Deadpool 2 Scribe Explains Why The Passion Of The Christ Joke Was Risky

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Though the Deadpool movies are known for their somewhat risqué humor, it probably wouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that Deadpool 2 co-writer Rhett Reese felt they were taking a slight gamble when they chose to include a joke about Mel Gibson’s controversial biblical drama The Passion of the Christ in Wade Wilson’s latest film. But while this wouldn’t be the first time that a religious gag has landed a scribe in hot water, the real reason Reese considered the joke to be a risk was less a matter of offensiveness and more of box office rankings.

To give a little context, Gibson’s 2004 film currently occupies the top spot on the list of highest-grossing R-rated pics in the US. But while the Son of God has yet to be dethroned in this category, the Merc with a Mouth wasn’t far off, with 2016’s Deadpool taking second place in the rankings. Naturally, the sequel celebrated this achievement with a little meta-humor, as Wade boasts that he’s now talked about in the same sentence as Jesus before observing that the order goes “Passion of the Christ, then me.”

The trouble is, this joke is one of a potentially limited shelf life, in that there’s always a chance that another R-rated film will come along and knock Deadpool down to third place. Speaking on the commentary track for the sequel’s new home video release, Reese explained how it was a matter of luck that the line still made sense by the time the recent superhero comedy hit theaters.

“It’s a risky joke ’cause it could have gone either way,” Reese admitted. “We’d have to change it if somethin’ else came along.”

Nonetheless, had a new release succeeded in out-grossing the first Deadpool, co-writer Paul Wernick observed that there would’ve been ways of fixing the scene to keep things current.

“The good news, speaking of changing things, [is that] Deadpool’s in a mask,” Wernick said. “We’ve said it before; we can put words into his mouth up until the very last moment, so we’re writing this movie up until it locks — two, three weeks before it comes out into theaters.”

Speaking of late-period alterations to Deadpool 2, the extended Super Duper Cut of the film is now available on Digital, and coming to DVD and Blu-ray on August 21st.

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