Tim Miller was an integral part of Deadpool's long-winded journey from the comic book panel to the big screen, there from the beginning, responsible for creating test footage that was "accidentally" leaked, later making his debut in director's chair for 2016's R-rated hit. When it was announced he was leaving Deadpool 2 in October last year, there was an understandably sombre reaction from those grateful for his hard work.
Now recognized as one of the hottest properties in Hollywood thanks to a record-breaking $783.1 million debut at the box office, there was never going to be a lack of suitors to take over. Consequently, David Leitch was appointed in November, a worthy replacement who is one of the most exciting genre directors of his generation, thanks to films such as John Wick (2014) and Atomic Blonde (2017).
In an interview with Collider, Leitch explained how he landed the in-demand #Deadpool2 gig and, in doing so, may've given some insight into why Miller departed last year, explaining:
"We were starting from sort of ground zero and reworking the script at that point, they wanted to just start over. So it was really more of my sensibility and how I approach filmmaking."
When Miller left the project, the rumor mill was in full flow, speculating on the reasons why someone so clearly attached to the property would move on, from the casting of Cable to disagreement over the film's tone. The latter gained a lot of traction, with reports that Miller wanted a more "sylized" sequel — a claim he denied. However, Leitch notes that following Miller's departure, "they" (presumably Warner Bros., Ryan Reynolds and scriptwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick) pressed the reset button.
Staying True To The DNA Of Deadpool
This transition also explains why Drew Goddard was brought on board in February to help work on script. The well-respected writer — who has worked on a range of well-performing projects from Netflix's Daredevil series to Cloverfield (2008) and The Martian (2015) — was added to the crew in February, possibly to help assist the steady transition of growth of the #Deadpool universe, with the addition of the X-Force.
Considering the change in direction, it is a logical move, allowing Leitch to be fully involved in the creative project is valuable to the final product. The stunt-man-turned-director highlighted the importance of his working relationship with Reynolds, and the necessity to "stay true to the DNA" of Deadpool but "add the spice that is who I am as a filmmaker" — a spice which, for fans of Leitch, will compliment the taste of Deadpool's R-rated world.
Leitch's trademark brand of highly-stylized combat is the perfect match to Wade Wilson's unhinged, graphic approach to violence, a strategy unshackled by the film's R-rating — as well as a discreet undercurrent of dry humor. The question is, is Deadpool 2 be better off with Leitch at the helm?
Are you pleased that David Leitch is the director of Deadpool 2?