Ryan Reynolds is flying high at the moment thanks to the runaway box office smash Deadpool, so you’d think any movie that featured the actor would be making the most of him.
Back in April, just two months after Deadpool’s release, Reynolds featured in the action-thriller Criminal, a London-set film that saw him play a CIA operative who’s killed in action and gets his mind transplanted into Kevin Costner’s hardened crook to complete a deadly mission.
It’s the second movie in the Reynolds brain swap sub-genre, arriving after 2015’s Self/less. Both films arrived to middling critical reviews and poor box office returns, but was Criminal a brain swap movie too far for the Deadpool star?
Despite Reynolds’ star power and prominence he’s been mysteriously erased from Criminal’s DVD and Blu-ray packaging.
His movie star visage isn’t visible on the cover, while Kevin Coster, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Alice Eve and Gal Gadot are the cast names listed.
Flip over to the back and there’s still no sign of Reynolds in photographic form or in the lengthysmall print credits.
Not only that, but the plot blurb doesn’t even mention him, only referring to Costner’s character having the “skills and memories of a CIA operative implanted into his mind”.
All this is a little vexing considering Reynolds is present for the opening 10 minutes of the film before he’s violently dispatched then beamed into Costner’s brain.
Reynolds was featured prominently in the film’s trailers, so he’s not exactly a surprise uncredited cameo. He’s only name-checked in Criminal in the rolling credits at the end – getting fourth-billing behind Costner, Oldman and Lee Jones.
Perhaps Reynolds wasn’t particularly happy with the end result and tried to pull an Alan Smithee and get his name taken off the film? It’s worth noting that Reynolds didn’t make an appearance at the Criminal premieres in London or New York, instead leaving promo duties to Costner and Gadot.
In the past disgruntled actors like Edward Norton (The Italian Job) and Jim Carrey (Kick-Ass 2) have voiced their dissatisfaction and withdrawn support from films they’ve starred in. Neither were able to get themselves taken off marketing material, though.
Loaded has asked distributor Lionsgate for an official comment on the Reynolds exclusion.
You can see all this for yourself now that Criminal is out on DVD and Blu-ray. If you’re not convinced, here’s Arsenal fan Kevin Costner chatting to loaded about it.