- Terry Crews plays Bedlam, a member of X-Force, in “Deadpool 2.”
- But this version of a team of more edgy X-Men mutants doesn’t last long in the movie.
- Crews explains how the X-Force sequence in “Deadpool 2” turned out to be a huge practical joke on the audience.
Warning: MAJOR spoilers below if you haven’t seen “Deadpool 2.”
The birth of the X-Force was in the trailers, posters, and almost all other marketing for “Deadpool 2.”
But if you saw the latest Marvel hit over the weekend, you know the formation of a grittier version of the X-Men didn’t happen the way the movie’s marketing teased it.
Let’s set the stage. In “Deadpool 2,” the Merc With a Mouth finds himself up against a soldier from the future, Cable, who is driven to kill a young mutant named Russell. Deadpool, by this point in the movie, has alienated himself from the only X-Men members who would talk to him, and he decides to form his own super team to stop Cable. He calls it X-Force.
Enter the mutants Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård), Vanisher, Domino (Zazie Beetz), and Peter (Rob Delaney). Well, Peter isn’t a mutant, but he wowed Deadpool at the audition. They team up with Deadpool and head out to take on Cable and spring Russell from prison. They all skydive from a large plane to pull off their plan.
Almost all of this is teased in the trailers. But what happens next is one of the biggest shocks of the movie.
Because of strong winds on the day Deadpool decides to do the jump, his X-Force mates veer off course, and they all suffer horrific deaths — except for Domino because her superpower is being really, really lucky. Bedlam glides facefirst into the windshield of a bus. Shatterstar is chopped up by helicopter blades. Peter dies after being covered in the acid vomit spewed by Zeitgeist just before he’s sucked into a wood chipper. And Vanisher flies right into power lines — with the electrical shock revealing he’s played by Brad Pitt.
The sequence is one of the most memorable from the movie and is the biggest example of the lengths Ryan Reynolds and the director David Leitch went to give audiences a very different superhero sequel.
Business Insider talked to Terry Crews about what it was like to be a part of the movie’s biggest joke, why there was fight footage of Bedlam in the trailers if it wasn’t going to be in the movie, and whether anyone on the set knew Brad Pitt was playing Vanisher.
Jason Guerrasio: Going into doing the movie, were they straight up with you about the fate of Bedlam?
Terry Crews: I knew everything. We were trolling the world. That was the whole point. And the big thing was to keep it a secret. That was the hardest part. I didn’t even tell my wife what was going to happen. My son was like, “What happens?” and I was like, “I’m not going to tell you.”
Guerrasio: So what many people, like me, are wondering after seeing the movie is what is that footage of you knocking someone out in the trailer? Did you guys shoot more X-Force footage?
Crews: [Laughs.] Yes. We shot a whole scene that we knew was never going to be in the movie. I’m telling you, it’s the biggest troll of all time. I couldn’t believe we were going to do this.
Guerrasio: They were just going to use that footage for the marketing knowing it wasn’t going to be in the movie.
Crews: Exactly. Everything that we shot that isn’t in the movie was done to fool everybody to think that me and the other members of X-Force were going to be in the movie the whole time.
Guerrasio: That’s amazing.
Crews: And I felt horrible. The fans were excited. But, to me, the purpose was to give the audience something they would never expect. And it was crazy to keep all that a secret. When we were shooting in Vancouver I had to walk around with blankets over me because there were spies. I just got a few pages, sometimes even just a few lines of the script. Our goal was not to let anyone find out what we were going to do. Because the fanboy culture wants to find out everything before it happens.
Guerrasio: So you’re at the world premiere of the movie, you are one of the few people in that room that knows it’s coming. What was the reaction when the X-Force start dropping one by one?
Crews: When I was first on-screen the audience went crazy, and I just felt so bad because it’s basically a giant practical joke. [Laughs.] So I’m just bracing for it and then we jump out of the plane and our parachutes start going wild, gradually you notice the audience can tell something is wrong. As we died one by one I could feel in the audience people realizing that this isn’t the start of X-Force that they thought they were getting. There was just this audible gasp. When they show Deadpool walking by me and people were trying to revive me by the bus, people around me in the theater were just like, “What the?” It was so good.
Guerrasio: Did you guys shoot different deaths, or was that always Bedlam’s fate?
Crews: That was it. He was always going to get hit by a bus.
Guerrasio: How about the reveal of who Vanisher was? Did you know it was Brad Pitt before seeing the movie?
Crews: That was a total surprise for me.
Guerrasio: So you guys on set doing the scenes didn’t know?
Crews: Nope. I did not know. I had no idea.
Guerrasio: How did they shoot the Vanisher character? Was it just a guy in a head-to-toe green suit wearing a parachute sitting with you guys in the plane scene?
Crews: Not even that. In the scene where we are all sitting around they just had two indented pillows to make it look like Vanisher was sitting there. And then in the plane scene there was a harness rigged to look like a body was wearing the parachute. There wasn’t anyone in a green suit. We were just acting like there was a person there the whole time.
This is what everyone has to appreciate, the level of which this whole thing was done is on another level. There were layers upon layers. This is “The Matrix”-meets-“Inception”-type level. And this is why it’s so satisfying. At this point in the superhero genre everyone has seen everything. Nothing rivals what we’ve done here.
Guerrasio: So the future of Bedlam, are you just waiting for a phone call?
Crews: I’m waiting. There’s nothing that will prevent me from being in stuff, but there’s nothing that says I’m locked up for seven pictures. This is Marvel. I’m open to anything and everything. And it’s funny, some folks are like this is my only shot at a franchise. But hey, Josh Brolin is now two different characters in the Marvel universe — Cable and Thanos. Michael B. Jordan did “Fantastic Four” and “Black Panther.” There’s no limits here, that I can see. To be honest, I love that Bedlam is a character a lot of people don’t know about because hopefully we can grow it into something. I’m ready for anything. And with what is shown at the end of the movie, the way they are fooling with time—
Guerrasio: Ah, I was waiting for you to give me this tease.
Crews: [Laughs.] There’s always ways to bring me back.
Guerrasio: It’s really a testament to you guys keeping this under wraps. As you know, this is an industry of big egos, one of you guys could have been so upset that you all are only in a few minutes of the movie following all that marketing hype they could just leaked everything.
Crews: Oh, easy. It all could have fallen apart at any time. The other day me and Ryan hugged each other and he was just like, “Thank you.” It feels good.