It's not often that I find news of a director leaving a project surprising, but this one I genuinely did not see coming: Deadline is reporting that director #TimMiller has opted to exit #Deadpool2. Miller hadn't been formally signed to a contract, but it seemed all but inevitable, especially as Miller was currently working on the script for the sequel.
The split is reportedly due to mutual creative differences between Miller and star Ryan Reynolds, though studio insiders report that the split was "amicable" and Fox plans to keep the director around for quite some time: They already have him poised to jump into Influx, based on the Daniel Suarez novel. Fox hopes to turn it into a film trilogy, giving Tim Miller the opportunity to build another world for the studio.
It's a sticky situation that everyone seems to be making the best of at the moment. Normally, when creative differences happen, it's the actor who walks — directors usually walk when there are creative clashes with the studio itself. But #RyanReynolds is also an executive producer on the film, and as inextricable from the role as Robert Downey, Jr. is with Iron Man, Hugh Jackman with Wolverine, Daniel Radcliffe with Harry Potter, etc. It would appear Miller made the choice to be the one to bow out gracefully, and Fox is willing to show the director it values him and wants to keep him around. It's the best sort of scenario possible for a situation that has often led to professional grudges and resentment. But the genuine weirdness Miller helped bring to the first movie will be missed.
With Reynolds still on board in what appears to be more and more of the same sort of star-creative overseer role that Ben Affleck has in the DCEU, fans need not worry about the direction of Deadpool 2. Still, it's genuinely surprising and a bit sad — in an industry where blockbusters by committee are the norm, Deadpool was the Little Movie that Could, a passion project of Tim Miller and Reynolds, as well as writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and, presumably, T.J. Miller. It seemed a natural conclusion the gang would all be back together again to recreate the same magic for Deadpool 2. It is a rarity, so much so that news that would otherwise be business as usual is prompting comments from others in the industry:
Miller's decision to leave happened late last night (Friday), so there is no way of knowing whether or not this will set the production for the sequel back. It will also be interesting to see if Reynolds becomes even more of an Affleck in the Fox Marvel universe and steps in to direct. Regardless, we can assume that Fox will be working double-time to make sure that filming will still begin early next year and the sequel stays on track for its planned January 18, 2018 release.
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Do you think Deadpool 2 will suffer without Miller's involvement?