be removed digitally.
All in all, it's a way of showing her descending from the sky for real, yet done with total safety. She looks like she's having fun with it, too.
7 Cable's other costume
No, this isn't a picture of Josh Brolin going to the supermarket, despite the presence of the shopping cart. This is him in costume as Cable. That said, it would be totally hilarious if this was how the actor dressed to make his weekly food run.
The costume is skin-tight, showing off the work he did bulking himself up for the role. Also of note are the fingers of his left hand. Brolin is wearing a green glove, so that something can be CGI'ed there later on.
If you've seen the movie, you know this is not the costume that the actor wears throughout. This is Cable's time traveling outfit, the suit he wears when he first arrives from the future and subsequently steals a truck.
The contrast is interesting. Once comfortably in the present, Cable picks clothing that makes him look like he's a paramilitary member. He sports a utility belt filled with various weapons, indicating his readiness for battle at any second. You wouldn't want to encounter this iteration of him in a dark alley.
The costume seen here, on the other hand, looks more alien in nature. It in no way resembles anything somebody would wear in real life in our current day and age.
This discrepancy between costumes is one of the more subtle things Deadpool 2 does, almost subliminally showing how Cable integrates himself into modern-day society, while still having the functionality he needs.
6 Deadpool napping at the X-Mansion
In June of 2017, Ryan Reynolds posted this picture to his Instagram account, writing, "Dropped by X-Mansion. Looked closely for Beast's lawn bombs before taking well deserved nap."
It's a moment of life imitating art. Deadpool often pokes fun at the X-Men, and Reynolds is poking a similar kind of fun at the X-Men movie franchise.
More than that, this particular photo is a perfect encapsulation of the anarchic comic spirit that the Deadpool movies have aimed for. Such things have been part of the viral marketing campaign for both movies.
There have been self-aware movie posters, such as the one in which the title character re-enacts a famous moment from Flashdance, but with bullets instead of water.
There was also an issue of Good Housekeeping magazine that featured him on the cover holding a freshly-made turkey. In addition, to promote Deadpool 2, the character "hijacked" the cover images of other DVDs -- including Fight Club and Cast Away -- that were sold at Walmart.
Sending out an image of Deadpool taking a power nap in front of the X-Mansion just adds another layer to the series' refusal to take itself, or much else, too seriously.
As for Beast's "lawn bombs," we'll leave that up to your imagination.
5 Playing real-life superhero
Ryan Reynolds has played a superhero on-screen several times. There are the two Deadpool movies, in addition to the admittedly ill-fated Green Lantern.
However, it turns out that the actor also likes to play superhero in real-life when the opportunity presents itself-- and one did indeed present itself during the making of Deadpool 2.
The photo above is one of several that Reynolds posted on Facebook. It's incredibly touching once you understand what's happening. The actor hosted a group of children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation and its Canadian equivalent, the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada.
Both charities grant wishes to children who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses. In this case, the kids got to come to a professional movie set and meet a big-time star.
"Deadpool kicked Cancer in the [privates], but these kids do it for real every day," Reynolds wrote. "These foundations make dreams come true for a lot of of super-brave kids. They also make dreams come true for parents, who just wanna see their kid smile."
This kind of giving back reveals that, while their movie may be on the graphic side, the folks behind Deadpool have great big hearts. We're sure that the day was special for these children.
4 Getting made up as Cable
Like Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin enjoys sharing pictures of his life and work on his Instagram account. This one was posted on June 28, 2017.
The actor wrote, "Insanity on the brink. Face is morphing into something machine, fierce, hair sliced, arm machined, bulged. Where is Deadpool?!? Looking. Looking. All I got are these two... molding me, prodding, turning me into something hard."
If you need that translated, Brolin is sitting in the makeup chair having a prosthetic appliance glued to his face. This will eventually make it look as though the right side of Cable's face is scarred and damaged, and that he has a cybernetic eye.
Putting on such pieces can take hours because, once glued, they have to be given the right color and then blended into the actor's skin. Done properly, the final result is seamless.
Because the work is tedious and time-consuming, a sense of humor is presumably a useful thing to have. This photo indicates that Brolin and the makeup artists working on him are trying to inject a little levity into things, while also giving fans a peek at the work.
Of course, Brolin is used to going through this. He wore similar prosthetics for the 2010 flop Jonah Hex.
3 Making the music video
The first Deadpool has an incredibly memorable opening credits sequence. As you probably recall, the camera weaves through a frozen moment in time, as an SUV flips in the air while Deadpool attacks the bad guys inside of it.
Instead of listing the names of actors and crew members, there were witticisms like "Directed by An Overpaid Tool."
Deadpool 2 had its work cut out for it. How do you top something so perfect? They found a way, though, by plunking Deadpool into a spoof of the patented James Bond credit scenes.
To top it all off, the producers convinced Céline Dion to record a theme song, "Ashes".
Just to continue to gimmick, a music video was commissioned for the tune. It features Deadpool busting out some interpretive dance moves while she sings.
This photo, in which Dion appears to be feeling up our wisecracking hero, is a behind-the-scenes shot of the video.
Like the movie itself, the video was directed by David Leitch. He told Entertainment Weekly that it was actually Ryan Reynolds' idea to get the French-Canadian songstress. She apparently couldn't resist the star's charm when he reached out to ask.
Incidentally, it's been announced that Reynolds is not the one in the Deadpool costume for the video. Instead, it is dancer Yanis Marshall.
2 An on-set tragedy
While most of the pictures on this list suggest that making Deadpool 2 was a lot of fun, there was unfortunately a note of tragedy in the production. The final ovie is dedicated to Joi "SJ" Harris, a stuntwoman who passed away in an on-set accident.
The stunt in question wasn't particularly out of the ordinary, according to WorkSafeBC, the organization that monitors workplace safety in British Columbia, where the movie was shot.
Their official report stated that Harris was "rehearsing a stunt scene that involved driving a motorcycle, Dictate 939 Hyperstrada, out of the open doors of a building, across a concrete pad and down a ramp that had been built over three stairs and coming to a stop on the stair landing."
For reasons that aren't clear, Harris -- who was doubling for Zazie Beetz actress Domino -- overshot the point where she was supposed to stop. She hit a concrete sidewalk curb, was ejected from the bike, and crashed through a plate glass window on the front of a building.
Oddly, Harris made five successful attempts of the stunt before the one that proved fatal. Even more tragically, she was an experienced rider, and Deadpool 2 was her first time working on a movie.
After Harris' passing, Ryan Reynolds tweeted a statement, saying the cast and crew were "heartbroken, shocked, and devastated."
1 Deadpool in the editing room
Ryan Reynolds has been heavily invested in the idea of bringing Deadpool to the big screen for a long time. His efforts began when he appeared as a very different version of the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
By his own admission, that really wasn't the look or feel he wanted, but it at least got the character into his hands. It wasn't until 2016 that he got to give audiences a faithful version of Deadpool for the first movie.
Reynolds is more than the star, though. He's been a key creative force from the beginning, and that can be seen prominently in Deadpool 2.
He is one of the producers on the movie, which means that he had a say in every major decision, from hiring a director to approving the other cast members. Also, he co-wrote the screenplay with Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Reynolds has been credited with writing many of Deadpool's best zingers.
The pictures above are of Reynolds, in costume, hanging out with the editors, Dirk Westervelt and Craig Alpert.
Keep in mind, this is not just some joke. In his role as producer, Reynolds would absolutely have a say in how the movie was assembled. It would be part of his function to provide input on pacing, which takes to use, and how to achieve the overall tone.
Which of these behind-the-scenes photos of Deadpool 2 do you like best? Are there any others that fans need to see? Let us know in the comments!