The screener is a staple of awards season strategy, as studios hope to lure critics groups, Academy voters and guild members into watching their films and giving them nominations. But with so many titles in contention for awards each year, it’s inevitable that many get lost in the shuffle. No wonder studios throw in some extra flair to hopefully get a screener to the top of your watch list, and this year’s batch is already off to hilarious start thanks to “Deadpool.”
The superhero blockbuster may seem like a far stretch when it comes to awards, but let’s not forget what a cultural phenomenon it became during its February release. With positive reviews and over $700 million at the worldwide box office, “Deadpool” is the highest grossing R-rated film in history and now it’s hoping to add some hardware onto its list of accomplishments. Accompanying the official For Your Consideration screener is a heartfelt and hilarious letter from star Ryan Reynolds.
“Apologies in advance for this simple letter. I was informed by 20th Century Fox that I’m not allowed to present you with freshly pitted greek olives, locally purchased deli meats and low-grade Canadian elk jerky,” writes Reynolds, humorously evoking his wise-cracking alter ego while also making a pointed dig at the bribery of Oscar campaigning.
While the letter reads like it could be written by Deadpool himself (Reynolds writes that the budget on the film would “barely cover the cocaine costs on most studio films”), it’s ultimately a sincere thank you from Reynolds, who is clearly still shocked and grateful that his risky endeavor become one of the year’s most beloved and popular blockbusters. 20th Century Fox is backing Reynolds in the race for Best Actor, and he was recently in campaign mode at the Governor Awards over the weekend. With the recent departure of original director Tim Miller on the sequel, it’s clear that Reynolds is the one in control of this franchise, something the industry can’t ignore.
It’s little things like these that make a screener something memorable. Good move, Deadpool.
“Deadpool” is now available On Demand and home video.