When the opportunity arose to squeeze in a last minute celebrity cameo into Deadpool 2, the screenwriters decided to reach out to one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.
Paul Wernick, who wrote the film alongside Rhett Reese and its star Ryan Reynolds, recently revealed how Deadpool 2 landed a surprise appearance from Brad Pitt in the role of Vanisher, an invisible character whose appearance is revealed only briefly when he’s electrocuted.
“We never saw Vanisher in the original script. He was always a mystery,” Wernick told the Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision. “When he got tangled up … we just thought, ‘Oh my god, what a perfect idea for a celebrity cameo.’ And then we thought, ‘Who is the hardest get in Hollywood? Let’s call him.’ “
Reynolds personally contacted Pitt, whose children were big fans of the first film, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“He immediately said yes,” Wernick remembered. “It was a pinch-me moment.”
Pitt’s cameo was shot in under two hours in Los Angeles during postproduction in the spring.
“It was a super small window, but once we had the yes, there was never a pressure — we had a whole window of post to get it done,” said the film’s director David Leitch. “We shot the plates for it and really just needed to get him on a green screen for a short window of time.”
Leitch worked as a stunt double for Pitt on films like Ocean’s Eleven and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which also reported that Pitt had been in early consideration to play Josh Brolin’s character Cable.
Wernick noted that the success of the first film made it easier to lure celebrities for cameos. “The first Deadpool, we got a lot of noes. In this one, we got a lot of yeses,” he explained. “So it was a real treat to have more toys to play with in the sandbox. The premium toy being the Brad Pitt doll.”
Deadpool 2 is in theaters now.