It sadly appears that American actor Ryan Reynolds will not be coming to Israel soon. For a moment there, it looked like he just might be making a trip—thanks to a social media prank that had us all going for a while.
This past Sunday, one Tom Yakobi from Tel Aviv posted to Facebook what appeared to be a screenshot of a texted conversation between him and Reynolds. Yakobi invited the Hollywood star to come to Israel for the premiere of his new movie “Deadpool,” scheduled to be released in Israeli theaters on February 11.
Reynolds plays the title role the upcoming Marvel movie about a former special forces operative who, in a bid to cure his cancer, subjects himself to an experimental treatment that leaves him physically disfigured and mentally unstable, but with accelerated healing abilities.
The film’s trailer also makes it evident that the character has a dark and twisted sense of humor.
“Hi Rayn [sic], I’m Tom a huge fan from Israel and I would like to invite you for the premire [sic] of Deadpool in Israel. We have a group that can’t wait to see it (and you!) what do you think?” Yakobi wrote.
A response appeared to come from Reynolds saying that he would make the trip to Israel if Yakobi published the exchange on Facebook and got 15,000 likes and 1,000 comments on it by the end of January.
Reynold’s response contained English grammatical and spelling errors, which were good indicators that something may not have been totally kosher about it.
Indeed, the post was a hoax. This, however, didn’t get in the way of it racking up over 47,000 likes and 7,085 comments in two days.
אומייגאד אומייגאד אומייגאד!!!!!#deadpool#movie#premiere
Most importantly, the post made its way through cyberspace to the real Ryan Reynolds, who responded Monday by posting a personal message alongside an Israeli “Deadpool” publicity poster.
“Israel is in my top 1 list of places I’d like to travel to. I’m touched someone wants me to visit so much, that they faked a message from me saying I’d be traveling to your beautiful country. Unfortunately not this time. But one day, Israel… I will be in you,” the actor wrote.
Just in case that last sentence was meant as a double entendre, Yakobi replied accordingly: “Omg Man , thank you so much!!! We really want to see you here! Thanks for the post!!!# And, Israel is Hot and Wet for you.”
Not surprisingly, Yakobi’s post quickly turned into a meme, with Israelis taking a page from the “Deadpool” fan to issue all sorts of invitations.
In one example, a faux Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he’d agree to an invitation to resign in exchange for 150,000 likes and 50,000 comments. In another, “Zehava Galon” (the opposition Meretz party leader) was game to go into exile in Gaza along with anti-occupation organizations B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence and controversial Arab MK Hanin Zoabi if the exchange with her got more than 40,000 likes and 4,000 shares.