One of the biggest surprises and greatest successes of this year was the release of DEADPOOL. It’s crazy now to think about what a risk Fox took with the film, a rated R superhero film with its $58 million budget. But an amazing script, hilarious actors, and one of the most brilliant marketing campaigns to ever take the world by storm, the film brought in a stellar $782 million worldwide and led to Fox being more comfortable in making their new Wolverine film, LOGAN hoping to chip away at DEADPOOL’s record of being the highest grossing R-rated film.
While DEADPOOL was the perfect storm that swept over the cinematic landscape, its origin story was just as interesting as the plot of the film. After star Ryan Reynolds had a less-than-well-received turn as Wade Wilson in X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, he championed another go at the character. ZOMBIELAND screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick crafted a clever story, and visual effects wizard Tim Miller came on board to complete the team. Together, they worked to bring the story to the big screen for many years. After test footage with Reynolds “leaked” online, the overwhelmingly positive reaction from fans had the studio ready to take the chance.
Because they seemed like a team that was born to create the world that fans can’t seem to get enough of, it came as a bit of a shock that when Deadline reported that Tim Miller had left the project. Although the split is said to be amicable, it is apparently due to mutual creative differences with star and producer Ryan Reynolds, and not with the studio itself. There’s no doubt that the stakes are higher with the sequel.
Although the marketing campaign ramped the hype to feverish levels, the expectations with the film were fairly low. Now after the success of the first outing, the pressure has to be intense as everyone involved feels the need to not only meet the results but move above and beyond the first film. With the second film reportedly bringing in Cable and Domino, it’s possible the two couldn’t find common ground on how to move forward.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL. 2 director James Gunn took to Twitter to say what we all have been thinking.
It’s important to note that Miller hadn’t actually signed a contract to direct the second film in the franchise, but all the members of the creative team were seemingly on board and the rest was all paperwork. While Miller is no longer part of DEADPOOL, he is expected to move on to direct another Fox film, INFLUX, based on a novel by Daniel Suarez and is reportedly set to be a trilogy. Given his experience, it’s possible that Miller felt it was better to leave DEADPOOL in the hands of the rest of the creative team and take a fresh approach in creating his own world.
There are no release dates for DEADPOOL or INFLUX, but we’ll keep our ears to the ground and keep you informed of any news coming out of both projects.
Jason Stollery has horror films encoded into his DNA, going so far as to name his sons Michael and Fred. He can be found on Twitter @smegghed, and on his genre film blog and podcast at filmguild.net