Spoiler warning for Deadpool 2.
Deadpool 2's trailers lied to audiences in some surprising ways: while the sequel delivered on a lot of its promise, although those who followed the marketing campaign may feel like they were duped. The initial marketing for the R-rated sequel advertised Deadpool's "second coming" as more of the same, but bigger, raunchier, and with the notable addition of Josh Brolin as Cable, the cult classic Marvel comics character who was first teased in the post-credits scene of the original movie.
In order to preserve the surprises in store for audiences, the trailers for Deadpool 2 went to great lengths to hide much of the film's true plot and the appearance of main villains like Juggernaut and the Headmaster of Essex House. Rather than follow the annoying trend of trailers giving away the whole movie, Fox opted to focus on the core conflict between Deadpool Wilson, and Cable. They also teased an expanded romance between Wade Wilson and his special lady friend, Vanessa, as well as the formation of X-Force, a crack team of mutant soldiers (and Peter).
It, of course, started with a cheeky Bob Ross pastiche, so we should have known not to expect a straight-lined ad campaign. Still, with the movie finally out and its true story known to all, it's interesting to see how the trailers were able to conceal the film's myriad twists and story developments. Here's the things that had us most tricked.
- This Page: X-Force Was A Complete Red Herring
- Page 2: Deadpool 2's Jokes And Plot Were Different In The Trailers
That X-Force Was Important... At All
The biggest trick Deadpool's trailers achieved was making audiences believe the film was about the Merc with a Mouth assembling a team of mutants to fight Cable and protect "a kid," revealed in the film to be Russell Collins aka Firefist. It had been widely publicized that X-Force was the next logical step for the Fox sub-franchise and that Drew Goddard's upcoming X-Force movie is expected to essentially be Deadpool 3. In today's world of blockbuster franchises and cinematic universes, it only made sense for Deadpool 2 to set things up to segue smoothly into that presumed next movie, and the trailers pushed this angle hard.
The final trailer for Deadpool 2 revolved entirely around Wade Wilson putting together an X-Force team, and the short clip included shots of Bedlam (Terry Crews) and Shatterstar (Lewis Tan) fighting on city streets... shots which are not in the finished film. The biggest and boldest joke Deadpool 2 plays is how it goes to great lengths to set up the X-Force as an elite squad of skilled misfits and Peter, only to kill them off during the opening salvo of their first mission.
After some clever foreshadowing regarding the wind advisory in effect over the area, everyone is thrown off course and nearly the entire team is killed horribly while Deadpool watches in horror; Bedlam crashes face-first into the windshield of a bus (though he's seen receiving CPR treatment later, so maybe he survived), Shatterstar gets shredded by a helicopter's blades, Vanisher gets electrocuted on electrical cables (revealing the face of Brad Pitt), and Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård) has the misfortune to land in a wood chipper. As he's being tended to by Peter, he pukes acid on him, melting his arm off and killing him.
The only X-Force recruit who survives is Domino, who goes on to play a key supporting role for the rest of the film.
Deadpool 2's Cut Trailer Jokes
A classic trick for comedy trailers is to use different jokes in the trailer than the ones used in the finished film. Often, comedies shoot many takes of the same scene, with various punchlines to compile in the edit (and try out on test audiences). In theory, the cream rises to the top and all the best jokes make it into the film, with the weaker ones landing on the cutting room floor. When assembling trailers, however, editors get the chance to use lines that might work better within the context of a 90-second spot than a two-hour movie.
There are a ton of jokes in the Deadpool 2 trailers which are not used in the finished film, like when Deadpool turns to the camera and says, "Pump the hate brakes, Thanos," directly addressing Avengers: Infinity War which also stars Josh Brolin as the Mad Titan. In the final movie, he doesn't say that line at that point, though he does later call Cable by the name of Brolin's other big Marvel character ("Zip it, Thanos!".
At no point in Deadpool 2 does the title character refer to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants as "pure pornography", presumably as a nod to Reynolds' real-life wife, Blake Lively. Likewise, when Domino suggests that the name "X-Force" is overly derivative of "X-Men" (despite being gender inclusive!), Trailer Deadpool responds, "You're absolutely right," a line which is absent from the finished product. One of the most clever moments in the trailer is when Cable fires his pistol at Deadpool, who cuts the bullet in half in a nod to X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Cable then continues firing, with Deadpool struggling to keep up. Many shots go through, and when Cable runs out of ammo, Deadpool is riddled with bullets. In the trailer, he exasperatedly remarks, "Your bullets are really fast!" but in the movie, he offers a shorter, more incredulous response: "...Ow."
The Fridging of Vanessa
Nearly every superhero has a romantic lead, be they Lois Lane, Pepper Potts, or Captain America's obsession with the Carter family. Deadpool has Vanessa. In the comics, she's known as the powerful mutant, Copycat, but there's no evidence she currently has those powers in the movies (yet). Most of the trailers featured extended sequences between Wade and Vanessa, highlighting their relationship as a story backbone. Which it is, albeit not in the way it was sold.
The trailers focused on the same scene/location for Vanessa - with different jokes mocking either Superman IV: The Quest for Peace or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - because that was nearly the sum of her non-spoiler role: she's shot and killed within the first fifteen minutes, sending Wade into a terrible depression and leading to his journey to build a family for himself. The film even addresses the sudden and unexpected nature of her death during its James Bond-esque opening credits song, Ashes (performed by Celine Dion), where the cast roll is replaced with disbelieving messages.
Vanessa does appear at key moments in the film as a near-death vision seen by Deadpool, who wants nothing more than to join her in death, but is forced to remain among the living. Fortunately for fans of Vanessa (and those who justifiably raise their eyebrows at killing off a female lead just to provide motivation for a male hero), her death is undone during Deadpool 2's mid-credits scene, in which Deadpool uses Cable's time machine to travel throughout history and right several wrongs. He saves Vanessa, saves Peter, murders the incarnation of Deadpool from X-Men Origins, and then executes Ryan Reynolds, the actor, before he can accept a role in the ill-fated Green Lantern movie. Everybody gets a happy ending!
Deadpool 2 was a surprising movie to many, thanks to its effortless raising of both comedic and dramatic elements. The story of saving a child before he becomes a real supervillain is compelling and full of genuine heart, while Deadpool's search for a group of people he can call a family grounds the story in true emotion... And that's to say nothing of The Juggernaut appearing in all his full-sized glory (actually teased in the Bob Ross painting). Indeed, none of these surprises would have carried the same impact had they all been outlined in the film's marketing campaign.