At this time last year, the R-rated Deadpool was being eyed, at best, as a modest box office hit for 20th Century Fox, with no awards season analyst in their right mind likely thinking it had a shot at any awards. Cut to today, when just a few days ago, Ryan Reynolds was nominated for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical, and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. This, of course, is after a whirlwind success at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time ($783 million worldwide), which has made anticipation even higher for Deadpool 2. With reports that production starts early this year recently surfacing, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick shed some light on where they're at with the sequel. Here's what Rhett Reese had to say, confirming that shooting starts this year, and even though there will be a number of new characters, the Merc With the Mouth will still be the focus.

"Yeah, it'll be a solo movie. It'll be populated with a lot of characters, but it is still Deadpool's movie, this next one. We're pushing forward very hard. I think by every account we will shoot it this year, and we're on our multiple draft now. It's taken different twists and turns, but it's really coalescing, and we're very, very excited. We're a little nervous, because now we feel like we have to live up to the first movie, but at the same time, we have to have faith, and we have an extreme passion still, and as long as we have passion still, and it's not a mercenary, venal play, which we don't think this is, I think we'll be in good shape."
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One of the most interesting aspects of the original Deadpool was the Ferris Bueller-inspired post-credits scene, where the Merc With the Mouth came back out to have a little chat with the audience. During this brief scene, Deadpool confirmed that the iconic X-Force leader Cable will be featured in the sequel, which, despite the movie's instant success, is still considered quite the ballsy move, considering a sequel wasn't confirmed in the first place. When asked if they always expected there to be a sequel, Paul Wernick had this to say in the Deadline interview.

"We were like the athlete who guarantees victory before the game. [Laughs] It's a world that's so rich and we always thought Cable should be in the sequel. There was always debate whether to put him in the original, and it felt like we needed to set up Deadpool and create his world first, and then bring those characters into his world in the next one."

The first Deadpool featured a pair of mutant X-Men characters who live at the X-Mansion, Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildenbrand), and it was confirmed early on that Deadpool would be a part of the overall X-Men movie universe. While it remains to be seen what the studio's future plans for the Merc may be, after Deadpool 2, Rhett Reese revealed that nothing has been planned yet, although he thinks the studio could easily drop him into a completely different film.

"It hasn't been planned yet, but I don't think it would be too hard to drop Deadpool into another movie. We're used to watching straight man protagonists who are surrounded by comic relief sidekicks; what we weren't sure would work was if you could take a movie and make the lunatic, crazy person the protagonist, and surround him with more sane, normal people. That was our goal when we introduced the X-Men into Deadpool's world, so we put Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead in there, and they're clearly much more serious characters; in particular, Colossus, who's a bit of a square. He's very un-ironic; to take him and drop him as a foil opposite Deadpool, who's the crazy unreliable narrator at the center of your story, it really was an experiment, and we think it worked. There was enough sanity surrounding Deadpool's insanity that it balanced pretty nicely. I think you could probably take Deadpool the way they did with Spider-Man in Civil War and drop him into a serious movie and it might work, but only time will tell."

Last month, an unconfirmed report claimed that Deadpool 2 will start shooting this summer in Vancouver, which is where the first movie was filmed, but no exact shooting dates have been confirmed yet. David Leitch will be taking over at the helm from the departing Deadpool director Tim Miller, who parted ways with the sequel after creative differences arose. Aside from Ryan Reynolds, no other cast members have been confirmed, so hopefully we'll have more casting details soon.