By now, it’s common knowledge that Deadpool‘s road to the big screen was a rocky one, with Ryan Reynolds, who stars as the titular Merc with a Mouth, spending roughly a decade trying to nudge it out of development limbo. It came as a surprise, then, that when it finally did materialize, it was a massive hit. The film was lauded by both fans and critics alike, and swept the box office with a staggering $783 million total against its minimal $58 million budget.
It secured a sequel shortly after its release, but the newly minted franchise has had to face its own set of obstacles. Last October, it was revealed that original director Tim Miller had exited Deadpool‘s highly-anticipated follow-up due to creative differences with Reynolds. His departure could have spelled a major setback for the project, but John Wick‘s David Leitch quickly stepped in to nab the gig. Screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have been insistent he’s the right leader, and it seems they’re just as confident that Deadpool 2 will match its precursor’s success – and arrive in 2018 as expected, although the specific weekend isn’t known.
In an interview with THR, Reese and Wernick provided an update about the sequel’s release date. They were reluctant to pinpoint a specific timeline, but seemed sure that the movie would have an audience no matter when it arrives. In fact, they were so sure that they said other films will want to work around it. As Reese told the outlet:
“We don’t want to put the cart before the horse, and often times with release dates that happens. You end up racing and you end up being forced to do something you’re not happy with and the great thing about Deadpool is we spent a career trying to duck other movies. “How do we get off the release date of this or that?” I think in most cases, people are going to have to duck us. Fox is probably going to be able to drop that thing on a date and everyone else is going to scatter, because no one will want to come out the same weekend … our feeling is it’s all about the movie. The fact that Deadpool came out in February and did as well as it did, and you are seeing similarly the summer [movie season] start earlier in March, and movies succeed in October and so the date to us doesn’t mean as much as it used to. I think the studio feels the same way. We just want to make the best movie possible and Deadpool will find an audience, we feel at this point.”
That’s a big claim, but it’s certainly not off the mark. Deadpool was an unprecedented breakout and not only did its reception proved it has a large, rabid fan base, but the buzz has far from quieted in the year since its release, evidenced by the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the teaser released before Logan. The writers don’t provide much of an indication of when the release could be, although don’t seem too fussed about a traditional prime summer slot.
Though the budget won’t be “phenomenally bigger,” Deadpool 2 does seem to be ramping up its star power. Zazie Beats’ casting as Domino has received an overwhelmingly positive response, and Hollywood bigwig Brad Pitt was reportedly in talks for the role of Cable (attention has since turned to Michael Shannon as a frontrunner).
As for Leitch’s approach, Reese and Wernick have said he brings a fresh perspective, but one that’s still in tone with Deadpool‘s initial spirit — which sounds exactly like the direction the film will need to keep its original magnetism alive. If Deadpool 2 can match up to the hype, Reese and Wernick could very well be right that its release date will be untouchable.