The biggest leak of the last week might not be the pre-release torrent of The Expendables 3, but the bootleg of Deadpool test footage. Shot years ago, this short sequence features Ryan Reynolds in digital costume as the “merc with a mouth.” He cracks a few jokes, then cracks a few heads, before decaptiating a bad guy and waving hello to Tom Rothman, who at the time was head of Fox’s movie division.
We haven’t posted the footage because it still hasn’t been officially released. I’m sure you saw it anyway (that’s a screenshot, above), and now you can see Ryan Reynolds on set, in “costume” in a Deadpool test behind the scenes shot.
The image comes from co-writer Rhett Reese on Twitter:
— Rhett Reese (@RhettReese) August 1, 2014
The footage was shot three years ago by Blur Studios, directed by Tim Miller. Deadpool originator Rob Liefeld did an interview about this footage, where he explained a few things that put this image into perspective.
Any technical questions would best be answered by the talented Mr. Tim Miller who directed the entire sequence. As for the entire existence of this footage, remember that it is appropriately referred to as “test” footage for a reason. Fox had released a relatively small budget for Tim to present his vision of the script written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Tim is a master of the short film format, his Star Wars shorts and trailers for their video games are outstanding. Tim’s Blur Studios is an amazing outfit, home to over 70 artists under his direction, it’s Southern California’s own Industrial Light and Magic.
The digital costume over Ryan Reynold’s motion capture (Mo-Cap) performance was an approach they wanted to explore and they had a relatively small window to create this short so they opted to “test” the look of a digital Deadpool costume over Ryan. I’m quite pleased at how it turned out, especially considering Baraka-Deadpool from Wolverine Origins.
So why hasn’t this footage been released officially? It was hosted on the Blur website, which is how the HD version got out there, but Fox is still issuing takedowns left and right. One answer might be this: we know that the studio is interested in a Deadpool spin-off from the X-Men franchise. So we may get the character in the next X-Men film, which could lead to his own movie. In other words, the test footage doing the rounds now may no longer be the movie Fox wants to make. For reasons that probably make more sense to the studio than to us, Fox may want to hold this test footage back.