20th Century Fox fast-tracked development the superhero movie sequel Deadpool 2 earlier this year, in order to strike while the iron’s hot – following the unexpectedly large box office turnout for this year’s R-rated X-Men spin-off. However, the story has now taken an unexpected turn – with Deadpool director Tim Miller (who has been actively involved with the sequel’s pre-production) having stepped down as helmsman on the Merc With a Mouth’s next movie.
Although Miller was reportedly never officially signed on to direct Deadpool 2, his return on the followup – which is being written by Deadpool screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick – was generally regarded as being all but a given, prior to his departure. Additional details have now emerged, with regard to exactly what the “creative differences” were between Miller and Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds that led to the former stepping down on the sequel.
According to The Wrap, Reynolds and Miller had indeed clashed over the creative direction of the Deadpool sequel. It’s unknown whether the two men had similar differences of opinion on the first installment – as that film was made before Reynolds had renegotiated his deal for playing the Wade Wilson character further to allow him a say over casting decisions and “other creative controls.”
Miller’s overall vision for Deadpool 2 was said to involve exploring the bigger facets and more unusual realms of Deadpool’s place in the X-Men universe, whereas Reynolds’ vision favored a focus on the first movie’s raunchy comedy and self-referential satirical sensibilities. While always a fast-talking character as envisioned by creator Rob Liefeld, Deadpool’s popularity in the original Marvel comics truly exploded only after subsequent creators re-aligned him as a fourth-wall breaking character, whose awareness of his comic book origins informed his strange behaviors.
Reynolds and Miller’s partnership reportedly reached its breaking point in disagreements over which actor should play the character of Cable in Deadpool 2. Miller is said to have been favoriting previously-rumored candidate Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights, Bloodline) for the role, whereas Reynolds wanting to go in a different direction. The studio ultimately chose to side with their star on the matter, leading to Miller quietly exiting the project – though the director reportedly remains on good terms with Fox and may even direct a different film for the studio, next.
The search is now on for a new filmmaker to helm the hotly-anticipated Deadpool sequel; a project that will continue to move forward towards starting production next year, in keeping with the plans currently in place. Miller is generally regarded as having been as important to the creative process on the original Deadpool as Reynolds and the film’s writers were, so superhero movie fans are no doubt hoping that a worthy candidate is brought onboard as his replacement.