- Ryan Reynolds posted an apparent link on Tuesday to watch “Detective Pikachu” in full, which doesn’t hit theatres until Friday.
- The video was actually an elaborate prank, but it reminded fans of when test footage from “Deadpool” leaked online.
- Reynolds has all but admitted to leaking the test footage, to pressure film studio executives into funding the offbeat superhero film.
- Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.
Ryan Reynolds stirred up some intrigue online Tuesday night when he apparently posted a link to watch “Detective Pikachu,” his new feature film that doesn’t hit theatres until Friday.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) May 7, 2019
Fans won’t be surprised to learn that Reynolds, a noted online troll, was staging an elaborate prank – but the move also had a meta, self-referential twist.
Back in 2016, Reynolds all but admitted to leaking the test footage for “Deadpool” online, to pressure film studio executives into funding the offbeat superhero film.
Must’ve been the same guy who leaked the Deadpool video… strange.
— Mackenzie (@MckAttackGames) May 8, 2019
“It leaked accidentally onto the internet,” Reynolds told Jimmy Fallon of the test footage, which he said had been sitting untouched for four years. “The ‘Deadpool’ fans freaked out and overwhelmed Fox, and Fox basically had to greenlight the movie.”
Reynolds heavily hinted that he had leaked the footage in order to get the movie made, but as it would be illegal to post footage owned by Fox without permission, he couldn’t truly own up to it.
It’s the 4 year Leak-iversery. UPDATE: Still searching for the bastard who leaked our test footage onto the internet causing Deadpool to receive a green light. Taking over the investigation myself. #Angry. pic.twitter.com/gJ1Y5HSWlc
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) July 28, 2018
Of course, the YouTube video that Reynolds retweeted on Tuesday,titled “POKÉMON Detective Pikachu: Full Picture,” was a red herring likely designed as a publicity stunt.
After a brief intro sequence, the “leaked footage” revealed itself to be nearly two hours of Pikachu dancing like a workout instructor in an ’80s aerobic video – itself a reference to an old viral video that’s been referenced and parodied on comedy shows like “Key & Peele.”
POKÉMON Detective Pikachu — FULL MOVIE — https://t.co/qsqXvUOpvI
— Inspector Pikachu (@InspectrPikachu) May 7, 2019
The official Twitter account for “Detective Pikachu” even replied to Reynolds’ tweet (“oops”), having changed the name on the account to “Detective Leakachu.”
— POKÉMON Detective Pikachu (@DetPikachuMovie) May 7, 2019
At the time of writing, the “leaked movie” on YouTube has racked up nearly five million views.