Update: Ryan Reynolds has since responded to @MVBramley, and they appear to have worked things out.
In September, Fox announced the PG-13 movie Once Upon a Deadpool, but it turns out the concept was pitched to Ryan Reynolds on Twitter back in 2017. With the struggles suffered by most of the films in the DCEU, the biggest success story to come out of the world of comic book movies in the last few years outside the MCU is Deadpool. Fox took a chance by agreeing to release the first Deadpool film with an R-rating - a fact star Reynolds has acknowledged - but it paid off big time.
Both critics and moviegoers loved The Merc with a Mouth's solo movie debut, leading to an enormous $783 million take, and the title of highest-grossing R-rated film worldwide. The Passion of the Christ still holds that title domestically, a fact which would no doubt amuse Deadpool greatly. Interestingly, both 2017 and 2018 saw Deadpool almost get knocked off its perch, with IT ultimately earning $700 million worldwide, and well-received sequel Deadpool 2 hauling in $734 million.
After two hit films, Deadpool is firmly established as a character capable of leading his own movie franchise, and it turns out the latest Deadpool movie will arrive in theaters a lot sooner than anyone expected. Of course, there's the catch that it's not a completely new project, and is instead a PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2, surrounded by a new framing device. Set to hit theaters in December, Once Upon a Deadpool features new scenes of a Christmas-themed Deadpool reading the story of the sequel to Fred Savage, in the style of The Princess Bride. It turns out though that user @MVBramley actually pitched that exact concept to Reynolds directly on Twitter in December 2017, many months before the project was announced. Check out the proof below.
@VancityReynolds If Marvel forces you to make a PG-13 Deadpool, just copy the framing device from The Princess Bride and have Deadpool censoring it for Fred Savage as a bedtime story. A kidnapped adult Fred Savage. There, I fixed it.— M.V.B. (@MVBramley) December 7, 2017
Sooo... I tweeted the exact plot of the new 'Once Upon A Deadpool' PG version of #Deadpool2 at Ryan Reynolds almost a year ago and it somehow wound up in a movie without me knowing. #deadpool #ryanreynolds #xmen #movies #OnceUponADeadpool #fredsavage #marvelmovies #mcu pic.twitter.com/tTMHwh2A1a— M.V.B. (@MVBramley) November 21, 2018
In follow-ups to the second Tweet above, Bramley doesn't go as far as accusing Reynolds of ripping his idea off, but does rightfully point out just how crazy a coincidence it would be if those behind Once Upon a Deadpool had independently thought of the exact same idea involving the Fred Savage framing device. Reynolds has yet to comment on Bramley's Tweets, but prior interviews have suggested that the actor himself came up with the idea and pitched it to Fox alongside writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. It's worth pointing out though that a federal judge ruled last year that celebrities don't have to pay people for movie ideas sent to them unsolicited over the internet, mostly because it's almost impossible to prove that said celebrity actually saw the message in question.
io9 caught wind of Bramley's situation earlier today, and asked him to elaborate further on what happened. He apparently first learned of Once Upon a Deadpool via his wife, during a conversation about its trailer. When asked if he plans to pursue legal action against Disney - who'll soon own Fox studios- Bramley quite logically downplayed that possibility, clearly assessing it wouldn't be wise to go to battle with a company that powerful. Hopefully though, he'll at least get some type of acknowledgement from Reynolds, a celebrity renowned for treating his fans well.
Once Upon a Deadpool arrives in theaters on December 12.