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Talk about ingenuity…

In a rather intelligent bit of cross-promotion, Fox is using The X-Files to introduce the Marvel character Deadpool to a whole new swath of fans. Why would they do something like this? Well, Fox has produced an R-rated, violent, raunchy film based on the 4th wall-breaking character that’s coming out in less than a month and they want to make sure their risky move pays off. 

So how, exactly, are they going to achieve this? Here’s the forward-thinking idea:

“Thanks to a sponsorship from the forthcoming 20th Century Fox film ‘Deadpool,’ viewers will be able to enjoy the hotly anticipated 6-episode reboot of FOX’s beloved science fiction show on FOX NOW without commercial interruptions. They will be offered a choice to interact with a 60-second ‘Deadpool’ experience before an episode in order to opt-out of all additional commercial breaks that would normally air.”

[Credit: Business Wire]

This limited-run X-Files special event is set to do huge business for Fox when it premieres this Sunday night after the NFC Championship on the network. It has a built-in loyal fanbase that’s been clamoring for the series to return. It’ll have a huge lead-in when it premieres, which could mean great interest in the 6-part series for the remainder of its run. Therefore, using it as a vehicle to bring more eyeballs to Deadpool makes a ton of sense. 

The Marvel character, who’s part of Fox’s X-Men license, isn’t terribly well known by mainstream audiences. A movie based on him was long considered a pipe dream, since doing it justice and making it at-all similar to the comic books would require a hard R-rating (or why bother??), and most major studios are content to make safe PG-13 movies out of their superhero properties, there was enough buzz generated by a leaked bit of “test footage” that Fox decided to green light the film.

Deadpool test footage leaked

Update : Ryan Reynolds is confirmed to be playing Deadpool Movie Releases :2/12/2016

Posted by Deadpool on Wednesday, July 30, 2014

So this new, interactive bit of cross-promotion could be just the thing to help bring in the casual fan that might not have heard of the character prior to now. While the prevailing logic has been that the film’s budget was kept low so that, even if it tanked, it wouldn’t be too bad of a bruise for the studio, wemust remember: Deadpool is part of Fox’s X-Men plans. Fox has been frothing at the mouth to expand it’s X-Universe for a while, and Deadpool is kind of the first step in that plan. It’s been confirmed that it’s part of the same world as X-Men: Apocalypse and Gambit, which are all scheduled to come out within the next two years. So despite them hedging their bets with a smaller budget, they likely want to make sure their planned expansion doesn’t stumble out of the gate. 

What do you think of this synergy between The X-Files and Deadpool? Are you excited about Deadpool?

SOURCE: Business Wire