One of 2016’s biggest cinematic success stories across all genres was undoubtedly Deadpool. The Ryan Reynolds-led tale of an ordinary mercenary whose face is transformed into a topographical map of Utah turned the superhero genre on its head with extra doses of wit, humor and violence and made 20th Century Fox a ton of cash in the process. Unsurprisingly, work on a sequel has already begun in earnest and it appears fan-favorite Cable will be joining the ‘Merc With A Mouth’ on his next free cab ride.
Unfortunately, production of Deadpool 2 hasn’t all been smooth sailing and it was reported at the tail end of last year that director Tim Miller had left the project due to differences in vision. Reports on what those differences entailed exactly have been both varied and numerous, ranging from disagreements over the casting of Cable to budget-related arguments. Whatever the truth is, the fact remains that the Deadpool sequel will be without one of the key figures that made the first movie such a success.
Although Miller may be done directing Reynolds’ Deadpool, he is still garnering praise for his fine work on the movie, particularly with awards season moving along. The director has now been nominated for the award of Best First-Time Director by the Directors’ Guild of America (via Deadline). The nomination puts Miller in competition with Garth Davis (Lion), Kelly Fremon Craig (The Edge of Seventeen), Nate Parker (The Birth of a Nation) and Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane).
The superhero genre is generally under-represented when it comes to award ceremonies – the Oscars in particular – and as such, it’s satisfying to see Deadpool get its due among this year’s DGA nominations. And with Miller’s nomination being the most recognizable entry on the list – as well as most lucrative – Deadpool is surely in with at least a fighting chance of taking home the gong. Miller is, however, facing stiff competition from movies that award ceremonies tend to appreciate more than a foul-mouthed man punching a walking statue in the testicles.
With awards season so close, there has been much debate about whether Deadpool has a chance at the big leagues and can scoop a few prestigious trophies to add to its critical and commercial success. After all, the blood and smut aside, the movie had some excellent characters, genuinely touching moments and a script from Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick that proved the writers really were the “real heroes here.” As such, there is a feeling among comic book fans that Deadpool might be the movie to break the superhero movie slump at award ceremonies.
On the other hand, it’s worth considering that part of what made the first Deadpool movie great was that few inside Hollywood believed it could work and certainly didn’t predict the success it would have. As such, the team were left with a small budget which, in turn, forced the production to focus on smart writing and solid characters. The success Deadpool has achieved will undoubtedly bring the production of the sequel under a closer microscope and the movie will have a larger budget available, should the team want it. With this in mind, will Deadpool 2 be able to recapture the underdog spirit that made its predecessor so great?