For anyone else as crazy about ‘Deadpool‘ as I currently am (I saw it multiple times this weekend), it is hard to believe that the film almost did not get made, and went through a lot of hoops just to get the support of the studio behind it. As many remember, despite the valiant efforts of the writers, director, and star to get the film made, and the years of work lobbying 20th Century Fox, what really pushed ‘Deadpool’ into that greenlight was the leaked test footage that showed our “hero” in action, foul-mouthed wit at full speed. At the time the footage struck a nerve with fanboys across the internet, who instantly saw the appeal of an Rated R ‘Deadpool’ and clamored for the studio to allow it to happen, which is what finally gave 20th Century Fox the confidence that there would be an audience waiting for ‘Deadpool’ if they released it.
The question, of course, has long been who exactly released the footage, not that anyone would get into trouble at this point, but just to know, as the bold move definitely led to the production of the movie, and with ‘Deadpool’ currently breaking box-office records for an “R” rated movie, its origins are now historically interesting. Sources at The Hollywood Reporter are now claiming it was none other than Director Tim Miller:
“I am now prepared to say with near (but not total) certainty that it was either the film’s director, Tim Miller, or someone close to him. And while Miller hasn’t publicly said he was behind the leak, numerous sources point to him or one of his colleagues at Blur. I have no smoking-gun proof other than my typically very reliable sources on such matters. But if so, it was a bold move from a filmmaker who had nothing to lose and everything to gain. This was a guy pushing 50, trying to get his first movie made. What was going to happen to him? Be banned from directing movies?”
Of course, another source is also cited who claims it was not Miller, so take all of this with a grain of salt:
“One insider insists Miller did not do it, painting him as the kind of person who would come out and say so if he did. This person posits the leak could have originated from emails that were sent to garner the director more work, with links to the footage as a showcase of his talent. Still, another insider believes the leak was an inside job since, as opposed to years earlier when a Deadpool script leaked online and was regarded as happenstance, this leak had a specific goal of moving the project forward.
‘A sentiment for years among the Deadpool team was ‘If only people could see this,’ says the source. ‘There was a wish of ‘what if we stepped away from our computers and it somehow leaked?’ If Miller is behind the leak, it would make sense to another person close to the project: ‘I’ve never come across anyone so determined to make something happen,’ says this insider of Miller. ‘He should get a lot, if not the most, credit, for getting this done.'”
As for the star himself, Ryan Reynolds, the man has been deceptively coy on the matter, dancing around the truth whenever asked, as he recently was during an appearance on ‘Jimmy Fallon’:
“There’s four of us: me, [writers] Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and Tim Miller, the director. We all said at the beginning that someone should leak it, so the idea was planted, but I’m 70 percent sure it wasn’t me.”
No matter who released that test footage, we can all be glad that they did, as ‘Deadpool’ is an immensely entertaining movie that will hopefully help keep the superhero genre alive with its fresh take on the old formula and drive to push the boundaries of what audiences expect from a movie like this.
Feel free to share your own opinions on who leaked the footage, or even your own thoughts on the film itself in the comments below.