According to Mashable, the filmmaker is “the strong frontrunner” to direct “Deadpool 2.” While an official offer has yet to be made to Leitch, the report goes as far as to say that “by most accounts, 20th Century Fox has found its man.”
Miller bowed out of the project earlier this week, with reports of creative differences with Reynolds cited as the reason. While the break was initially reported to be an amicable one, a subsequent report stated that the relationship between Miller and Reynolds had become “contentious,” to the point where the pair went for long stretches of time not speaking to one another following the release of “Deadpool” in February.
The final straw appears to have been over how to handle the introduction of Cable, Marvel Comics’ time-traveling cyborg mutant, to Deadpool’s world in the sequel. Miller reportedly wanted to cast “Friday Night Lights” star Kyle Chandler in the part, while Reynolds was angling for someone else. (Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick said in April they’re looking for a “physically imposing” actor with “strength, gravitas, a purposefulness that Deadpool doesn’t have.”)
Miller remains tied to Fox, developing “Influx” for the studio, an adaptation of the 2014 techno-thriller by author David Suarez.
Leitch has worked with Ryan Reynolds before, as the action coordinator on “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” He also worked as a stuntman on a number of previous films for both Marvel and Fox, including “Blade” and “Daredevil.” Leitch is currently attached to helm two other comic book adaptations: “Cowboy Ninja Viking,” an adaptation of A.J. Lieberman and Riley Rossmo’s Image Comics series starring “Guardians of the Galaxy’s” Chris Pratt, and “Bloodshot,” based on Valiant Entertainment’s nanite-enhanced super-soldier character.
Produced for an estimated $58 million, “Deadpool” earned $782.6 million worldwide, and set opening-weekend records for February and for R-rated films. It’s also the top-grossing film in Fox’s “X-Men” franchise.
“Deadpool 2” is expected to start filming in 2017 and open in 2018, but Fox has yet to officially announce a date.
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