In January 2010, Fox announced that they hired screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to pen a new script for a Deadpool movie, that already had Ryan Reynolds set to star. A month later, the script -- that was filled with R-rated material -- leaked online, and the reactions to it were so positive that Fox thought it would be wise to shoot some test footage before giving the film the official greenlight. By April, Tim Miller -- a visual effects specialist -- was hired to make his feature film directorial debut with Deadpool, and the following year he was given a low-six-figure budget to shoot the test footage.
During the next 2 years, Fox procrastinated on whether or not to take a chance on an R-rated superhero film. "The economics made little sense. A PG-13 version of the script was on the table," THR reports. "Replacing Reynolds was considered, as was replacing Miller and/or the writers."
All seemed lost, but Deadpool was finally saved when someone(s) made the gutsy decision to leak the test footage on the internet for all to see in August 2014. The responses to it were overwhelmingly positive, and it gave Fox the confidence to finally give the film the official go-ahead.
To this day, nobody is sure who leaked the footage. Ryan Reynolds recently said that he did have discussions in the past with Miller, Reese and Wernick about leaking the footage, but he wouldn't admit that it was his doing.
However, The Hollywood Reporter has spoken with their vast network of sources and believe they can identify the culprit -- or should we say savior. "I am now prepared to say with near (but not total) certainty that it was either the film's director, Tim Miller, or someone close to him," they report.
Neither 20th Century Fox nor Miller's reps would comment on THR's story, and even another one of THR's reliable sources doubted Miller's involvement. "However, one insider insists Miller did not do it, painting him as the kind of person who would come out and say so if he did," THR shared. "This person posits the leak could have originated from emails that were sent to garner the director more work, with links to the footage as a showcase of his talent."
Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
Deadpool hits theaters on Feb. 12, 2016.