It has been announced that Deadpool 2 director Tim Miller has left the project. According to sources, the split was amicable, and 20th Century Fox is still very excited to work with Miller who is currently working on Influx, the adaptation of Daniel Suarez novel, which will hopefully launch a film trilogy.
Rumor has that the split was based on the different views about the direction of the film between Miller and Ryan Reynolds, who is not only the film’s star but also one of its three producers. Since Miller has not formally signed on, even though he has been working on the development of the script for the 2018 release, the studio appears to side with Reynolds. Of the issues, the two that seem to be the largest are the overall tone and style of Deadpool 2 and the casting.
Miller, who owns Blur Studios, wants a sequel more stylistic and unique than the first. Using his experience and skill in creating interesting visuals, he would know how to make the movie more exciting. However, Reynolds wants to keep the focus on the raunchy comedy that helped turn the film into a hit.
As for the casting, favorite forerunner for a futuristic X-Men Cable was Friday Night Lights and Bloodline star Kyle Chandler. However, Reynolds, who has casting approval written into his contract, was not keen. It is not sure if he wants someone closer looking to the source material or, as suggested by the anti-hero, Keira Knightley: “She’s got range – who knows?” It appears this may have been the final straw for Miller.
— BossLogic (@Bosslogic) February 14, 2016
Losing Miller could cause some issues with the overall outcome due to the success of the first film. When pulling together the team for Deadpool, each person had a hand shaping the unusual tone. The movie was Miller’s directorial debut. However, it was his (alleged) leak of 2014 CGI test footage that sparked the fanboy base and pushed Fox to greenlight the movie, which has become the highest grossing R-rated film at $782 million worldwide off its $58 million budget (fourth in North America), paving the way for the new X-Men film, Logan, to also be rated R.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn expressed his disappointment on Twitter. As he films the sequel to his movie, he knows how the stability of keeping the group as a team to retain the magic of the original film is not easy and important.
Since the release of the first Deadpool movie, Reynolds pull with FOX has increased. So, if it comes between losing the director or the star, who has turned Deadpool into an extension of his persona and became a media and promotional sensation, the studio will choose the former.