Just one day after 20th Century Fox's Deadpool shocked the superhero world by breaking box office records in its opening weekend, it's success is even more astounding considering the movie almost didn't get made at all. After years of development, in late July 2014, the test footage made by first-time director Tim Miller and star Ryan Reynolds leaked online, and less than two months later, 20th Century Fox gave the green light, setting a February 12, 2016 release date. Now that Deadpool is a bona fide success, taking in a whopping $135 million in its opening weekend, many are still wondering who is responsible for the test footage leak that ultimately got the movie out of development hell and into production. Today we have a new report from The Hollywood Reporter that claims the person responsible for the leak was none other than Tim Miller.
No one has publicly taken responsibility for the test footage leak, including Tim Miller himself, but last week, star Ryan Reynolds revealed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that only four people could have leaked the footage: himself, director Tim Miller and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The actor also stated that they all discussed leaking the footage right from the beginning, but he didn't know for sure who the perpetrator was. The test footage was actually owned by 20th Century Fox, so whoever leaked it could have faced a lawsuit from the studio.
While some have claimed that 20th Century Fox itself may have leaked the footage, this report claims that even the most desperate of studios wouldn't engage in such a practice, since it would cause plenty of potential embarrassment while also setting a precedent for other leaks to occur. While this report doesn't offer any "smoking-gun proof," the site's sources allege that Tim Miller is likely responsible, or one of his colleagues at his company Blur Studios, a company known for making innovative video game trailers and title sequences. Still, no one has come forward claiming responsibility.
The site also spoke with another source who claims that the director didn't leak the footage. If he was responsible, the source claims that he's the type of person who would "come out and say so if he did." The unidentified source also threw another possibility into the mix, claiming that the leak could have happened through emails sent by the director to attract more work as a director, with links to the footage that showcased what he did with the test footage. Still, another unidentified source is certain that the leak was an "inside job" from the team that put together the test footage. Here's what this person had to say below, while praising the director's determination to get the movie made.
"A sentiment for years among the Deadpool team was 'If only people could see this.' There was a wish of 'what if we stepped away from our computers and it somehow leaked?' I've never come across anyone so determined to make something happen. He (Tim Miller) should get a lot, if not the most, credit, for getting this done."
The report also points to Tim Miller leaking the footage because he had "nothing to lose and everything to gain," since he was nearly 50 years old and trying to make his directorial debut. The filmmaker is expected to return for Deadpool 2, which is currently being written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. While a release date hasn't been set at this time, after the enormous success of Deadpool, don't be surprised if a release date is issued sooner rather than later. It isn't known if the person who leaked the footage will ever come forward, but do you have your own theory on who might have leaked the Deadpool footage? Chime in with your thoughts, and stay tuned for more on this superhero blockbuster