Once Upon a Deadpool is one of Hollywood’s weirder ideas. It’s a recut of version of Deadpool 2 that puts the famously raunchy franchise in more Marvel Cinematic Universe-friendly PG-13 territory. A new trailer has just dropped, and even if you’re not a big fan of the Merc With a Mouth it’s pretty delightful.
In it, Wade Wilson kidnaps Fred Savage and tapes him to the bed in order to re-enact the framing from the 1987 classic film The Princess Bride. Being Deadpool, there’s a lot of snark and fourth wall breaking. Have a look if you’ve missed it so far.
It’s a pretty good idea, and comic and science fiction writer Michael Vincent Bramley says he sent it to star Ryan Reynolds on Twitter in December of 2017. He has the receipt.
@VancityReynolds If Marvel forces you to make a PG-13 Deadpool, just copy the framing device from The Princess Bride and have Deadpool censoring it for Fred Savage as a bedtime story. A kidnapped adult Fred Savage. There, I fixed it.
The idea of doing a recut started after Deadpool 2 came out this May, though Reynolds says that Fox has been asking for a PG-13 version of the hero since 2006. Reynolds only agreed to the recut if $1 of every ticket sold would go to the charity Fuck Cancer (appropriately referred to as Fudge Cancer for the purposes of the campaign). Deadpool himself suffers from a fatal cancer held in check by his legendary healing factor powers.
Co-writer Paul Wernick told /Film about the idea process for the framing device, which according to him to happened right after the film’s release and half a year past Bramley's tweet to Reynolds.
After Deadpool 2 came out and we were all sitting around, we came to it less about the idea of let’s make a PG-13 movie and more, “Let’s talk a little bit about Deadpool." We were kicking around some ideas and then I think it was Ryan [Reynolds] who had the great framing device and we all got excited and went to the studio. They said, “Yeah, let’s do it. Fire up the cameras.”
Bramley is clear that he does not think that Reynolds stole his idea, though he has tweeted at Reynolds asking when to expect his check as a joke. He says that the whole thing is either cryptomnesia (where a forgotten memory appears as a new or original idea) or a coincidence.
“Some acknowledgment would be nice, even if it's Reynolds saying; 'holy shit, total coincidence!” says Bramley. “But it is a TOTAL coincidence. I didn't get a word wrong.”
Bramley got just that over the Thanksgiving holiday. Reynolds contacted him after the story began hitting the niche geek journalism sites, and the two of them established it was just happenstance. Still, Hollywood should maybe take notice of a guy with clearly marketable ideas (just one writer's opinion).
"I'm happy to leave it at that," says Bramley. "I'm looking forward to seeing the movie in December!"
Bramley is the author of the Sherbet stories, adventure tales about a drug-addled, lesbian version of Sherlock Holmes from the future. Once Upon a Deadpool is in theaters December 12. Find out more or donate to Fuck Cancer at LetsFCancer.com.