Normally you have to wait for a superhero movie to scroll past the credits before scouring each scene for hidden Easter eggs. Deadpool is anything but normal. You could probably guess as much from the film’s excellent marketing campaign. But ads and trailers can be misleading; Deadpool’s opening credits, however, clue viewers in as to just how seriously the film’s creative talent would take the superhero genre: that is, not seriously at all.
The credits, synced up perfectly with the audio track of Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning”, not only give a great introduction to the visual style and humor that would be found throughout Deadpool, they also hide a number of Easter eggs for fans of the Marvel comics and Ryan Reynolds alike. Director Tim Miller and Blur Studio’s Layout Supervior Franck Balson recently sat down with Art of the Title to talk about the film’s success, its visual approach, and those wacky credits sequences.
Before we get to the Easter eggs, it’s worth knowing where the idea for the opening credits sequence came from. Miller confirms that they had the basic idea for what the final film would eventually bring to the screen, but that wasn’t always a lock:
We originally had to cut the title sequence from the visual effects budget. We just couldn’t afford it. But before we left for Vancouver, Franck had done an animatic version of the titles and it was nice to have something that we could say, “Here’s what we’d like to do” even though we had cut it from the original budget.
There’s always things that get cut for budget reasons, it’s a process. There’s always a list of things we’d like to do if we could find savings somewhere else.
Balson reveals, however, that it was always in the script:
Yeah, it was in the script — at least the very first one that I read. It was actually pretty clear: It was this frozen moment with one of the thugs and the lighter coming out of his mouth. It was basically saying these guys are fighting in the car and we’re moving across this macro world seeing all these pieces of debris. Then we reveal that Deadpool is in there and it switches back into real-time, and into the movie …
The funny part was that, at the time we started the title sequence, no one had been cast except Ryan Reynolds. So because it was a title sequence the only names that were in there were Tim’s — which he asked me to remove really quickly — and Ryan’s. But we needed placeholders for the rest. I’d read the script and knew there was going to be a “hot chick,” a “young girl,” a “bad guy,” and so forth. That was the only thing we could put in there because we didn’t know who else was going to be in it.
So one day Tim asked me if I had a version of sequence and I was like, “Yeah, but it’s not finished.” But then I showed it to him and he liked it.
The wacky credits didn’t stop there, as you well know. Here are all the Easter eggs you might have missed (or maybe didn’t completely understand) from Deadpool’s opening salvo. First up is Reynolds in a familiar-yet-different green superhero suit:
Tim: [laughs] Well, we actually bought a stock photo and put his face on it for that one…
Franck: The number of iterations on this card was insane! [laughs]
Tim: Yeah, it was a delicate situation. To find that sweet spot where it hinted at another film, but wasn’t that other film.
Okay, that one was a gimme. Here are some more Easter eggs for hardcore fans:
Franck: Killebrew is on the phone but it’s so out of focus that you never see it properly.
Tim: Yes, Doctor Killebrew is the guy in the comics that runs the Workshop.
Also the thug in the beginning with the lighter coming out of his mouth — we had a joke we filmed where Deadpool burns a circle in the middle of his forehead and says “I loved your work in Daredevil!” Colin Farrell was Bullseye in the Daredevil movie and he had a little target tattoo in the middle of his forehead. So that joke was something Ryan added as a fun insider gag originally, even though we eventually changed it to a broader joke, “I never say this, but don’t swallow!” [laughs]
Franck: We have Rob Liefeld on a coffee cup — Rob L. You have the little sex keychain as a little quick thing, you have the Ryan Reynolds cover, then you have the wallet that has Ryan Reynolds again, the Orange Number 5 card, the Hello Kitty, Deadpool’s junk, which is how we introduce the character…
Tim: That’s not quite an easter egg… As we said, we had more, but we took them out because it was confusing.
Be sure to head over to Art of the Title to check out Deadpool’s opening and final credits sequences, along with some key art, concept images from the filmmaking process, and much more. And for more on Deadpool, take a look at some of our recent coverage below:
- ‘Deadpool’: Check Out the Excellent VFX Work in a Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
- ‘Deadpool’ Becomes Just the Third R-Rated Movie to Cross $300 Million Domestically
- ‘Deadpool’: Makeup Designer Bill Corso on Comics Influence and Making Ryan Reynolds Ugly
- ‘Deadpool’ Director Tim Miller and Dave Wilson on the Film’s Success, Blur Studio, and the VFX World
- Could ‘Deadpool’s Success Herald the Return of the Mid-Budget Action Movie?
- ‘Deadpool’ Video Reveals Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin in Compromising Positions