After Deadpool opened to a colossal $132 million, a sequel was soon on the fast track to production. The entire creative team behind the original film was expected to return, but now it sounds like that won’t be the case: Deadline is reporting that director Tim Miller has made the decision to exit the project after “a series of creative differences” with producer and star Ryan Reynolds.
Prior to its theatrical release earlier this year, Deadpool had languished in various stages of development for years before 20th Century Fox finally gave a greenlight in 2014, after a brief concept video surfaced online and sent fans of the foul-mouthed mutant into a frenzy. The studio had been hesitant to pull the trigger on Deadpool after other R-rated comic book adaptations had underperformed at the box office, but there was no reason to worry: the film set a number of box office records and grossed more than $782 million worldwide to make it one of the most successful superhero films of all time.
News of Miller’s exit is surprising, as his passion and dedication was a major factor in getting the original film off the ground. In fact, many speculate that he was responsible for leaking the concept footage that eventually led to Fox greenlighting Deadpool in the first place, but Miller himself has stopped short of admitting his involvement. Also, it’s worth pointing out that Miller had never actually signed an official deal to return for Deadpool 2, but it was no secret that he was hard at work developing the story with writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
At this point, we don’t have any details on what “creative differences” he couldn’t hash out, but back in August /Film reported on a rumored disagreement over who should be cast as the mutant mercenary Cable: Miller had his eye on Friday Night Lights star Kyle Chandler, but Fox reportedly wanted Liam Neeson in the role to bring a bit more star power.
Regardless it doesn’t sound like Miller and Fox are parting ways as enemies, as he’ll be jumping right into another major project for the studio: Influx, an adaptation of the sci-fi thriller novel by Daniel Suarez, with a script by War for the Planet of the Apes writer Mark Bomback. So I suppose all’s well that ends well, but hopefully Miller’s Deadpool 2 replacement shares his passion and excitement for the character.
Deadpool 2 is expected to hit theaters in 2018.