It’s been a big year for comic book movies – however, you didn’t have to go past the month of February to experience the biggest superhero surprise of the year in Deadpool. The movie had a modest budget, in the $50 million dollar range, yet the irreverent, R-rated film went on to gross over $750 million dollars worldwide. To no one’s shock, a sequel for the movie was swiftly ordered; though, what came after that shocked many.
Deadpool was a passion project led by actor and producer Ryan Reynolds, who took it upon himself to hire Zombieland writers, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, to script the first adventure for the Merc with a Mouth. Director and visual effects wiz Tim Miller, helped to develop and ultimately bring Reynolds’ – and millions of Marvel readers’ – dreams to life with his direction of the first movie. However, a few months back Miller left the developing sequel, along with composer Junkie XL, due to “creative differences” between him and Reynolds.
Since that time a new director, David Leitch (John Wick) has been brought aboard to helm the sequel, even with a lot remaining unknown about the rift and specific issues that led to his predecessor’s departure. However, in a recent interview with EW, Reynolds opened up about the selection of Leitch for Deadpool 2:
“Everbody was just a fan of his [Leitch’s] work. He’s just a guy who’s so muscular with his action. He also really understands those Deadpool sensibilities and where we need to take the franchise from here. And I love John Wick. One of the things that David Leitch does that very few filmmakers can do these days is they can make a movie on an ultra tight minimal budget look like it was shot for 10-15 times what it cost.”
There are a lot of similarities between John Wick, a straight-forward R-rated revenge flick about a killer out for vengeance, and Deadpool. The Keanu Reeves led action film coincidentally mirrors Deadpool in many ways, as both were made on a shoestring budget, yet went on to be huge moneymakers and spawn much-anticipated sequels.
Also returning is X-Men: Apocalypse writer/producer, Simon Kinberg, who is helping to shepherd the X-Men universe into the future. He explains the approach to the Deadpool sequel:
“The goal for us when we sat down and started talking about it was it needs to be as provocative and startling as the first film which means it can’t just be a continuation of the first film. It has tonally and stylistically be as fresh and original. That’s a big challenge especially because they had 10 years to gestate on the first movie and we don’t have that kind of time on the second movie. That’s the biggest mandate going into on the second film: to not make it bigger. We have to resist the temptation to make it bigger in scale and scope, which is normally what you do when you have a surprise hit movie. But actually stay true to the tenets of it’s the tone and the style and the humor that make it so special — it’s not the explosions and the special effects.”
It’s possible that Kinberg is hinting at the rumored genesis of Miller’s departure from the project. There has been rumblings and speculation that Miller wanted Deadpool 2 to be a larger and more epic experience. It sounds as if both Kinberg and Reynolds share a similar vision for a more intimate sequel. Fortunately for superhero fans, Deadpool 2 is on the verge of production, so hopefully they – courtesy of Leitch – won’t just get the same movie, but will instead get a superhero film that (again) surpass audiences expectations like the first Deadpool did this year.