Who REALLY Leaked The Deadpool Footage?

Who leaked the Deadpool test footage? That's the question that's hung over the big screen success of the '90s comics icon since a short clip of some concept footage leaked online and created such hysteria that, according to Ryan Reynolds, "Within twenty-four hours, we had a green light." The video, only a few minutes in length, was a CGI version of the highway action scene from the movie, in which Deadpool kills a bunch of a suited cronies in a gruesome high-speed sequence, complete with wise-cracking and fourth wall-breaking. Not only does he look the part in his signature red-and-black spandex but, crucially, actor Ryan Reynolds' delivery of the mercenary's acerbic humor was completely on-point, really bringing the character to life.

Ever since that footage went viral, the identity of the mystery leaker has been the topic of much discussion across the information super-highway. Not that anybody's complaining - quite the opposite. Fans just want to know where to send the thank-you cards for what's become one of the most-loved comic book movies. But whomever it was, they put their career on the line in the hopes of proving Deadpool was a film worth making.

RELATED: Ryan Reynolds Tried To Make A Deadpool Movie BEFORE X-Men Origins

If fans had rejected the footage, then Fox would've been made to look careless and it's likely some heads would've rolled behind-the-scenes in the search for the culprit. As it stands, everyone ended up making a lot of money instead, so Fox seems happy to let this one go... But that hasn't stopped us wondering.

The Leaked Test Footage Is What Got Deadpool Made

Comic book movies are usually a very meticulous, studio-organized affair, and the way Deadpool came about was something that really threw the entire process for a loop. Ryan Reynolds, the star, had been trying to get a Deadpool solo flick green-lit for more than a decade, to no avail. Fox were interested in the character, putting a Deadpool spinoff into development after the success of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, in which Reynolds played a heavily altered and much-derided version of the Merc With A Mouth. However, Reynolds' leading man credentials took a substantial hit with 2011's Green Lantern for DC and Warner Bros., a critical and box office bomb, souring Fox on him shouldering another big superhero production.

Ever the true believer, Reynolds kept pushing behind-the-scenes, meeting with multiple possible directors before Tim Miller signed on to make the movie his directorial debut. Miller was a respected creator in Hollywood, his special effects company Blur Studio having produced work for several major releases. Together, he and Reynolds, along with writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, made a CGI mock-up using one of the bigger set-pieces of exactly what they wanted to do with a Deadpool movie to show executives. Unfortunately, said executives were even less convinced than before - the fourth-wall-breaking humor and hardcore violence considered just too outlandish for a comic book movie. The footage sat on the shelf as Marvel Studios movies continued to break bank and Fox continued to toy with using Deadpool in some sort of bit-part for one of the X-Men movies.

RELATED: Deadpool 2's Director Change: What's True & What's Just Rumor

Then came July 2014, when the CG-clip Reynolds et al had been holding onto found its way onto online video providers and swiftly became a viral sensation. Fans loved it – this was Deadpool exactly as he is on the page. And suddenly Fox's quiet refusal to give Wade Wilson a film became the topic of public outrage. Why had they been denying everyone two-hours of this joy? Did they really think something so offbeat wouldn't draw an audience?

A few weeks later, we learned that Tim Miller and Ryan Reynolds had been given the go-ahead to make the gnarliest Deadpool movie they could, based on Reese and Wernick's script. Finally, it was on, and they had the fans and their guardian-leaker to thank. A smooth shoot, more than a few jabs at Fox's mishandling of the X-franchise to date and $738 million later, Deadpool's got an even bigger following that he's ever had with a sequel on the horizon.

And this was very likely always the plan.

Page 2: Who Leaked Deadpool's Test Footage?

1 2
Key Release Dates
  • Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
Vikings Siggy Haraldson
Vikings: Why Siggy Was Killed Off In Season 3

More in SR Originals