20th Century Fox might have wasted no time in greenlighting a sequel to Deadpool, but they did hesitate for years about moving ahead with the original movie. It was the overwhelmingly enthusiastic Internet response to the movie's leaked test footage that helped them make the decision to do it.
But even after taking a step forward, the studio was very reluctant about spending money on Deadpool. Due to their budgetary concerns, three villains (Wyre, Garrison Kane, and Sluggo) who featured in an initial draft as underlings of Ed Skrein's Ajax were eventually replaced by one character, Gina Carano's Angel Dust.
They even forced the movie's creative team to exclude some action sequences, including a motorcycle chase between Deadpool and Ajax and a big gun fight in the third act, in order to slash approximately $8 million from the budget.
However, while Fox was trying to spend as little money as possible on Deadpool, the team had Ryan Reynolds, who spent money out of his own pocket to make sure that the writers were available on set.
That's what the writers, Paul Wernick and Rhett Rheese, themselves reveal during this Sunday's episode of AMC's Geeking Out (via Comic Book)! Here's a quote from that interview:
We were on set every day. Interestingly, Ryan wanted us there, we were on the project for six years. It was really a core creative team of us, Ryan, and the director, Tim Miller. Fox, interestingly, wouldn't pay for us to be on set. Ryan Reynolds paid out of his own money, out of his own pocket.
Today, Deadpool is not only the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, but also the most successful X-Men Universe installment Fox has ever made. And it's the sixth-biggest movie of 2016, too.
Had the studio known that the Merc with a Mouth's standalone movie would go on to do such wonders for them, they would have likely not been so cautious about the project.