It was recently was announced that Tim Miller was stepped down from directing "Deadpool 2" over creative differences; more specifically, it was rumored that the conflict was about the casting of Cable. "Deadpool" was a big hit for FOX, being the highest earning "X-Men"-related film, making $782.6 million at the box-office. Even more impressive was that it had a relatively low budget of $58 Million.
"Deadpool 2" is set for a March 2, 2018, release date, so the hunt is on for a new director. There is a petition calling for Quentin Tarantino to make the sequel, but that remains unlikely to happen. With speculation in overdrive all over the internet, here are CBR's candidates, who we think are more than capable of taking the job.
NOTE: In the sake of fairness, the directors are listed in alphabetical order.
15 Eli Craig
Kicking this list off is actor-turned-director Eli Craig, who is best known for his debut film "Tucker and Dale vs Evil," which he also wrote. "Tucker and Dale vs Evil" was an entertaining and intelligently made horror-comedy subverting the cliches of the slasher genre. It follows a scared group of college students who go camping the woods of West Virginia. Through a horrific comedy of errors, the college students believe the two innocent hillbillies are psycho killers and attempt to either flee or fight the titular backwater duo to the death. However, due to the college kids' incompetence, they end up dying in hilarious ways, with both sides misunderstanding the other. "Tucker and Dale vs Evil" had both gore and self-aware comedy, qualities that "Deadpool 2" would need and Craig could provide.
Since "Tucker and Dale vs Evil," Craig has worked on TV, directing an episode of "Brothers & Sisters" and the pilot for Amazon's "Zombieland," but it was never made into a full series. He is currently working on his second movie, the horror-comedy "Little Evil," starring Evangeline Lilly.
14 Jason Eisener
Canadian filmmaker Jason Eisener is a disciple of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. He is perhaps most famous for creating the fake trailer for "Hobo with a Shotgun," which featured in the "Grindhouse" double-feature. "Hobo with a Shotgun" -- a bonafide cult movie with all the exploitation trappings -- is an unashamedly violent movie that sees a homeless man (perfectly casting Dutch legend Rutger Hauer) become a vigilante, bent on ridding a rundown city of all its scum. Amazingly, it was shot on a $3 Million budget, making it a true underground success.
Since "Hobo with a Shotgun," Jason Eisener has focused on the horror genre, making segments for the anthology films "The ABCs of Death" and "V/H/S 2." As such, he would waltz unflinchingly into an R-rating, and could deliver on the action sequences featuring Deadpool's guns and katanas. As someone who has faithfully recreated a cult classic genre flick, we're also pretty sure he would respect the source material.
13 Robert Eggers
Robert Eggers is a young filmmaker who caused a big splash at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival with his debut film "The Witch" earning a wide release in February 2016. From a $1 Million budget, it earned $30 Million at the box-office and has a fantastic 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Eggers won the Directing Award at Sundance and "The Witch" was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize.
Eggers started his career as a production and costume designer, and directed theater productions in New York before becoming a filmmaker. His background would not make him the most obvious candidate to handle a property like "Deadpool," but while "The Witch" was more well-known for its atmosphere than its gore, it did a great job in setting a tone and capturing an educated audience: two very important things for the next Deadpool movie. He is also a director on the rise, and many studios will be circling around him to helm a next big product. It would benefit FOX to tap him now before one of its rivals get to him first.
12 Gareth Evans
Welshman Gareth Evans is known for his work on "The Raid: Redemption" and "The Raid 2," two of the most satisfying action films to be made in recent years. As a result, he has gathered quite an impressive fan following. With both films, Evans was able to show that he could handle both a simple story ("The Raid: Redemption") and a more complex crime epic ("The Raid 2"). With those credits in his resume, he could easily handle either type of take on the "Deadpool" sequel.
Film fans would certainly love to see Evans make a major Hollywood film and "Deadpool" would be one of the best fits for his style of action. Plus, he would not be restricted to a PG-13 rating. Evans showed his range in his two films by showcasing close quarters combat and huge, destructive car chases on the streets of Jakarta. He could easily translate these types of sequences to the "Deadpool" series. Evans is a genre filmmaker and plays up his action story bedlam well for fanboy audiences. He's also used to bringing out the best in awesome oddball badasses, including characters like Hammer Girl and Baseball Bat Man. If those don't scream Deadpool, nothing does.
11 Ruben Fleischer
The first "Deadpool" film was written by the writing duo Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, both of whom were attached to write the sequel. Outside of the "Deadpool" series, they are best known for the horror-comedy "Zombieland," which is regarded by many fans as the best zombie comedy since "Shaun of the Dead." "Zombieland" was directed by Ruben Fleischer; his first film and his best.
"Zombieland" succeed in being funny and gory in equal measure. It was also a perfect storm of casting, writing and directing. Fleischer was able to put his stamp on the movie by giving it a terrific opening credit sequence and some top notch scenes marrying both humor and a great depth of characterization. "Zombieland" was also able to have eek out an impressive amount of meta-humor, including a celebrity cameo and cutaways to other zombie survivors. Fleischer's follow-up films were unable to match the success of "Zombieland," but "Gangster Squad" was better than its critical reception suggests, having some terrific Zack Snyder-style action sequences, which would be great to see in a "Deadpool" film.
10 Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is a TV director-turned-film director, helming episodes of "Glee" and "American Horror Story." He was even nominated for an Emmy for best Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries for the "American Horror Story" episode "Bitchcraft." His work on those TV shows means Gomez-Rejon has experience in comedy and with violence, and while it would be easy to scoff at his work on "Glee," the show did require a significant use of choreography, which could (perhaps oddly) translate well to the action genre. His second-unit work includes working on the historical adventure "The Eagle," which was surprisingly intense for a PG-13 movie.
Gomez-Rejon film credits include the horror movie "The Town That Dreaded Sundown," which has been described as a meta-sequel to the 1976 film of the same name. As we mentioned before, the ability to get "meta" is a great asset to anyone heading a "Deadpool" movie. His biggest film was the comedy-drama "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," a coming of age story about the friendship with a high school senior who befriends a girl with leukemia. It won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
9 Patrick Hughes
Australian director Patrick Hughes is a man who is already well-known to action fans because of his first two films, the modern day Australian Western "Red Hill" and the sequel "The Expendables 3." "Red Hill" was a passion project for Hughes; a film he wrote and raised the funds for himself. It was good enough to get the attention of Sylvester Stallone, earning Hughes the "The Expendables 3" gig. Despite "The Expendables 3" being neutered by the PG-13 rating and replacing most of the established Expendables with a younger generation, it still had some fantastic action sequences. "The Expendables 3" also had the best villain in the series in the form of Mel Gibson's Stonebanks, so Hughes has experience in working with huge stars. Speaking of huge stars and Deadpool...
Hughes' next film, "The Hitman's Bodyguard," is an action-comedy that stars none other than Ryan Reynolds, along with Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman and Salma Hayek. "The Hitman's Bodyguard" sees Reynolds playing the bodyguard protecting a hitman, who is testifying against a dictator at the International Court of Justice. It could be fun, it could be straight-to-DVD fodder -- audiences will find out in time -- but Hughes definitely has the clout and the relationships to make the next Deadpool movie truly great.
8 Kim Jee-woon
Kim Jee-woon is a Korean director who has been able to make dark and gruesome films ("I Saw the Devil"), chilling tales ("A Tale of Two Sisters") and of course, a couple of fun ones, including his Western-style flick "The Good, The Bad, The Weird," and the Arnold Schwarzenegger comeback film "The Last Stand."
"The Good, The Bad, The Weird" was an homage to "The Man With No Name" trilogy; even the title is a reference to "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly." "The Good, the Bad, Weird" was a treasure hunt adventure set during the Sino-Japanese War and has a group of factions fighting against each other for a treasure map; it was widely praised for its action and comedy. "The Last Stand" is Kim's first and only English language film to date (and admittedly not his best), but he definitely has the goods to make an over-the-top, action-heavy, madcap romp of a flick. He's definitely an outlying pick, but surrounded by the right team and with the right cast, he would absolutely nail "Deadpool 2" to the wall!
7 Neil Marshall
Newcastle-born Neil Marshall is best known for his work on the British horror scene, with his four movies having developed a cult following. He was the guy who made werewolves cool again with his Scottish set flick "Dog Soldier;" his 2005 effort "The Descent," meanwhile, won the Saturn Award for Best Horror Film and him the Best Director prize at the British Independent Film Awards. He also showed love for B-Movies with his homage in "Doomsday," referencing "Escape From New York" "Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior" and of all things, "Excalibur".
Since "Doomsday" and "Centurion" failed at the box-office, Marshall has focused on TV work, directing episodes of "Game of Thrones," "Black Sails," "Constantine," "Hannibal" and "Westworld." So knows how to make programming that appeals to a devoted audience and is able to stick to the style and tone of what has been laid out before him. "Doomsday" and "Centurion," as well as his "Game of Thrones" episodes, showed he was perfectly capable of making bloody action films and he deserves another chance to make a major film. We think he would excel if given the reins to "Deadpool 2."
6 Marjane Satrapi
Although there is a petition for Quentin Tarantino to make "Deadpool 2," Marjane Satrapi has emerged as a dark horse candidate among fans, and a more likely proposal to make the sequel. Satrapi is an Iranian graphic novelist-turned-filmmaker, best known for her autographical graphic novel "Persepolis," which she adapted into a critically-acclaimed animated film. "Persepolis" was an emotional tale about a young girl growing up during the Iranian Revolution and its aftermath. Those are great credentials, of course, but it is her work on the black-comedy "The Voices" that is why we would consider her for "Deadpool 2."
"The Voices" stars Ryan Reynolds -- hence the immediate reason why Satrapi is being considered by fans to direct -- who plays a mild-mannered man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, which manifests through his talking pets acting as his conscience. "The Voices" also starred fan favorites Anna Kendrick and Gemma Arterton, collaborative experiences that would be useful in directing actors like Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Sofia Boutella or Lizzy Caplan, al of whom have been considered to play the mutant Domino in the new "Deadpool."
5 Tristram Shapeero
One of the main reasons that Tim Miller allegedly left "Deadpool 2" was that he and Ryan Reynolds clashed over the casting of Cable. Reynolds was one of the main reasons why "Deadpool" was even made, thanks of course to his dogged determination to get it made; so he is obviously going to hold a big say on the future of the franchise. With that in mind, a TV director might be a better fit for "Deadpool 2," since they have to work within the parameters of what has been set out by the showrunners. Of course, you would have to find someone who is ready for that transition, and with the panache to lead a project like "Deadpool 2."
Tristram Shapeero is an English TV director who has worked on both sides of the Atlantic and has specialized working on comedy shows. His credits include the cult British shows "I'm Alan Partridge" and "Peep Show," to working on "Community", "Parks and Recreation" and "Veep" in the US. He knows how to make comedies for adult audiences and that is what the "Deadpool" sequel needs. This one may be a bit of a stretch for some, but his experience has already given him a lot of credence on the directorial scene, and we think he is ready to make the leap to feature films.
4 Chad Stahelski/David Leitch
The duo Chad Stahelski and David Leitch are best known for working as second unit directors and stunt coordinators on a number of major action films, working on movies like "Captain America: Civil War", "The Matrix Trilogy", "The Wolverine" and "300", just to name a few. It was their work in their directional debut of "John Wick," however, that got them noticed as filmmakers.
"John Wick" is an unashamed B-Movie that provided some of the best hand-to-hand combat and shoot-outs in the action genre in recent memory (the best being the shoot-out in the club). This style of action would be a perfect fit for the "Deadpool" series, as everyone's favorite Merc-With-A-Mouth uses his katana and guns against whatever baddies he has to face. "John Wick" was also an impressive feat because it was made on a budget of $20 Million, so they can work with financial constraints like Tim Miller did with the first movie. Stahelski and Leitch are currently working separate projects, with Stahelski on "John Wick: Chapter 2" and Leitch adapting the graphic novel, "The Coldest City".
3 David Slade
David Slade is a director who has been seen as a rising star since his work on "Hard Candy" and "30 Days of Night." Both are violent movies that developed devoted fan bases, with "Hard Candy" being an intense thriller about a teenage girl turning the tables on a pedophile, and "30 Days of Night" being remembered relatively well as a vampire comic-to-film adaptation. Even thought he worked on the third "Twilight" film, it was the best made in the series and had some strong sequences. Slade was also considered to direct a darker reboot of "Daredevil" for FOX before the rights reverted back to Marvel Studios.
Since "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," Slade has focused on working in television, making five episodes of "Hannibal" (as well as acting as a producer), and episodes of "Breaking Bad", "Awake" and "Crossbones." As well as his experience trying to develop a "Daredevil" film, Slade's comic book experience comes from directing the first two episodes of "Powers" for the Playstation Network. He also directed the pilot for "American Gods," based on the novel by Neil Gaiman.
2 Rawson Marshall Thurber
With "DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story" and "We're the Millers" to his credit, Rawson Marshall Thurber has been a very successful mainstream comedy director. "DodgeBall" is a staple from the Frat Pack and is one of Vince Vaughn's better comedy movies. His latest movie, "Central Intelligence," also saw him directing massive Hollywood talents for a generally successful -- if not universally beloved -- action-comedy. It may not have been perfect, but it did show fleeting signs of brilliance that could be developed further with the right project, and among the right creative talent.
Indeed, Thurber has worked with some of the best comedy stars in the world today, which makes his teaming with Reynolds a natural fit. He would also do well in reining Reynolds' penchant for ad-libbing back a bit; something that could have used a defter hand during Reynolds' other comic book-adjacent venture in the ill-fated "Blade: Trinity." If all of his experience wasn't enough, Thurber was also approached to replace Edgar Wright to direct "Ant-Man." He ended up turning it down, but it at least shows that he has been on the superhero radar, with studios clearly impressed by what he could bring to a capes-and-spandex flick.
1 Adam Wingard
Adam Wingard has developed a reputation for making darkly comedic movies, like "You're Next" and the thriller "The Guest." He has also surprised audiences with the unexpected sequel to "Blair Witch," which, while not perfect, was at very least a loving homage. Wingard is a young and ambitious director who is on the rise, and a project like "Deadpool 2" would be a big step up for him; one that we don't think would be a misstep for the project.
"You're Next" subverted the conventions of the home invasion dynamic by showing a family being terrorized by a group of assailants. "The Guest" was a '80s style, neon-lite thriller that turned Dan Stevens from a "Downton Abbey" dandy into a serious anti-hero (and a potential Bond). It was a film that had a constant sly wit, with thrills that didn't quit. Both films show Wingard is able to mix dark comedy and gore effortlessly, an absolute must for Wade Wilson's next big-screen outing. Wingard is currently working through post-production on his next film "Death Note," an adaptation of the manga series by Tsugumi Ohba.
Who do you think would be great at guiding "Deadpool 2" to cinematic chicanery? Let us know in the comments!