(Updated Saturday, October 22 at 2:43 p.m. ET with new exclusive details of the rift between Miller and Reynolds.)
“Deadpool 2” has a hero — but what it needs is a new director.
The departure was “amicable,” a studio source said, though we’ve heard elsewhere that Reynolds and Miller have had a contentious relationship for quite a while now. The two haven’t had much of a relationship since the first “Deadpool” was released, not even speaking for long periods of time.
So, what happened to create such a rift between Miller and the actor whose career he helped resurrect?
We’re told the director was all set to make the sequel, which still doesn’t even have a release date. That’s allegedly in part because when Reynolds’ agents renegotiated his deal, along with a massive amount of money, the star got casting approval and other creative controls. That whole process took more time than Miller (and fans) would have liked, and it shined a spotlight on differences in vision between the two key players.
Miller, who owns a visual effects studio and we’re told did much of the polishing work on the original “Deadpool” for free, wanted more of a stylized sequel, while the actor placed his focus more on the raunchy comedy style that earned the first movie its R rating.
The casting issue also eventually came to a head over the possible booking of Kyle Chandler in the sequel. Mashable movie reporter Jeff Sneider first reported Chandler’s potential involvement with the “Deadpool” sequel during a “Meet the Movie Press” podcast, saying that the actor’s name has been “floating around for Cable for months.” The insider close to the situation tells TheWrap that Miller wanted the “Bloodline” star to play Cable, though Reynolds did not and that the studio, ultimately, backed its marketable star.
This parting of ways should have both fans and the studio spooked. After all, Miller’s fingerprints are all over the first film, which was a surprise box office smash hit. Per Box Office Mojo, “Deadpool” hauled in north of $782 million globally on a budget of $58 million. Domestically, the comic book adaptation made $363 million.
“Deadpool” opened No. 1 on Valentine’s Day weekend, scoring $132 million from U.S. theaters. The R-rated X-Men franchise film was the year’s big box office release story until “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” showed up in late March.
That DC Comics blockbuster backed up a Brink’s truck to the tune of $873 million globally. The difference there is that “Deadpool” was generally received well by film critics, while “Batman v Superman” was panned.
The “Deadpool” sequel has been written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the same guys who wrote the first film.
“Deadpool 2” will feature popular character Domino, and screen tests are underway for Kelly Rohrbach, Eve Hewson, Ruby Rose, Mackenzie Davis, Lizzy Caplan, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Sienna Miller, Sofia Boutella, Stephanie Sigman and Sylvia Hoeks.
Like Deadpool, Neena Thurman — a.k.a. Domino — is a former mercenary turned member of the X-Men.
Deadline first reported Miller’s exit.