Ryan Reynolds in ‘Deadpool’ (Photo: Twentieth Century Fox)
Deadpool’s profane meta-jokiness has helped propel it to the top of 2016’s box-office charts ($343 million and still counting). And no moment epitomizes the film’s tongue-in-cheek attitude more than its opening credits. A slowmo tour through a crashing car (with Ryan Reynolds’ wisecracking assassin in the center of this violent maelstrom), Tim Miller’s special effects-heavy intro is a grab bag of references, allusions, and inside jokes. As Collider notes, there’s a lengthy new chat at Art of the Title with the director and Franck Balson (layout supervisor at VFX house Blur Studio) in which they not only discuss the painstaking trial-by-error process of crafting this standout sequence, but also detail many of its most carefully hidden Easter eggs.
Chat highlights include Miller’s recollection that, for rights reasons, they had to be careful when it came time in the sequence to give a nod to star Reynolds’ past superhero effort in Green Lantern: “We actually bought a stock photo and put his face on it for that one.”
Then there’s Miller’s revelation about Reynolds’ subtle jab at another movie featuring a red-clad superhero: “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]”
And for the true ‘Deadpool’ die-hards, Balson described another tip of the cap. “We have [Deadpool co-creator] 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.” To which Miller added, “That’s not quite an easter egg… As we said, we had more, but we took them out because it was confusing.”