Exclusive News on ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’, ‘Deadpool’, the Whole Pansexual Thing and Much More

     November 11, 2015

deadpool-sexuality-x-men-apocalypse-magneto-quicksilver-dad

20th Century Fox has two very different, highly anticipated superhero movies on tap for release in the first half of 2016. One is the eighth installment in a long-running franchise—a “disaster movie” twist on a superhero series we’ve come to know and love. The other is the first installment in a hopeful franchise, but it’s unlike any other superhero movie that’s come before—it’s R-rated, it breaks the fourth wall, and it’s kind of a comedy. The real kicker, though, is that between X-Men: Apocalypse and Deadpool, Fox will be entering the “shared universe” era in a big way: the tonal diversity of this new multi-film universe is striking, and this is a very good thing.

Yesterday, Steve got the chance to speak with a man who is intimately involved in all things pertaining to Fox and superheroes: producer/writer Simon Kinberg. He co-wrote and produced X-Men: Apocalypse, and he produced Deadpool. During this wide-ranging, exclusive conversation, Kinberg touched on the scope and scale of Apocalypse, the film’s dealings with the father/son relationship between Magneto and Quicksilver, the pansexuality of the titular character in Deadpool, that film’s massive appeal, and much more.


x-men-apocalypse-alexandra-shipp

Image via 20th Century Fox

Speaking to Apocalypse, Kinberg gave an update on the editing process and revealed that there’s one aspect of the film that snuck up on him:

“I’m super happy with it. We are in the edit working on it, working on the first cut of the film. But it’s really exciting. I’ve said this before and I feel it even more having seen the movie cut together: I do think it will be the biggest of the X-Men films just in terms of the scale and the scope of the movie, and even more the emotional stakes and scope of the film. It has a level of drama and emotion, for all of the characters—I think going into it I assumed this would be the culmination in many ways of this little trilogy we were telling for young Erik, Charles, Mystique, and Beast but I think what was surprising over the span of photography and now into post as well is just how resonant the young Jean, Scott, and Storm stories are too. So I think the movie feels very balanced between—I don’t wanna call them the older generation because they were the younger generation, but the generation of the X-Men from the last few films and the new generation.”

Kinberg added that comics fans can expect “as much or more” references to things from the comics than any X-Men film that’s come before, one of which is Quicksilver’s parentage. Evan Peters’ character was the breakout from Days of Future Past, and he reprises his role in Apocalypse to tackle an arc that’s much more emotionally complex: his relationship with his father. We know from the comics that Magneto is Quicksilver’s dad, and this is something that is very much addressed over the course of X-Men: Apocalypse:


“It’s something that we allude to very vaguely in Days of Future Past when he says, ‘My mom knew a guy who could control metal’ and [Michael] Fassbender gives him that look, all of which is meant to indicate that it’s his father. It’s a part of the film and I think it’s a really emotional, really important part of the movie.”

x-men-apocalypse-jennifer-lawrence-evan-peters

Image via 20th Century Fox

As for the arcs of the film’s other characters, the film’s official synopsis addresses Jennifer Lawrence’s Raven as “leading” the X-Men. Steve asked Kinberg if the character will be taking on more of a leadership role this time around, and the scribe/producer said Raven’s stature is a consequence of the decision she made at the end of the last film:

“I think the movie explores her struggle, which is sort of the result of Days of Future Past. If you think about the end of Days of Future Past, in front of the entire world she stops Magneto and saves the President and cabinet, and so this movie certainly explores 10 years later what it is to wear the mantle of that responsibility.”

As for Deadpool, director Tim Miller’s R-rated adaptation precedes X-Men: Apocalypse on the release calendar even if it takes place quite a bit after the events of that movie. Kinberg confirmed that yes, Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse exist in the same universe:

“It takes place within the X-Men universe and references that universe. It’s not the same time period as our past tense X-Men movies, like First Class, Days of Future Past, and Apocalypse take place in the past and Deadpool takes place in the present, but it acknowledges everything that’s happened in those other movies and the universe, and like you said Colossus is in it and other characters from the X-Men world.”

deadpool-ryan-reynolds-morena-baccarin

Image via 20th Century Fox

Fan interest in the Deadpool film has thus far been rabid, and one particular piece of information that was gleaned from our on-set interview with Miller and star Ryan Reynolds was a reference to the fact that Deadpool is pansexual in the film. This nugget of information took on a life of its own on the internet, so Steve asked Kinberg how much of the character’s pansexuality is alluded to in the context of the movie:


“Well I think your audience has seen from the materials so far the goal is to be as true as possible to the essence of the Deadpool canon. The character, as you know, identifies as pansexual in the comics, and while we don’t explore it in depth in this film, it’s definitely alluded to. Mainly in this movie we cover his love story with Vanessa from the comics, but it’s certainly something that we could go deeper into in future movies and it has a presence in this one.”

deadpool-ryan-reynolds-image

Image via 20th Century Fox

Speaking of future movies, Steve mentioned that response to the film from those involved has been over the moon, so are Kinberg and Co. already working on ideas for the sequel?

“It’s certainly the hope, and there is conversation about what the idea would be and perhaps which characters we would bring in to a sequel. The writers, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, were a really integral part of the process. Our focus, like all of us, is on finishing the film, so I think as soon as we finish the film we’ll be talking seriously about the sequel and then we’ll wait a couple months and see how the movie does. Hopefully the movie will do great and we can keep making these movies, because I do think there’s a lot more story to tell. I’m assuming it’ll come out somewhere whether it’s on the internet or the DVD eventually, but on every single take there’s like an embarrassment of riches of alternate takes, whether it’s Ryan or T.J. Miller, pretty much any character in the movie just goofing around and coming up with other lines, ideas, abs. It’d be fun to keep making these movies because it doesn’t feel like we’ll run out of juice.”

Reynolds in particular has been keen to continue the Deadpool fun well past the wrap of production, and Kinberg spoke to the actor being absolutely perfectly suited to the role:


“I’ve worked on a lot of movies, comic book any otherwise, and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen an actor as perfectly suited to a part as Ryan is to Deadpool. It’s just something that comes so naturally to him. It’s one of the reasons why he creates so many of those viral pieces, because I think he has so much fun being Deadpool that he’s Deadpool on and off set.”

deadpool-movie-image-reynolds

Image via 20th Century Fox

The viral pieces in particular have caught on with fans, and while Kinberg said we can expect another Deadpool trailer in December, Reynolds will continue to pump out videos of his own making in the meantime:

“I’ve seen a version of the trailer that’s pretty awesome, that’s close to being ready. I think the plan is in December to put out the new trailer. In terms of new footage and material, Ryan’s creating new footage and material every single day, so I’m assuming he’ll do something new on the internet in the next week or so.”

And while folks are certainly high on the film so far, a recent bout of minor reshoots gave a few people pause about the film’s quality. Not to worry, though. This is standard for every major blockbuster film (it’s even factored into the budget in many cases), and Kinberg confirmed the additional photography was to address simple, minor issues:

“It was just a few days, really minor stuff, and it’s really par for the course with almost any movie these days. If you have the ability to do it, you go back and you do quick pickups. For us it was just a little bit of connective tissue here and there, it was nothing that you would ever notice in the movie. Just sort of minor, little bits and pieces.”

deadpool-costume-ryan-reynolds

Image via 20th Century Fox

Speaking to the quality of the film as a whole, Kinberg says the production process was indicative of the spirit of Deadpool:

“The radical-ness of the movie, the fun of the movie, the sort of mischief of the movie—that would be the best word is ‘mischief’—is something that translates to the way the movie was made too. There was so much freedom to making the movie, I think because the studio understood that it has to be a radical film, a hard-R, and it has to satisfy the core fans, it just was allowed to be in all the best ways a weirder film than pretty much any other movie a studio is gonna release.”


Kinberg went on to say that not only is Deadpool unique for the superhero genre, it stands out from the action genre as a whole:

“It’s radical. It’s radical in tone, it’s radical in form, it’s radical in the level of violence. It’s just a different movie, not just from other comic book movies but I think from any other action movie that’s out there right now.”

In summation, fans can expect something cumulative, emotional, and massive with X-Men: Apocalypse, while Deadpool will give us something that we’ve never seen before—which in this day and age is pretty impressive. That’s one hell of a one-two punch.

You can read the full back and forth between Steve and Kinberg below via transcription. Look for even more tidbits from the interview on Collider soon.

Deadpool opens in theaters on February 12, 2016 and X-Men: Apocalypse is slated for release on May 27, 2016.

x-men-apocalypse-magneto-michael-fassbender

Image via 20th Century Fox

Collider: How much trouble did Ryan Reynolds get in for taking home the Deadpool costume? 

SIMON KINBERG: [Laughs] No trouble at all. We wanted him to stay in character so we let him have whatever he wants. 

Did everyone know he was taking it?

KINBERG: I don’t know. We have more than one so even if he were to do something to it, we’d be covered. 

Well let’s jump into X-Men: Apocalypse, although I do have some Deadpool stuff to talk about. I’ve heard some rumblings that the first X-Men: Apocalypse trailer is gonna be on Star Wars. Can you confirm or deny that information?

KINBERG: I can in fact confirm that information. Our first trailer will be on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


Is it one of those extended trailers, is it like a minute, is it like a full honest-to-goodness trailer?

KINBERG: It’s our first thing out there so it is somewhat of a teaser but it’s certainly longer than a minute and it has a ton of cool stuff in it. 

x-men-apocalypse-rose-byrne-nicholas-hoult-lucas-till-jennifer-lawrence

Image via 20th Century Fox

Oh so you’ve seen it.

KINBERG: I’ve seen a version of it. They’re still working on it.

I think fans are gonna be very excited. With something like that, Star Wars seems to be the one that everyone wants to be on. Charles Roven told me—the way he made it sound was a new Batman v Superman trailer might be on Star Wars. Do you know, is it one of those things that you’re involved with as the positioning of where a trailer goes, or is that like a negotiation at the studio level?

KINBERG: It’s definitely a negotiation at the studio level. I don’t really know how they do it. I’ve always been curious what the negotiation is because obviously there’s certain movies that every film wants a trailer on, like Star Wars, and I don’t know how Disney makes the decisions as to what it does and doesn’t put on there. I’m assuming that whatever movies are the same studio as the film get first priority, but then everybody else is fighting for the remaining spots.

There was a lot of rumbling online that maybe The Revenant would be the place where the trailer went, but Star Wars is kind of a good movie to be attached to.

KINBERG: Yeah, I would say it’s the best movie to be attached to. For all the obvious reasons, that our core audience is gonna be excited about Star Wars and it is, I assume, gonna be the biggest opening of the year so you get the most eyeballs on it. 

I’m definitely curious where you’re at right now with X-Men: Apocalypse. Have you seen a rough cut? Are you super happy with it?

x-men-apocalypse-image-jean-grey-sophie-turner

Image via 20th Century Fox

KINBERG: I’m super happy with it. We are in the edit working on it, working on the first cut of the film. But it’s really exciting. I’ve said this before and I feel it even more having seen the movie cut together: I do think it will be the biggest of the X-Men films just in terms of the scale and the scope of the movie, and even more the emotional stakes and scope of the film. It has a level of drama and emotion, for all of the characters—I think going into it I assumed this would be the culmination in many ways of this little trilogy we were telling for young Erik, Charles, Mystique, and Beast but I think what was surprising over the span of photography and now into post as well is just how resonant the young Jean, Scott, Storm stories are too. So I think the movie feels very balanced between—I don’t wanna call them the older generation because they were the younger generation, but the generation of the X-Men from the last few films and the new generation. 

I know you’re gonna be very guarded, but can you tease any locations that the film might visit from the comics that fans might know?


KINBERG: Hmm, I am gonna be guarded about that. I try not to get too deep into content, especially this early, but there is a lot from the comics that is in the movie I would say. As much or more than any X-Men film we’ve had. 

x-men-apocalypse-kodi-smit-mcphee

Image via 20th Century Fox

Recently Evan Peters revealed that one of his plot lines is the search for his father. I was under the impression, and I could be wrong, that one of the things with Marvel was that neither side would reveal Quicksilver’s lineage. Were we all wrong? Was that an issue that you had to address in order to deal with it in the movie?

KINBERG: I wasn’t aware of that, actually, so maybe I should check. But as far as I know it is something that we are allowed to explore in the film. 

Were you a little surprised when Evan said that or was that something that he was allowed to talk about?

KINBERG: I think it was something that he was allowed to talk about. It’s something that we allude to very vaguely in Days of Future Past when he says, “My mom knew a guy who could control metal” and Fassbender gives him that look, all of which is meant to indicate that it’s his father. It’s a part of the film and I think it’s a really emotional, really important part of the movie. I kind of try not to reveal the big plot points of the film, but I assume at some point or another with 25 actors and a movie shooting all over the world and test audiences and everything a lot of this stuff will leak out. 

It seems to me that Raven, from the synopsis and what I’ve learned, will be taking more of a leadership role this time around. Is that the case?

x-men-apocalypse-lana-condor

Image via 20th Century Fox

KINBERG: I think the movie explores her struggle, which is sort of the result of Days of Future Past. If you think about the end of Days of Future Past, in front of the entire world she stops Magneto and saves the President and cabinet, and so this movie certainly explores 10 years later what it is to wear the mantle of that responsibility. 

Jumping into Deadpool, I post a lot of set visits, I’ve done a lot of set visits on Collider, and one of the things that surprised me was the level of interest in Deadpool. The set visit article performed like crazy and the interview with Ryan Reynolds and Tim Miller exploded, and I think one of the reasons was the talk of Deadpool’s sexuality, which seemed to go everywhere. Did you notice that, that it was a story that got picked up everywhere?

KINBERG: I did notice that, but I also feel like everything with Deadpool explodes on the internet. I knew that there was a fervent fanbase for Deadpool and I’ve been a huge fan of the comics—it’s one of the reasons I really advocated for making a movie—but I’m still constantly surprised by just how broad that fanbase is. I felt it when we were at Comic-Con this year; in a world of Batman and X-Men and Captain America and these huge characters it felt like Deadpool carried the same kind of weight, which was surprising. So yeah, I noticed that the same way I noticed Ryan dressed up for Halloween taking over the internet for 24 hours. 

That was a genius bit. I want to sort of jump into the sexuality thing a little bit. It really broke through. How much of the pansexuality is addressed in the movie? What can you tell people about that?


deadpool-movie-posterKINBERG: Well I think your audience has seen from the materials so far the goal is to be as true as possible to the essence of the Deadpool canon. The character, as you know, identifies as pansexual in the comics, and while we don’t explore it in depth in this film, it’s definitely alluded to. Mainly in this movie we cover his love story with Vanessa from the comics, but it’s certainly something that we could go deeper into in future movies and it has a presence in this one.

Is it sort of like he’s checking out other people and making Deadpool-esque comments?

KINBERG: Yeah it’s very Deadpool. I don’t wanna reveal too much else, but it’s in there in some form.

I won’t press you any further, but I have to say it’s something that I think a lot of people are very excited about because this is just another aspect of the Deadpool movie that is so different from the comic book movie genre that’s been made so far.

KINBERG: Well I think that that globally is true in the Deadpool movie. It’s radical. It’s radical in tone, it’s radical in form, it’s radical in the level of violence. It’s just a different movie, not just from other comic book movies but I think from any other action movie that’s out there right now.

People have a way of making any reshoot like it’s a problem, and I heard that it was just a few days, some minor stuff. What can you tell people about the additional photography?

KINBERG: Well what you said is right. It was just a few days, really minor stuff, and it’s really par for the course with almost any movie these days. If you have the ability to do it, you go back and you do quick pickups. For us it was just a little bit of connective tissue here and there, it was nothing that you would ever notice in the movie. Just sort of minor, little bits and pieces. 

When can fans look forward to seeing new footage from the movie? Have you seen the new trailer?

ryan-reynolds-tim-miller-deadpool-movie-image

Image via Fox

KINBERG: I’ve seen a version of the trailer that’s pretty awesome, that’s close to being ready. I think the plan is also in December to put out the new trailer. In terms of new footage and material, Ryan’s creating new footage and material every single day, so I’m assuming he’ll do something new on the internet in the next week or so. I don’t know if you saw that Hugh Jackman piece that he did.

Oh believe me I did.

KINBERG: Yeah that was just him goofing around in his trailer. I’ve worked on a lot of movies, comic book any otherwise, and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen an actor as perfectly suited to a part as Ryan is to Deadpool. It’s just something that comes so naturally to him. It’s one of the reasons why he creates so many of those viral pieces, because I think he has so much fun being Deadpool that he’s Deadpool on and off set. 


There are very few perfectly cast people and he is absolutely perfectly cast. And what I saw on set was awesome.

KINBERG: Yeah he’s fun. The radical-ness of the movie, the fun of the movie, the sort of mischief of the movie—that would be the best word is “mischief”—is something that translates to the way the movie was made too. There was so much freedom to making the movie, I think because the studio understood that it has to be a radical film, a hard-R, and it has to satisfy the core fans, it just was allowed to be in all the best ways a weirder film than pretty much any other movie a studio is gonna release. 

deadpool-gina-carano-ed-skrein-image

Image via Fox

I have to ask—I keep hearing from everyone involved with this movie how good it is, everyone is incredibly happy with is—is there talk at the studio like, “Hey maybe we should be working on a script or ideas, or maybe start thinking about a release date for a sequel?” Or is it too early? What can you tease about that?

KINBERG: It’s certainly the hope, and there is conversation about what the idea would be and perhaps which characters we would bring in to a sequel. The writers, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, were a really integral part of the process. Our focus, like all of us, is on finishing the film, so I think as soon as we finish the film we’ll be talking seriously about the sequel and then we’ll wait a couple months and see how the movie does. Hopefully the movie will do great and we can keep making these movies, because I do think there’s a lot more story to tell. I’m assuming it’ll come out somewhere whether it’s on the internet or the DVD eventually, but on every single take there’s like an embarrassment of riches of alternate takes, whether it’s Ryan or T.J. Miller, pretty much any character in the movie just goofing around and coming up with other lines, ideas, abs. It’d be fun to keep making these movies because it doesn’t feel like we’ll run out of juice. 

Does Deadpool take place in the X-Men/Fantastic Four universe of Fox? I know Colossus is in it.

KINBERG: It takes place within the X-Men universe and references that universe. It’s not the same time period as our past tense X-Men movies, like First Class, Days of Future Past, and Apocalypse take place in the past and Deadpool takes place in the present, but it acknowledges everything that’s happened in those other movies and the universe, and like you said Colossus is in it and other characters from the X-Men world.

For more on Deadpool:

deadpool-ryan-reynolds-brianna-hildebrand

Image via 20th Century Fox


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