[Updated with a new video embed and a tweet from the project's co-writer.]
While the general public might only know Deadpool as the Ryan Reynolds character from X-Men Origins: Wolverine or from his self titled video game of last year, he is one of the most popular Marvel Comics characters. He has a number of comic book series to his credit, and go to any comic con and you’ll see numerous cosplayers dressed up as him.
A film was long in the works for the character, but his appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine , an interpretation that moved away quite considerably from way the character is portrayed in the comics, seemed to set the possibility of a Deadpool film back instead of move it forward.
However, in 2011, Tim Miller was hired to bring Deadpool to the big screen. Miller, who came from the world of visual effects, created test reel to show his take on the character. That reel is included below, but click fast because it might be taken down at anytime (see more about that below).
In case that footage no longer exists, let me give you a run down on it. The footage covers page 7 through 11 in Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick’s April 12, 2010 script for the feature, albeit with the violence and gore toned down a bit. The resolution isn’t all that great, but it appears the scene was “filmed” entirely in super-realistic CGI. It starts with Deadpool, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, sitting on a highway overpass waiting for something. We soon see what as he steps of the overpass and falls into a SUV filled with sunglasses-wearing thugs.
Deadpool beats the crap out of the four occupants–shoving one out the door, breaking another’s neck–before inevitably causing an accident. The accident, which involves the SUV spinning end over end sideways down the highway, gets the attention of a lead, motorcycle riding thug. The biker thug gets off his bike and fires a machine gun at the SUV, which is barreling towards him. As the SUV passes over him, he watches Deadpool pull out a katana inside the car. The SUV lands and the scene ends with Deadpool using the biker’s head as a puppet to address the audience.
I am not the biggest Deadpool fan and therefore am nowhere near an expert on him, but from what I see in the clip, everything that makes the character popular is there on the screen. The inventive, fearless fighting style, the humor/craziness of the character, the witty quips (judging by the differences from the script, many possibly provided by Reynolds himself), the breaking of the fourth wall, everything that would make Deadpool fans scream “Shut up and take my money” is there.
Of course, Fox’s reply to all this popular press is to order the clip be taken down. Early reports on the footage were taken from a You Tube upload of the video that Fox asked to be taken down. The version I imbedded was a Vimeo clip, and was active at press time, but odds are Fox will get around to having that one taken down as well at some point.
Cynical people might theorize the clip was leaked by someone to generate this type of interest. If so, hopefully Fox will take a hint and green light the Deadpool film at long last.
UPDATE: Co-writer Reese tweeted out the following picture of the shooting of the test footage featuring Ryan Reynolds in a mo-cap suit.
— Rhett Reese (@RhettReese) August 1, 2014