Fans of the Merc With the Mouth got a special gift on Christmas Day, with new red band and green band trailers for the highly-anticipated Deadpool, arriving in theaters February 12. As the countdown to this superhero adventure continues, Entertainment Weekly has two new photos, featuring Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) engaging in an epic sword/ax battle with Ajax (Ed Skrein), along with a shirtless Ryan Reynolds before his transformation into the title character. Ryan Reynolds also explained how the stars and filmmakers embraced the humor of Deadpool.

"[The set] was an alternate-joke factory. For one joke in the movie we wrote 16 versions."

The first photo below showcases the climactic fight between Deadpool, who is brandishing his iconic katana blades, and Ajax, who fights off the Merc with a pair of axes. We have already seen bits and pieces of this fight scene in the first trailer released during Comic Con this summer, and the second trailer that arrived just a few days ago. Ed Skrein offered some more insight into this fight, comparing Ryan Reynolds to Muhammad Ali, and himself to George Foreman.

"Ryan's like Muhammad Ali, dancing around, whispering in my ear. And I'm George Foreman. Every blow is like a haymaker and I just want to take his head off."

Based upon Marvel Comics' most unconventional anti-hero, Deadpool tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life. Ryan Reynolds describes his title character as a lean little jackal, but after seeing how hard Ed Skrein trained, the actor revealed that he should have worked out more.

"Ed got yoked for the movie. I saw his arms and got pretty upset at myself for not working out harder."

Ryan Reynolds stars as the title character, with a supporting cast that includes Morena Baccarin, Gina Carano, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Olesia Shewchuk, Style Dayne, Rachel Sheen and Dan Zachary. Tim Miller makes his directorial debut with Deadpool, working from a script by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Deadpool is based on the Marvel comic book series created by Rob Liefeld. Tim Miller revealed how he approached this unique character in a brief statement to EW.

"Deadpool is nothing but tangents, and our attitude was just 'Let's embrace him.'"

Deadpool is slated for release on February 12, 2016, going up against Warner Bros.' How to Be Single and Paramount's Zoolander 2. Since neither of those films are expected to be R-rated like Deadpool, we'll have to wait and see if the rabid fan base for the Merc With the Mouth will come out in droves and overpower its competition. While we start the new countdown leading up to the February 12 release, take a look at these new photos, and stay tuned for more on Deadpool.

<strong><em>Deadpool</em></strong> Photo 1

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<strong><em>Deadpool</em></strong> Photo 2

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