The road to Deadpool 2 has been a little longer and a lot more fraught than expected. After years of trying to get the film made, Deadpool finally hit theaters this past February to insane success, grossing $782 million worldwide. For an R-rated superhero movie with a budget less than half of what most other superhero movies carry, that’s a huge hit for Fox, so obviously the studio wanted to get a sequel going ASAP. However, the official announcement didn’t come until April, when Fox confirmed that writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, star Ryan Reynolds, and director Tim Miller were returning—albeit with no release date firmed up. Then, late last month, the sequel was dealt a crushing blow: Miller exited the director’s chair over creative differences with Reynolds.
Despite all this, a report is going around that filming on Deadpool 2 is still going to start in January. That, frankly, is hogwash. This news originated at What’s Filming, where a January production start date was noted for Vancouver, but that information is incorrect. Sources tell us the plan, when Miller was directing, was for filming to begin in March, so that January date is way off. Casting had only just begun when Miller dropped out, as we learned which actresses were being eyed to take on the role of Domino. However, with no director and thus no director-approved script, there’s no way Deadpool 2 will have sets built, costumes done, and casting completed in just two months, especially since Miller was eyeing March as the start-date when the train was moving right along.
So hold your horses, folks. Deadpool 2 is going to be slightly delayed. The search for a new director began quickly, with reports swirling that John Wick co-director David Leitch met with Reynolds the weekend after Miller left and is the top choice for the job. Drew Goddard is another name that’s apparently in the mix, but again, Fox and Reynolds haven’t yet made a decision, and so right now the Deadpool 2 director’s chair remains empty.
Once a director is found, he or she will no doubt go over whatever draft of the script is most current and, depending on how flexible Fox is willing to be with the start-date, begin to inject his or her own ideas for the film. That necessitates rewriting, and then the director has to assemble a behind-the-scenes team, so that includes getting a production designer to start creating sets to be built and a costume designer to start visualizing how the various characters will be brought to life. Again, this is not something that can be rushed and done and ready to roll in two months, so despite what some other headlines might be telling you, Deadpool 2 is not filming in January.
As of now, Fox and Reynolds are no doubt deep into the director search and may even be in the process of drawing up contracts with their choice. But Fox still hasn’t announced a firm release date for Deadpool 2, so luckily the film isn’t racing towards an opening weekend. Here’s hoping whoever gets the job is given the time and leeway to make the film his or her own.