Deadpool director Tim Miller departed the sequel to this year’s R-rated superhero hit in October, only to have studio 20th Century Fox reportedly set its sights on a new filmmaker to helm the 2018 follow-up.
John Wick co-director David Leitch has now been confirmed as the filmmaker who will step behind the camera for the still-untitled Deadpool sequel, which will bring back Ryan Reynolds as the foul-mouthed Marvel Comics mercenary with an overactive mutant healing ability and a tendency to break the fourth wall.
Leitch’s potential involvement was originally reported by Mashable, and the filmmaker was confirmed as the movie’s new director this week by The Hollywood Reporter. The report indicates that Leitch was one of several filmmakers considered for the job, with the studio also considering having Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman), Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods), or Magnus Martens (Luke Cage, Banshee) direct the sequel. Leitch reportedly met with Reynolds in New York City and was offered the job shortly thereafter.
Leitch made his directorial debut on the surprise hit John Wick alongside Chad Stahelski, who’s directing the sequel to that film. Former stunt actors and choreographers, Leitch and Stahelski own a studio that trains stunt performers and arranges stunt choreography for films.
No stranger to superhero and sci-fi fare, Leitch served as second-unit director on The Wolverine, Jurassic World, and Captain America: Civil War, and recently made his solo debut behind the camera on the upcoming spy thriller The Coldest City, starring James McAvoy and Charlize Theron. He’s also attached to direct an adaptation of the comic book Cowboy Ninja Viking with Chris Pratt in the lead role, as well as a movie based on the Valiant Comics series Bloodshot.
Along with Reynolds as the titular antihero, Deadpool screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick will also return for the sequel, which is currently in the midst of assembling its cast. One of the issues that reportedly prompted Miller’s departure is a disagreement with Reynolds — who serves as a producer on the film — over casting choices.
The Deadpool sequel is scheduled to hit theaters March 2, 2018.