One of the biggest box office success stories of 2016 was Deadpool, the long-awaited comic book adaptation starring Ryan Reynolds as the foul-mouthed mutant mercenary.
The project had languished in development hell for years, the studio hesitant to green-light an R-rated feature over fears it would underperform. But that certainly wasn’t the case: Deadpool opened to $132 million domestically – more than double its production budget – and went on to gross $782 million worldwide, making it one of the most successful superhero films of all time.
A sequel was put into development almost immediately, and while the entire creative team behind the original film had more or less returned, it looks like one key member won’t be back.
Tim Miller has exited the project over “creative differences” with Reynolds, who is also producing, according to Deadline. The news no doubt will come as a major disappointment to fans as Miller’s passion and dedication were instrumental in getting the original film off the ground. In fact, many still speculate that he was responsible for the leaked concept footage that eventually led to Twentieth Century Fox green-lighting Deadpool in the first place.
To be fair, Miller had never signed a deal to return for Deadpool 2, but it was no secret he was hard at work developing the story with writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. There’s no official word on what “creative differences” ultimately led to his departure, but SlashFilm points to a rumored disagreement over who should be cast as the character Cable in the sequel. Miller wanted Friday Night Lights star Kyle Chandler, but Fox apparently aimed higher by considering Liam Neeson for the role.
At any rate, the split is said to be amicable, and Miller will immediately jump 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. Fox is reportedly banking on Influx being the first installment of a trilogy, and if Miller proves his worth, he could find himself busy for the next several years.
Deadpool 2 is expected to hit theaters in 2018.
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