The Merc with a Mouth might be the star of two of the three highest-grossing R-rated movies ever made that earned over $1.5 billion combined at the box office, but for a long time it looked like we’d never see a Deadpool solo movie given how long the project remained stuck in development hell.
Ryan Reynolds had been attached to play the character long before his live-action debut was butchered horrendously in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, with the actor having been working on a standalone adventure for the foul-mouthed assassin since 2004. However, Fox never seemed to be particularly keen on the idea, having gotten cold feet at the prospect of an R-rated superhero movie as well as being put off by Reynolds’ Green Lantern bombing at the box office.
Things suddenly changed in July 2014 though when test footage leaked onto the internet and generated massive buzz and widespread enthusiasm, leading many to believe that someone on Deadpool‘s creative team was responsible for the leak to try and force the studio’s hand. Whatever the case, it definitely worked and the movie was not-so-coincidentally given a release date just two months after the test footage had been mysteriously posted online.
To celebrate the sixth anniversary of the leak, Ryan Reynolds has now shared a tongue-in-cheek tribute that riffs on Netflix’s recent revival of Unsolved Mysteries, and you can check it out below.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) July 28, 2020
Based on how slowly development is crawling forward on the third installment under new ownership at Marvel Studios, maybe someone should repeat the same trick and leak some new Deadpool footage for Kevin Feige and his team to start cracking the whip and get the reboot on the fast-track to production sooner rather than later. Because at this rate, it seems like we may be waiting a while before the next movie in the franchise gets off the ground.