With The Voices in theaters this weekend, we're hearing a lot from star of that movie Ryan Reynolds. He isn't shy about expressing his enthusiasm for the upcoming 20th Century Fox superhero adventure Deadpool, which will tie into the X-Men movie universe. Speaking with Yahoo, he explains how the long-gestating Marvel movie finally got green lit.
Reynolds has wanted to make Deadpool a reality ever since 2009, when he appeared as the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But the road to actually getting it in front of cameras has been a long, hard one. What finally convinced Fox to move forward? While the studio was closely watching sales from the merchandise of Marvel licensed Deadpool products to see how people were responding to the title, it was leaked test footage that finally gave the studio the strength they needed to forge ahead. Asked why Deadpool was finally seeing the light of day, Ryan Reynolds doesn't hesitate to give credit where credit is due:
"Leaked test footage. Exclusively the leaked test footage, 100 percent."
He won't personally claim responsibility for leaking the footage. Nor will he give up the culprit who did. According to Ryan Reynolds, no one involved with the stagnating project had the nerve to put the completed footage in front of an audience. He says:
"I would have, if I had known it would have caused that! Honestly, we all thought Tim Miller, the director, had leaked it. But I have since investigated that enough, in quiet moments when he was beyond the point of being penalized by anybody, and he said that he really didn't do it. The initial [leak] came from Fox they think - someone recorded the footage on their iPhone and then released it. And then once that happened, somebody hacked into Blur Studios and got the original footage in high-res and put it online."
The actor goes onto talk about how excited he was to see the leaked footage hit the internet. He was quite enthusiastic about it's pirated release, especially since the movie had been sitting in development hell for quite a number of years:
"I was excited, because you can look back at an email chain from all of us, the core group involved in Deadpool, saying "We should leak this, f--," like three years ago. Saying, "Hey, if this thing is going to stagnate, one of us should just say 'Whoops, I slipped it online by accident.'" And nobody seemed to want to nut up and do that, myself included. Someone did it for us, years later, when we all completely assumed it was dead in the water. Now, we get to make the movie. We don't get to make it with the budget of most superhero movies, but we get to make it the way we want to make it, so that's even more exciting than having a catered lunch."
This is the second big superhero movie that Ryan Reynolds will have stared in after Green Lantern. That movie is considered a considerable failure by most. What has he learned from that bomb heading into this new project?
"Well, script. When we shot Green Lantern, nobody auditioning for the role of Green Lantern was given the opportunity to read the script, because the script didn't exist. I'm not complaining about it - it was an opportunity of a lifetime, and if I were to go back and retrace my steps, I would probably do everything the exact same way. But script, that's what's different on this one. We've had a script for three years. The script got leaked, and people even loved that. That says a lot, if you can create a script around a comic-book character that is directly within the canon of the character and be embraced. That's a huge step in the right direction. I've since learned that a lot of superhero movies don't really have a fully functioning draft of the screenplay ready until they're already well into shooting."