Six years ago, animated test footage for a Deadpool movie leaked online and was met with critical acclaim, resulting in 20th Century Fox finally giving the green light to the project that had rested in development hell for years. The studio ended up making the right call, as 2016’s Deadpool was a critical and commercial success, leading to Deadpool 2 following two years later. However, over half a decade later, it’s still never been 100% confirmed who leaked that footage.
That being said, one of the main suspects has been Ryan Reynolds, though the Deadpool actor hasn’t copped to that. In fact, publicly, he’s still trying to determine who initiated the chain of events that led to him finally playing a faithful version of Wade Wilson. Just look at this Unsolved Mysteries-style video he posted on Twitter to celebrate the six-year LeakAversary.
There you have it, folks. The Deadpool 3 delay doesn’t have anything to do with the current health crisis or the complications concerning how Deadpool can fit within the Marvel Cinematic Universe landscape. Ryan Reynolds is simply too busy trying to track down the person who leaked the test footage, and he’s channeled Unsolved Mysteries (which debuted a new season on Netflix at the beginning of the month following a decade-long hiatus) to inform the masses that he remains on the case.
This is par for the course for Ryan Reynolds. Back in 2018, he “angrily” declared that he was taking over the investigation into the Deadpool leak, and then for the 5th anniversary last year, he shared the cork board breakdown he’d put together detailing the conspiracy, which he referred to as “Phase 5.” For some, the achievements of the two Deadpool movies would be enough to let this matter slide, but that’s not happening on Reynolds’ watch.
Of course, we still can’t rule out that Ryan Reynolds is the guilty party in question, and that all this talk of investigating is just a smokescreen to divert attention. Even back around the time Deadpool came out, Reynolds noted how he, director Tim Miller and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick had talked with each other about leaking the Deadpool footage, and the actor was only 70% sure it wasn’t him. Also, even if Reynolds didn’t do it, there’s a strong chance he knows who did, which means this investigation has been compromised from the start!
Whoever leaked the footage, they did a great service to the Deadpool property. While Ryan Reynolds debuted as Wade Wilson in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, that was hardly a faithful adaptation of the character, whereas Deadpool showed off Wade Wilson’s fourth wall-breaking charm to the general public seven years later. Along with being met with a lot of positive reviews, Deadpool also made over $782 million worldwide, resulting in it ranking as the highest-grossing R-rated movie for a while until being dethroned by its own sequel (Joker currently holds the title).
As for Deadpool 3, setting aside Ryan Reynolds’ Unsolved Mystery shenanigans, it’s unclear what exactly is going on with that. Last December, Ryan Reynolds said the threequel was in development at Marvel Studios, but Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld claims there’s been no movement on Deadpool 3. With so many MCU movies filling up the slate for the next couple years, it may be a while until we hear directly from the studio what the deal is one way or another.
In any case, keep checking back with CinemaBlend for any updates concerning Deadpool 3 and Ryan Reynolds’ definitely real investigation. In the meantime, be sure to look through our Marvel movies guide to learn what the franchise has coming up in Phase 4 and beyond.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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