Tim Miller has had a varied career across the Hollywood landscape, serving as an animator and art-director known primarily for creating elaborate opening credits sequences for stylish features like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Thor: The Dark World. As the co-founder of animation house Blur Studio alongside partner Jeff Fowler, he was even nominated for an Academy Award for the animated short film Gopher Broke. But now Miller is stepping up to perhaps his biggest challenge, making his feature film directing debut with the highly anticipated Deadpool.
In a new promotional clip for the film, Miller spotlights the unique qualities that set the title character and the film apart from other superheroes. The clip pays particular attention to the feature’s IMAX theatrical presentation.
Miller, who describes himself as a serious comic book fan with a “400 a month habit,” explains that he sees Deadpool as a necessary alternative to the more expensive, slick superhero features currently in fashion, elaborating:
“He lives in a [bad] apartment and he deals with [bad] people and his life is not filled with chrome and fast jets and everything else. In fact, I think he’s kind of the perfect contrast to the shinier sides of the Marvel Universe.”
He goes on to describe the film as a hero’s journey, and that the comic book medium provides a perfect source for telling stories in that vein:
“Comics are sort of the perfect medium for epic storytelling, and IMAX is all about epic film presentations. So you bring those two things together and you’ve got… epic squared?”
The Deadpool film, which is currently tracking for somewhere in the area of a $50 million opening weekend, is not connected to the official Marvel Cinematic Universe, but is set in the same universe as Fox’s X-Men movies, including the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse. While those films have not necessarily been as overwhelmingly “shiny” as the high-gloss crowd-pleasers favored by Marvel proper, they are typically more expensive and carry a PG-13 rating. Deadpool, meanwhile, is an R-rated feature shot for a lower-than-average budget — which should allow Miller and star Ryan Reynolds to stage the kind of edgy action fans expect from the franchise.
As mentioned, Deadpool is already widely-expected to be popular with comic fans and action audiences more broadly, but an IMAX release makes sense in terms of both delivering big visuals, but also hedging box-office bets for nervous studios executives — since IMAX screens typically charge a higher ticket price. However, it can also be a method of ensuring visibility, as specialty formats like IMAX, 4K, and 3D theaters have come to make up a disproportionate percentage of available screen space on in some key territories worldwide.
Deadpool opens in theaters on February 12, 2016, followed by X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016;Gambit sometime in 2017; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; and some as-yet unspecified X–Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.