The loss of Tim Miller as director for Deadpool 2 is a big one. Miller was an integral part of the original film and stuck with it through its years in development hell. His departure has left the door open for a new director to put their stamp on this highly-anticipated sequel. We put together a list of great candidates, but it looks like Fox might already have someone lined up for the job.
It appears that David Leitch has emerged as the front-runner for Deadpool 2. Leitch was the uncredited co-director of John Wick. That film is one of the best action movies of the last 10 years. It would appear that Fox wants Deadpool 2 to put its focus on crafting some memorable action. Plus, Leitch obviously knows how to do that while keeping the budget fairly low. John Wick was made for around $20 million. Deadpool‘s budget clocked in close to $60 million. If Leitch can use the same budget but do more with it, Fox will be extremely happy.
The action in Deadpool was more than serviceable but it could have used a lot more stylish flair. Perhaps Leitch will be able to bring that to the table. What Deadpool 2 really needs is to be funnier and more frantic than the first film. Can Leitch bring a unique directorial style that matches the irreverence of its film’s lead?
Regardless, this deal hasn’t been signed yet. Fox hasn’t officially brought Leitch into the fold. Usually, when news like this breaks, it means that things are in the negotiating stage. It’s likely Leitch will get the job but it’s not certain. Hopefully, if Leitch does end up directing, he won’t be just a hired gun for the studio. Deadpool 2 needs to be something special and a corporate mandate will eliminate that quality. Leitch has proven he can do action but can he do comedy? Does he have a particular vision for the film? And how much control will Ryan Reynolds have over the story and direction of the film?
Original article published Oct 22, 2016:
Deadpool has changed the superhero cinematic landscape for good. Director Tim Miller brought a lot of flair to the silly and super violent film. Everyone expected that he’d return to direct the sequel. Looks like that’s not the case.
Miller has left Deadpool 2. The reason cited is that usual Hollywood term, “creative differences.” Miller was developing the script with star Ryan Reynolds and screenwriters Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick. The scuttlebutt is that this is an amicable split. Miller already has another project lined up at Fox.
Why did Miller leave? Rumors abound. A potential one has to do with the casting of Cable, Deadpool’s partner and co-star. Miller supposedly wanted Kyle Chandler for the role. However, the studio possibly wants Liam Neeson in order to help boost the star power of the sequel. Whether or not this is true is up for speculation.
It’s a shame that Miller won’t be returning for the sequel. Although, it’s fair to say that the direction of Deadpool wasn’t the most crucial factor in making that film a success. Granted, Miller’s video game background allowed for a few stylistic touches, but it’s not like the film had a noticeable directorial voice. Deadpool worked primarily thanks to its madcap tone and the lead performance by Ryan Reynolds. Miller did a fine job but there is certainly room to do some crazier things behind the camera.
Who will fill the director’s chair? Hopefully, it will be someone with an attitude that reflects Deadpool’s wacky sensibilities. The sequel could use someone like Edgar Wright who could make the film’s persona match Deadpool’s irreverence. This parting could be a blessing in disguise for Deadpool 2. If Fox hires the right director and lets them go wild, the sequel could surpass the original.
We’ll keep you posted when more news develops.