This past weekend, Deadpool made a killing (figuratively) at the box office and earned numerous positive reviews. However, only two years ago, the Merc with the Mouth leading his own solo movie was still just a dream. It was only after animated test footage leaked online in August 2014 that any significant progress began. After positive reception from fans, Fox fast-tracked Deadpool only weeks later, with shooting beginning in March of last year. Since then, the mystery of who posted that footage online has continued to loom, and a new report points to director Tim Miller as a possible culprit.
After speaking with several inside sources connected to Deadpool, The Hollywood Reporter is almost positive that it was Tim Miller, or some close to him at Blur Studios, the company which made the test footage and that Miller co-founded. As they put it:
While Miller hasn’t publicly said he was behind the leak, numerous sources point to him or one of his colleagues at Blur. I have no smoking-gun proof other than my typically very reliable sources on such matters. But if so, it was a bold move from a filmmaker who had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
THR goes on to say that at the time, Tim Miller was almost 50 and keen on directing his first movie. So if he was indeed responsible, what could they do to him: ban him from directing movies? However, one of the sources doesn’t believe Miller did it, saying he would have admitted to doing it by now, and he’s already denied he was responsible several times publicly. Instead, they believe the leak came from emails sent to get Miller more work, and the Deadpool footage was a "showcase of his talent." Another insider says that regardless of who specifically did the deed, it was likely an inside job.
Before Deadpool, Tim Miller’s work was primarily in visual effects and animation at Blur Studios, including creating the title sequences for Thor: The Dark World and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. He had been set to direct Deadpool since 2011, but with Fox not keen on making the movie, both due to its profane script and the failure of the Ryan Reynolds-led Green Lantern movie, they only provided enough money to make the test footage. Even after that they weren’t impressed, and the movie lingered in development hell. Once the studio saw how excited fans were online, only then did they decide to take a risk, and as we saw this weekend, it paid off big time.
Ryan Reynolds also mentioned recently that he, Miller, and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick had tossed around the idea of leaking the Deadpool footage, but the actor is "70% sure" it wasn’t him. Unless someone comes clean in the next decade, or later (as in when the consequences of their action at that point would be negligible), we’ll never know for sure who was responsible. Deadpool fans should just be glad that their anti-hero was finally adapted properly for the big screen after all this time.
Deadpool is currently showing in theaters, and Deadpool 2 has already been ordered by Fox, with Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick set to return. Tim Miller is being looked at to helm the sequel, but nothing is official yet.