“Deadpool and Wolverine” director on reuniting Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman: 'Goosebumps'

“Deadpool and Wolverine” director on reuniting Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman: 'Goosebumps'

Shawn Levy recalls the first moment he got the two actors back in their superhero suits.

Filmmaker Shawn Levy has worked with both Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman multiple times already, from Real Steel to Free Guy to The Adam Project. But seeing his pals back in costume as Deadpool and Wolverine was another kind of experience.

"This will sound like a scripted answer, but the straight-up truth is that when they first stepped out in their costumes — it was a camera test before we shot — every one of us froze. Goosebumps," the Deadpool and Wolverine helmer tells Entertainment Weekly prior to receiving the Director of the Year award at CinemaCon.

"These are my buddies; they have been for over a decade, but those guys in those suits as those characters, they become something bigger than real people," he continues. "They become icons, and it's a crazy thing that those suits have such a power."

For the first time since 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Reynolds and Jackman share the screen together as the titular Deadpool and Wolverine, coming to theaters July 26. Levy came out earlier on Thursday to present nine minutes of footage to CinemaCon attendees.

<p>Jay Maidment/ 20th Century Studios / MARVEL</p> Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman in 'Deadpool and Wolverine'

Jay Maidment/ 20th Century Studios / MARVEL

Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman in 'Deadpool and Wolverine'

The movie kicks off when Wade Wilson's (Reynolds) birthday celebrations are interrupted by the Time Variance Authority, the multiverse organization introduced in Disney+ series Loki, where he meets with Mr. Paradox (Succession star Matthew Macfadyen). What transpires is an R-rated jaunt across the Marvel multiverse, bringing Wade together with Logan (Jackman).

Deadpool and Wolverine marks Disney's first R-rated Marvel movie. To drive that fact home, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige dropped numerous F-bombs during the CinemaCon presentation, calling the film "f---ing awesome."

"I didn't plan on highlighting the fact that we all heard Kevin Feige swear, but when he did it three times, I realized, 'Oh s---! This is like a big grownup boy who's finally allowed to use a major potty mouth, and he's going to that well not once, not twice, but three times," Levy says. "This started off with a conversation between Ryan and me initially during Free Guy, then again very much so on Adam Project. We spent a long time writing this script together, just making each other laugh. To Kevin and Marvel, even though I had to make fun of them, there has been huge leeway, trust, and empowerment in making the movie Ryan and I had in our head."

The one thing Levy can't really talk about are all the names that have been reported and also rumored to appear in Deadpool and Wolverine, from Jennifer Garner's Elektra to previous X-Men movie characters to Taylor Swift. When asked about the latter, the filmmaker says, "I regret that I was not quicker to shut it down the first time, so I'm going to default to my very true situation, which is as much as we love each other, the fear of death is so intense in me regarding Ryan and how he desperately wants to avoid talking about all of these proliferating rumors."

At this point, who hasn't been rumored to appear in the film? "I haven't read any Tom Cruise rumors," Levy jokes. "And who knows? Maybe that's just the internet asleep at the wheel."

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