Test footage for a potential Deadpool movie starring Ryan Reynolds has appeared online.
The immediate reaction is to assume the footage is fake, but the signs are suggesting it is in fact the real deal, mainly because Deadpool's voice is clearly that of Ryan Reynolds.
Reynolds played the Marvel character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and has been vocal about his desire to do so again.
You can watch the CGI footage below...
The video has since been taken down by 20<sup>th Century Fox, but it can still be viewed here instead.
It starts with Deadpool in his familiar guise, listening to some music before breaking the fourth wall and talking to the audience – as he does in the comics. He then pursues and attacks a group of armed mercenaries in a car while continuing to deliver his trademark witty dialogue.
Last year Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld spoke of test footage which was shot some time ago by Tim Miller as a proof of concept for the long-rumoured film, and his description matches up pretty well with what we're seeing here.
A Deadpool film has had trouble taking off in the years since X-Men Origins, with the project apparently dead and buried until this footage turned up.
Back in February Reynolds told IGN that he thought the film's script – written at some stage by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick – was "fantastic". "It has been developed even further in the last three months or so," he said.
"The film has to be rated R, and it has to be done a certain way, it has to do all these things that I am sure can be worrisome for the guys cutting the checks for it. So if it's going to be done, it needs to be done right," he added.
Reynolds also said that the film would have to be R-rated like the comics, and unlike the character's portrayal in Origins, which left a lot to be desired.
It may well prove to be that it was leaked on purpose to gauge public reaction. Should that be the case then 20<sup>th Century Fox, who own the Deadpool rights as part of their X-Men deal, can expect a positive reaction. The footage is funny, action-packed and totally in-keeping with the fan-favourite character.