It didn’t take too long for Deadpool 2 to find a director after Tim Miller unceremoniously departed last month. And Twentieth Century Fox had to look no further than John Wick.
David Leitch, who helped bring the Keanu Reeves action flick to life, will now be tasked to do the same as Ryan Reynolds and the rest of the crew hope to strike gold at the box office a second time.
Leitch has built a career as a stuntman and stunt coordinator, working on films ranging from The Matrix Reloaded in 2003 to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Jupiter Ascending more recently. He was one of two directors working on John Wick in 2014, working side-by-side with fellow stuntman Chad Stahelski.
However, only Stahelski received director credit because the union that manages directors credit only allows one person to get that designation unless there are special circumstances. The Directors Guild of America would not allow John Wick to earn that special circumstance.
Stahelski directed John Wick: Chapter 2 alone, which hits theaters Feb. 10.
Leitch, according to Deadline, beat out a “host of competitors” for the top job, including Oscar-nominated writer Drew Goddard from The Martian and television director Magnus Martens.
Leich’s experience on John Wick makes him a good fit on Deadpool 2. Unconfirmed reports hold that Miller and Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds parted ways over the tone and scale of the sequel.
Reynolds, according to the trade outlet, wants to keep the lower-budget, R-rated gritty take of Deadpool for the sequel, something Miller had hoped to get away from.
Leitch already has huge expectations piling onto his shoulders. Deadpool grossed $363.1 million domestically and $783.8 million globally, despite being an R-rated film. It’s ranked fifth domestically for 2016, and seventh worldwide, according to The Numbers.
When adjusted for inflation, it’s the fourth highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time behind 2004’s The Passion of the Christ, The Matrix Reloaded and 1998’s Saving Private Ryan.
Deadpool 2 is still maintaining that release date of March 2, 2018. Filming is expected to get underway early next year.
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