Rejected test footage for FX's now-canceled animated Deadpool TV show has leaked to the internet. Atlanta creator Donald Glover was tapped to develop Deadpool for FX before suddenly exiting the show due to "creative differences." Archer animation house Floyd County would have been responsible for bringing the series to life, with Glover and his brother Stephen acting as showrunners. FX remains in league with Marvel of course, with Legion season 2 set to debut on the network soon.
Speculation about the nature of the "creative differences" that ended the Deadpool project has grown heated since news first broke of the Glovers' departure. Indeed, Donald Glover himself stoked those fires with a series of since-deleted tweets that seemed to obliquely reference his issues with Marvel and FX. Glover began his rant by shrugging off the notion that he was simply too busy to get work on Deadpool. He then tweeted out 15 script pages from an ostensible Deadpool episode loaded with barbed jokes directly aimed at Marvel.
What might have been a hilarious animated Deadpool is now dead and all we have are Donald Glover's deleted fake script... and some rejected test footage. Animation house Titmouse offered up the test footage (via CBR) showing how they would have tackled Deadpool from an artistic standpoint. Again, Titmouse ultimately did not get the gig, which went instead to Floyd County. The footage is appropriately over-the-top and crazy and gory. Click HERE to see the clip.
Not all of the animation in the clip is finished, and what's there is very cartoonish (as you would expect) and filled with gory gags. Over the course of the brief video, Deadpool gets flattened against a shipping container, then has an arm sliced off, and then gets the rest of his limbs sheared away in an explosion. All along the way, Deadpool quips away in his usual fashion, with dialogue lifted from Ryan Reynolds' 2016 Deadpool movie.
Alas, this brief glimpse is probably all we'll ever get to see of what Deadpool would have been. It's unlikely we will ever get full clarification on the issues that ultimately brought the curtain down on the Glovers' Deadpool. But going by Donald Glover's tweets, it's safe to infer that his and his brother's vision likely was too edgy for Marvel. In his fake script, Glover has Deadpool utter dialogue that seems to criticize Marvel for a lack of courage. At one point Deadpool says, "It just feels like everyone wants something different, but no one wants to do anything different to get it.” Even more pointedly, Deadpool later asks, "Doesn't Marvel have enough feel-good minority shows everyone supports but doesn't watch?”
Some of Glover's barbs have led to speculation that Marvel found his vision for the show too "black." That issue was taken up by Stephen Glover in his own now-deleted tweets (via The Wrap), in which he insisted the show's "blackness" was not the issue. According to Stephen Glover, he and Donald simply wanted to "give Rick and Morty a run for their money." That implies the show was generally just too over-the-top and dark for FX and Marvel. Stephen also claims his and Donald's jokes about Taylor Swift were "the last straw." Deadpool the animated series may still one day happen, but there won't be any Taylor Swift jokes, apparently.