Some movie stars are better at social media than others, and Ryan Reynolds has definitely proved to be one of the best in the game at this point. Between Detective Pikachu, Deadpool, and the presence of Hugh Jackman in his life, Reynolds keeps finding ways to delight us with his Twitter and Instagram feeds, and this weekend was no different.
July 28 marked the five-year anniversary of the day when someone decided to leak a rather dazzling reel of test footage for a Deadpool movie that Fox didn't seem to want to greenlight. The test footage, much of which was ultimately reworked for the final film, featured Wade Wilson (Reynolds) leaping from an overpass and into an SUV, where he made short, hilarious work of a few goons. The footage blew up the internet on the day it hit, and helped pave the way for Reynolds to finally get the Deadpool solo film — which promptly became a massive R-rated blockbuster hit that spawned a sequel and talk of an X-Force team movie — made after years of trying.
Reynolds is well aware that the footage leak changed his life and his career, and he's made it something of an annual tradition to celebrate the day when it arrived online and started a new wave of fan demand for the movie that would become Deadpool, usually by referring to an ongoing investigation he's conducting to finally catch the people responsible for letting the footage slip out into the world. This year, that celebration looks like this:
If you take a little time to zoom in and examine the Deadpool conspiracy board, you'll find quite a few little jokes. The suspects include everyone from Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld to screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, director Tim Miller, and Reynolds' own wife, Blake Lively. Also, Betty White could have been responsible, apparently, and Reynolds is still not willing to rule out the possibility of an inside job, including a note that reads "70% SURE NOT ME."
But let's take a look at that caption, shall we? Reynolds used the five-year anniversary as an opportunity to make a joke that he's calling this year of the investigation "Phase 5." That, plus the use of a full-blown conspiracy board with yarn and everything, all amounts to a clear nod in the direction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which just rolled out its Phase 4 slate at San Diego Comic-Con. During that presentation, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige teased the possibility of "mutants" in the MCU's future, and though no concrete announcement was made, all signs point to Phase 5 as a solid unveiling point for the future of mutants on the big screen. We don't know whether or not Reynolds knows anything about the details of that yet, but he's very clearly angling to make us think that he knows something, so start your conspiracy engines now.
How and when Deadpool will be introduced into the wider MCU (provided Marvel doesn't just decide to keep him tucked into his own little R-rated pocket universe) remains to be seen, but Feige did recently squash a rumor that the Merc with a Mouth would enter the MCU via a crossover with fellow quipster Spider-Man, so we'll have to keep guessing. For now, just keep staring at that board and see if you can spot the "smoking gun" that Reynolds himself still seems to be searching for.