One of 2016’s biggest surprises was the overwhelming success of Deadpool, which opened in February to a massive $132 million (and went on to gross $782 million worldwide).
Star Ryan Reynolds, who is EW’s Entertainer of the Year, is about to return to the red leather suit as mercenary Wade Wilson for the highly anticipated sequel. “We’re just in the development stage but we’re about to move into production,” he says. Reynolds confirms that they’re currently casting for Cable and “we’re looking at” telekinetic female merc Domino as another character for the sequel.
But all has not been smooth sailing: the first film’s director, Tim Miller, recently departed the project due to reported “creative differences.” Of Miller, Reynolds tells EW, “There is not a human being on earth that worked harder on Deadpool than Tim. He’s an incredibly, incredibly talented director.”
With Miller gone, the Deadpool team hired John Wick director David Leitch to helm the sequel. “Everbody was just a fan of his work,” says Reynolds. “He’s just a guy who’s so muscular with his action. He also really understands those Deadpool sensibilities and where we need to take the franchise from here. And I love John Wick. One of the things that David Leitch does that very few filmmakers can do these days is they can make a movie on an ultra tight minimal budget look like it was shot for 10-15 times what it cost.”
And the Deadpool creative team is aiming to keep the sequel lean and mean like the original. “The goal for us when we sat down and started talking about it was it needs to be as provocative and startling as the first film which means it can’t just be a continuation of the first film,” says producer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Apocalypse). “It has tonally and stylistically be as fresh and original. That’s a big challenge especially because they had 10 years to gestate on the first movie and we don’t have that kind of time on the second movie. That’s the biggest mandate going into on the second film: to not make it bigger. We have to resist the temptation to make it bigger in scale and scope, which is normally what you do when you have a surprise hit movie. But actually stay true to the tenets of it’s the tone and the style and the humor that make it so special — it’s not the explosions and the special effects.”