Deadpool 2 earned $125 million over its opening weekend20th Century Fox

It’s 2016. Deadpool has been released in cinemas, and the 20th Century Fox studio executives are making the most of its obscene profits. They lounge on snakeskin armchairs in their underground lair beneath an active volcano, nursing various head injuries sustained while diving into their respective swimming pools full of gold, discussing how best to capitalise on the film’s success.

“Well, obviously we have to greenlight a sequel,” one says through a mouthful of gold leaf caviar. “The only question is what it should look like.”

But at what point does the film just become exactly what it’s trying to spoof?

Another, regretting his huge investment in Yahoo!, and looking worriedly at his already depleted bank balance, chimes in: “This thing has to be out in cinemas ASAP, so let’s not worry too much about innovation. Plot, character, style, script: these are things we can just lift from other superhero movies. Throw them together with the same sort of easy pop-culture jokes and extreme violence as the first film, and we’re sorted. Maybe we hire a top action director and give him more money for a few more action scenes and better CGI, but it should be pretty easy to fill in the blanks of the secret formula.” Copies of the secret “Hollywood superhero movie formula” are passed around, etched in fine calligraphy onto sheets of platinum.

“Tell me more about these jokes.” A junior executive leans forward, ignoring his rhino steak for a second. “What are we going for here? Carefully crafted, subtle jokes which brutally take down the superhero genre and subvert audience expectations?”

“Oh dear me, no!” comes back the reply, the executive laughing and shaking his head a little. “That’s not what audiences want, my dear boy. They want to feel smart. They need to get the jokes easily, but feel like they’re part of a privileged inner circle. What good is subtlety? We just need Deadpool to keep referencing well-known pop culture phenomena, and keep namedropping the kind of media consumed by the typical Deadpool viewer.”

“Ooh, here’s an idea. How about we cast Josh Brolin and then have Deadpool call him Thanos. But, like, he’s really dark and brooding so Deadpool can also ask if he’s part of the DC film universe.” This is from the caviar guy. Everyone nods approvingly.

Finally, the lone woman in the room speaks up. “Can we at least give the women more clothes this time? Use the film as a way to speak out against the sexist roles and costumes of women in Hollywood?”

“No!” answer all the men simultaneously – and a little too quickly. One continues: “We can’t get rid of the sexy costumes. It’s… Um… It’s…” Finally an idea strikes him. “It’s part of the parody! We need to copy exactly what all the other superhero films do in order to mock them properly.” He reclines again, satisfied, massaging his collection of ivory pens.

The female executive persists. “But at what point does the film just become exactly what it’s trying to spoof? How can we stop it becoming just another earnest superhero movie: an Iron Man, just with more jokes pointing out exactly what it’s doing. Because that’s what the first film started to…”


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She trails off as the chief executive clicks his fingers and armed security leaps into action to drag her from the room before she can spread any more dangerous nonsense.

Gently stroking his pet snow leopard, the chief executive puts his feet up on his footrest shaped like a tearful Mickey Mouse, sighs contentedly, and calls up Ryan Reynolds with the good news.

See Deadpool 2 in cinemas now.

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