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A Deadpool sequel is already being written

deadpool by a fireplace
Deadpool hasn’t been officially released in theaters yet, but that hasn’t stopped 20th Century Fox from pushing ahead with plans for a sequel.

With early reviews heaping praise on the “R”-rated antihero’s solo adventure, the studio has reportedly commissioned Deadpool screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to begin working on a script for a sequel to the upcoming film. The movie — which casts Ryan Reynolds as irreverent, unconventional mercenary Wade Wilson, whose superhuman healing powers make him practically immortal — opens this Friday, February 12.

With two days to go until the film’s official premiere, box-office prognosticators are predicting a $65-70 million opening for Deadpool. If that estimate pans out, the film would slide into the top of the 2016 box-office rankings with quite a bit of cushion between it and any challengers.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio is hoping to keep the Deadpool creative team together, but director Tim Miller has yet to be confirmed for the follow-up film.

A project more than seven years in the making, Deadpool was originally announced after 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine introduced Reynolds as Wade Wilson, only to disappoint fans with the way the character was handled in the film’s final act. The project seemed to stall out, though, as the studio wrestled with internal issues and decisions that led to a full-scale reboot of the X-Men franchise.

Interest picked up again in 2014 when test footage for the film was unofficially released online, offering a glimpse at the creative team’s vision for the movie — a vision that was embraced by fans and sparked an outpouring of support for the project.

The film follows Wade Wilson, a former special forces agent who agrees to undergo an experimental operation in the hope of curing the cancer that’s destroying his body. The experiment goes awry and nearly kills him, but also gives him a superhuman healing ability and a body covered in horrible scars. He embarks on a mission to hunt down the man who subjected him to the experiment, and encounters various super-powered allies and enemies along the way, including several members of the X-Men.

Deadpool hits theaters February 12.

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