In the days following director Tim Miller’s departure from Deadpool 2 on October 22, 2016, I penned this open letter to Ryan Reynolds.
Now, on the cusp of rumors that the film isn’t testing well and people starting to worry that the film is going to be a letdown when it arrives on May 18, I’m reposting it for your perusal.
Dear Ryan Reynolds,
There’ve been a lot of rumors swirling around lately, and since they’re just that- rumors- I’m not going to bring those up in any sort of specific fashion. The one common thread coming out of all of these rumors is that you, Mr. Reynolds, are throwing your weight around when it comes to the sequel for Deadpool.
That’s fine, of course. You were the star of that film; A champion for its very existence; And you served as a producer on it.
However, I’d just like to remind you of one very sobering fact:
Deadpool was the first movie you’ve ever made that was an absolute smash.
Despite having a career that goes back a few decades now, and having earned the love and respect of many a fan, your career has been littered with only moderate hits that were overshadowed by huge embarrassing failures. For every quasi-success story you’ve had, you’ve had films like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Green Lantern, and R.I.P.D. that have demonstrated that you have a hard time recognizing a quality project and investing your time accordingly. Just look at your last wide release before Deadpool. Nobody saw Self/Less. And those that did, didn’t like it.
Yet now we’re all hearing that Deadpool director Tim Miller has walked off of the sequel because of creative differences with you. This is troubling to me for a few reasons. For starters, as previously mentioned, you don’t exactly have a knack for making good choices. Beyond that, it worries me because you’re breaking apart the nucleus of what made the first film so great.
While many out there love to tout the idea that “Deadpool only got made because Reynolds was fighting for it,” the people who say that are forgetting one simple fact:
You had been pushing for a Deadpool movie for years upon years, but it wasn’t until Miller’s test footage leaked online that the movie actually became a reality.
So it wasn’t your star power that finally got the film a green light. It was Miller’s bravura visual storytelling, combined with your voice acting, that worked fans into enough of a frenzy online that Fox simply had to say “Yes!” Or, as you put it on Conan O’Brien, the test footage “put Fox in a hammerlock death-grip and they greenlit our movie.“
Producer Simon Kinberg has echoed the importance of the test footage in the past, saying it “was a huge part of it. There’s no question but that the response from the Internet was pretty undeniable to the studio. It proved just how fervent the fan base was for Deadpool and that it could ripple out past the core fans and into the general culture, at least on the Internet.”