The Deadpool 2 Saga: Some Claim Negative Test Screening Buzz “Fake News”

Deadpool 2: now with 50% more Cable

As my previous Deadpool 2 post is the most highly visited one on my site at the moment (and here I thought my multi-part essay on the metaphysical implications of The Room as it relates to the later works of Stephen Hawking was going to beat that, stupid me), I’d be remiss if I didn’t milk it for all it’s worth report on further developments.

Initially, entertainment blogger Jeremy Conrad had posted that an initial test screening for Deadpool 2 went over worse than a lead balloon tossed into a rescue net made of Kleenex:

“Fox screened Deadpool 2 tonight (not Dark Phoenix again) and…yikes! First reaction wasn’t what I expected to hear.”

Conrad was then forced to take down this and other tweets related to the Deadpool 2 by Fox.

Roughly around the same time these tweets disappeared, a new narrative emerged through the entertainment site Collider: that Deadpool 2, according to their own sources, actually had great test reviews—and that any rumors of negative test reviews were probably (I’m not quoting them here, but I just can’t resist to use this term) “fake news.”

In fact, the only criticism of Deadpool 2 via the test screenings that Collider’s source would admit to was that the Cable & Domino parts of the already awesome film were SO incredibly awesome, the audience wanted more of those characters. Which, the source goes on to explain, is why they had the reshoots—BUT THE RESHOOTS ARE JUST A NORMAL PART OF THE PROCESS, NOT *ANY* SIGN THAT THE MOVIE IS BAD!!!

So what happened here?

Here are my guesses:

a) There probably was some negative reaction to the initial test screenings. Perhaps it was exaggerated online, perhaps it wasn’t. Fox killed the tweets, so we’ll never know 100% anymore.

b) Fox did probably attempt some sort of PR counterpoint to the initial negative buzz. Because they have a lot of money—as well as continuing franchise hopes—invested in this film.

c) If Fox did do an effort to reach out to some sites and put a positive spin on things…it’s hardly an anomalous or nefarious turn of events. It’s what studios do all the time. I used to run an entertainment website for a large media concern. I had studios contact me. I’ve had companies offer expanded access to PR content in exchange for positive spin. I’ve had studios, exasperated with me, contact my boss. I’ve had stories killed. I’ve at least listened to a studio PR person’s “side of the story” about certain things; sometimes what they said made sense, sometimes it didn’t. Sometimes the fan buzz jumped the gun and was steeped in its own agenda; sometimes it was the opposite. It has run the gamut.

Not saying this happened in the Collider case. I’m just trying to give you perspective. If somebody from the studio unofficially contacted Collider and said: “this is what really happened”…what the fuck are they supposed to do? 100% discount and write off that source? Launch a Washington Post-level investigation?

I mean…it’s fucking *Deadpool 2*.

Certainly, they could have went the extra mile and referenced those specific Conrad tweets, or at least not declare officially that the “truth” has been finally found via an anonymous source. I would have at least given the entire thing a little bit more of a “impartial” gloss—which would have made it less likely that people online would be screaming “shill!” and “conspiracy!” (which some have been doing at the time of this writing).

d) It’s likely that whatever the case regarding the overall test screening reception, the fans did indeed like Cable & Domino—which is why there are reshoots with more of them now, and also why Zazie Beetz got a 3-picture deal with Fox.

e) The fact that the original Deadpool 2 director—the director of the successful first film—reportedly had conflicts with Ryan Reynolds, and left the movie, probably did have some bearing on that sequel’s quality and focus.

f) Most likely, they are going to try to “steer” this film into more of a traditional “Marvel Studios”-style direction—and are going to use Cable & Domino as the “anchors” to do this. If this is the case…I have no problem with it. I am absolutely not married at all to that first Deadpool movie. In fact, if I had Fox’s assurance that this new movie would be less like the original, I’d probably be more inclined to see it.

And those are my thoughts on it. No matter how much unfounded gabba-gabba I or anyone else can spout on this topic, the proof will be in the “pudding”—when the final version of this film is released and officially reviewed.

OK. That’s way too many words I’ve spent today on Deadpool 2.