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Deadpool 2: How That Hilarious Celine Dion Music Video Came Together

There's a lot that goes into getting two famous Canadians on the same stage. 

Deadpool 2 studio 20th Century Fox recently rolled out a screwball-y music video for an original song sung by none other than Celine Dion. An emotional power ballad, "Ashes" featured wrenching lyrics that reflect Deadpool's own struggles (getting seriously scarred in a fire really does a number on a guy), and served as the perfect platform for Ryan Reynolds' foulmouthed Merc with a Mouth to show off his impeccable interpretive dance moves as he kicked, spun, and swayed to the tune.

After the chuckle-inducing clip went viral, hitting over two million views the day it launched on the web, director David Leitch chatted with Entertainment Weekly about how "Ashes" came to be and what it was like recruiting the songstress for Deadpool 2

"I needed a song in the movie and I wanted a ballad that was thematic," Leitch said. "But to do the music video, we got marketing involved, and I think their first reaction was, 'Excuse me, what do you guys want to do?' 'Well, we want to shoot a music video. It's a song from the movie. It's Celine Dion singing this melodramatic song, and Deadpool's going to dance an interpretive dance beside her, and there you go.' And they were like, 'Uh, okay.'"

Leitch then explained that he wanted to create a "thematic song in the classic '90s style of 'Take My Breath Away' or 'My Heart Will Go On'" in order to match the genuine emotion in the Deadpool sequel; "Ashes" ended up being the perfect track.

"[The video for 'Ashes' is] probably not what people expected. I wanted to create an original thematic song for the film that sort of was an emotional through-line for the characters. It's not only Deadpool, but also a lot of characters in the film ...  There's real emotion in the movie, and we're coming from a real genuine place. So I started to look for material," the filmmaker recounted. "I was working with John Houlihan, the music supervisor. We were meeting with songwriters, we were hearing riffs and ideas, I was giving them briefings on thematics. And we ended up discovering the song 'Ashes.' It just sort of fit and ticked all the boxes of what I was trying to do, story-wise. And I was like, man, I really would love to find an artist to record this — a contemporary artist who's got the chops to make it super emotional."

And it was actually Reynolds himself who suggested that the Deadpool 2 team approach Dion about singing the song for the sequel. After a bit of thought, the actor gave the iconic singer a call.

"I brought it to Ryan Reynolds and we started to riff on it. And he's like, 'You know who we should get? We should approach Celine. She's an incredible singer, she's amazing, but she's also someone who works in the sort of subversive Deadpool universe.' It's a lot of how things work on Deadpool: One of us has an idea, another one brings another idea to it, and then all of a sudden magic happens," Leitch said with a laugh. "Ryan reached out. We had the song that was going to work for the movie, and then Ryan reached out and said, 'Celine, would you like to record it?' And then together we came up with this idea of having the music video."

As it turns out, Dion's son is actually a Deadpool fan, so things panned out perfectly. When the crew brought her on for the music video, she was understood immediately what they were trying to do. 

"I think she was actually taken aback by the song as well. She's a really sort of fun personality and a really beautiful person ... And yeah, it was fun, and there might be some slight satire to it, but the song is a really emotional song, and we needed it to land in a genuine way for the movie, first and foremost," Leitch stated. "So she got it. And I think she loved the material and she elevated it in a way that only she can."

While Reynolds and Dion joined forces in front of the camera, a collaboration Leitch said was "a really fun moment" filled with banter, Leitch linked up with Deadpool 2 cinematographer Jonathan Sela behind it.

"Something that Ryan and I really wanted to make sure was that we were involved in it and it didn't get sort of handed off to a music video director because we had a strong point of view of how we wanted it to be," the director said. "[We wanted it to be] really sincere with Celine's performance, but then do the classic Deadpool subversion and pull the rug out. We felt it was really important that we were involved creatively, so that's why I really wanted to make time out of my schedule to direct it."

In the end, Dion was "she was really excited about the material," and "gave 110 percent in all the performance takes" — so much so that everyone on set was "kind of breathless." 

As for whether that was really Ryan Reynolds dancing around in sky-high heels on a theater stage in the video, Leitch said everyone will "have to wait and see."

Deadpool 2 is set to launch on May 18.