Test footage from the unlikely-but-not-impossible Deadpool movie has been appearing and disappearing all over the Internet for the past few days, with a high-res version popping up on Vimeo (since deleted) and DailyMotion (the player above).

Here's what we know about it: director Tim Miller and actor Ryan Reynolds made the two minutes or so of footage back in 2012 to convince 20th Century Fox to greenlight a film. It hasn't convinced them yet, and Reynolds has been less than optimistic about the movie's chances in recent interviews. Fans can assume that if there had been (or could be) a Deadpool movie, it would have looked a lot like this. There's a lot to like about what's in here, and a few things that seem to be missteps. Let's take a look.


    It's Deadpool. The costume is right on, he talks directly to the camera, he seems to be aware that he's in a movie (The "Hi Tom!" at the end is a direct appeal to former Fox CEO Tom Rothman), he accomplishes impossible feats like drawing a crude image of himself cutting a guy's head off before he does it, and he quips non-stop.  It's really like he stepped off the page of a Joe Kelly comic. He is, quite thankfully, considerably more like the Deadpool that Reynolds played in the first 10 minutes or so of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and very little like the one who appeared at the end of that movie.

    And while Deadpool has gotten by fairly well over the years appearing in comics where f-bombs are routinely censored, the R-rated quality of the footage (Miller and Reynolds apparently wanted an R rating so badly they were willing to take a reduced budget) fits the character better than something PG-13 likely would. If you're making a Deadpool movie, you're going to want him to make some decapitated heads talk.


    It's not immediately clear why Deadpool is a permanently CGI character in the footage. Perhaps that wasn't the plan for the full film -- costumes are expensive, and maybe Miller and Reynolds didn't want to go to the expense to make one just yet -- but the indication is that Deadpool may have been entirely animated. It's a little jarring. Beyond that, the footage relies on CGI for almost everything. It makes one wonder why the team didn't just pitch a fully animated film (though an animated, R-rated movie is likely a hard sell).

    There's also a little bit of a tonal issue. Certainly, Deadpool kills people. It's in his name. But the shot where one of the bad guys gets dumped out of the moving car and then run over is kind of jarring in a way none of the other violence is. It goes from funny to grotesque in that moment.

  • ScreenCrush warns that Deadpool fans may not want to get their hopes up that the footage is leaking now. Any chance that the movie would have gotten made as a result of this footage may have dried up two years ago.

    Still, it seems clear that someone released this footage for a reason, perhaps as a way to build up some public buzz about a Deadpool movie. We'll see what happens.