It's time for that dreaded word once more. The word that sends the Internet into a spin of hand-wringing doom as everyone imagines the absolute worst extremes possible. Reshoots.
The latest hyped movie to have its reshoots revealed publicly is Deadpool 2, as Josh Brolin confirmed in an interview with EW saying:
"I'm up here right now in snowy Vancouver doing reshoots for Deadpool. Given that it's a satire of all superhero movies, especially Marvel movies, how can you not?"
Nice little zinger aside, that's inevitably going to be a cause for some concern. In the recent history of reshoots, there have been very few that have been publicly acknowledged that have worked out well. Rogue One was something of an anomaly in that respect, with the reshoots delivering an exceptional movie, but Justice League, Suicide Squad, Superman II... even Scott Pilgrim all tell a completely different story.
Most concerningly, these reshoots are coming painfully close to the film's release and we know what the speedy schedule did for Justice League. Hopefully, the reworked material on 'Pool 2 isn't as substantial, because there's really not a lot of time to get it all finished properly.
And you have to really wonder why they're even happening at this stage.
According to MovieWeb, the issue is the same one that's been behind most big studio decisions to reshoot movies: test audience reactions. Their take on the story cites blogger Jeremy Conrad who took to Twitter at the weekend to reveal that he knows someone who saw a test screening and that the initial reaction was not good.
In a Tweet that has now been deleted, he said the following:
"Fox screened Deadpool 2tonight (not Dark Phoenix again) and...yikes! First reaction wasn't what I expected to hear."
As Fox would have been delighted to read, Conrad went on to say that the film is about 30 minutes longer than the first movie, that the plot is lacking, and that they "waste" Vanessa entirely. Needless to say, Fox apparently threatened legal action and the Tweets disappeared, but Twitter user, Mike Kalinowski, confirmed that he too has heard similar fears after someone called it an "Alien 3 blunder" in story terms:
"I have heard it's testing really poorly. They are stunned with what the screening audiences are saying. I know people don't say much about it but, you cannot underestimate Tim Miller's contribution to getting Deadpool made. He was 1/2 the equation."
So, should we be concerned?
There's some confidence to be had in how flippant Brolin was in announcing the reshoots - as if they're nothing more than an opportunity to take shots at the films Deadpool "lampoons", but there's nothing in the marketing so far to suggest that that's actually the tone. Sure, Deadpool himself is a parody, but the film we're being sold on is a straight superhero movie (albeit with a different kind of attitude). This is not a marketing ploy as part of that approach to parody, it's something else.
If the suspicions around the early test screenings are correct, that's slightly more worrying, but we should also take into account the fact that test audiences are notoriously wrong some of the time. The fact that anyone puts enough weight in their opinions to spend multi more millions shooting new material is baffling considering the bad decisions they've been behind in movies over the years. Then again, we don't hear about the times they've positively changed movies as much...
After the first movie did so well, it would be devastating for the sequel to flounder - particularly when it's delivering fan favourite elements like Cable and Domino (and Terry Crews). And that's precisely why this story will cause concern. Nobody wants the movie to fail - particularly when Disney now own the rights to the character and the keys to his future. One misstep might be enough for the R-Rated hating studio to can him altogether.