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This week, the production of Deadpool 2 was struck a blow. It has been reported that Tim Miller, director of the first Deadpool, is leaving the project due to creative differences. This is unquestionably a setback, as it's a key vacancy that will require time and proper vetting to fill -- but now is not the time for fans to panic about the anticipated sequel. Yes, Miller's presence on the project will certainly be missed, but there's every reason to be entirely confident in the three remaining members of the brain trust behind the big screen Merc With The Mouth: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds.
While there's no denying that Tim Miller was an important member of the Deadpool team for an incredibly long time -- first signing on as director in April 2011 - he only came on following years of work from Reese, Wernick and Reynolds, who truly laid the foundation of the post-modern, exceptionally funny, eternally faithful comic book adaptation. With the exception of a few characters and sequences that were ultimately cut for budgetary reasons, the script that made the film soar was mostly in its finished form at least as far back as 2010, including the impressive non-linear structure, and full pages of dialogue.
Unlike most superhero blockbusters that get $150 million to wow audiences with ridiculous spectacle, the limited budget and smaller scale of Deadpool made it truly depend on the sharpness of its script -- and it was that sharpness that kept the project fighting through years and years of development hell until it finally got made. The film could never feature a giant battle against an army of aliens... or really an army of any kind, but it succeeded by focusing on character -- which made it uproariously funny thanks to the sheer awesomeness of its titular hero, but also unique within the genre. Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds were the three men responsible for that, and given that the plan is to once again keep Deadpool 2 tight and small-scaled, it's hard not to remain confident in what the sequel can deliver.
Absolutely none of this is meant to diminish Tim Miller's contributions on the first Deadpool, as the movie probably couldn't have been made and exist in the form that it does without his particular expertise. Coming from the world of visual effects as the founder of Blur Studio, the director's background meant that the small production was able to push its budget far further than most filmmakers would have been able to do, and that clearly turned out to be massively important (in terms of the quality visuals in the film, but also just in 20th Century Fox giving the project the green light). Incredibly significant as that contribution was, however, the fantastic box office numbers mean that particular skill won't be as significant when it comes to making Deadpool 2. The first Merc With The Mouth movie is now the most successful title in the X-Men franchise, and while the sequel won't change things much scale-wise, the studio will surely be giving the production all the money it needs to be a success.
The news of Tim Miller leaving Deadpool 2 is definitely disappointing news for fans. We will miss the particularly fun and appropriate style he brought to the 2016 blockbuster, and who ever winds up sitting in the director's chair will have some absolutely massive shoes to fill. That being said, fans have no reason to worry about the upcoming sequel, as it is still very much in appropriate and capable hands. And if you need assurance of that, all you need to do is remember who's described as "The Real Heroes Here" in Deadpool's opening credits.