In a rather shocking turn of events, or at least shocking in the world of comic book movies, Deadpool director Tim Miller has dropped out of the sequel, with Deadline citing creative differences with star Ryan Reynolds. Naturally, there are a handful of rumors about what these creative differences revolved around, but we’re interested in looking at the franchise’s future. Of course, with Fox having a property as big as Deadpool (Marvel currently publishes more books revolving around him than any other character) and coming off such a massive box office success, they’re going to want their franchise in safe hands. They face the challenge of not only finding a capable director, but one who can bring a similar energy to both the action and humor as the first film, and still deliver an R-Rated blockbuster that’s modestly budgeted. So we’ve got them covered with 10 directors we think would be great for Deadpool 2.
Adam McKay has a long history of making comedies, and chances are that if you grew up in the early 2000s that he made one your favorites between Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and Step Brothers. But McKay isn’t on this list simply because he’s able to handle absurdist comedy. He’s here because he proved he’s a director who can think outside the box and bend the rules of the narrative and cutaway gags with The Big Short. With Deadpool 2 introducing time travel with Cable, we can think of no one better to find a way to make something as complicated as X-men continuity a hilarious and entertaining experience. Also, if we’re talking action then that street fight in Anchorman was pretty damn cool.
So Ilya Naishuller’s Hardcore Henry wasn’t seen as quite the innovative cinema experience it was touted to be, but the guy’s got a specific kind of crazy that if channeled correctly could certainly up Deadpool’s style factor. Hardcore Henry featured some of the best action scenes of the year, as well as a plot so outrageous that it would be right at home in a Deadpool comic. Of course no one wants a Deadpool movie filmed entirely in first person with a go-pro. We could see that style being worked into a sequence or two, but for Naishuller to give people the Deadpool 2 they want to see, he’s going to have to display his traditional filmmaking skills with his nontraditional brand of stunts and bloody humor.
Keanu is one of the funniest movies of the year and with it Peter Atencio displayed his ability to shoot comedy as well as action. Also, if Fox wants a guy who can deliver referential pop-culture jokes, Antencio displayed an encyclopedic knowledge of movie tropes and how they can be twisted around to satirize a specific genre, something we’ll hopefully see more of in Deadpool 2. A longtime director on Key & Peele, Atencio knows all about working with big personalities with strong voices, and we think he could bring out a more refined comedic timing in Ryan Reynolds.
A bit of a newcomer on scene, Kiah Roache-Turner won over the hearts of many genre fans with his Mad Max-inspired zombie film, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead. Roache-Turner’s action scenes have a kinetic energy and he pulls off ideas that many other directors would dismiss for budgetary reasons. He also displays a knack for banter and creating likable characters, something Deadpool will certainly thrive on going forward. We’re very much a fan of Fox using the Deadpool franchise to propel directors with huge ideas into the spotlight and allow filmgoers everywhere to see the full extent of their craziness and we think we’ve only caught a glimpse of what Roache-Turner is capable of.
Not only is Marjane Satrapi renowned in the world of comic books, having written the fantastic Persepolis and later co-directing the adaptation, she also directed Ryan Reynolds in The Voices. That incredibly bloody dose of black humor gave fans a glimpse of what Reynolds would bring to Deadpool and while the film isn’t action-packed, it’s incredibly stylish. We’re confident Satrapi could deliver the goods and bring fans a Deadpool movie that pushes more limits than the first and brings more heart to what is ultimately a comedic tragedy.
It seems like Ruben Fleischer’s name has been tossed around for every comic book movie greenlit, and yet he hasn’t found the right one. Zombieland was a strong debut that helped revitalize the subgenre and while Gangster Squad didn’t fully work, it did show his ability to handle large-scale action and still deliver a pulpy style that felt straight out of a comic. Fleischer also has the major benefit of having worked with Deadpool screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick on Zombieland. We wouldn’t be surprised if Fleischer is one of the first names Fox calls.
Few directors have displayed an ability to deliver satire that just utterly and completely understands the genre its playing with than Black Dynamite director Scott Sanders. Sanders was not only able to mimic and mock the style of Blaxploitation films, but also the cinematic language, appeal, and effect of it. Deadpool was praised for satirizing the superhero genre, but we don’t think it went far enough. If Sanders has the same level of interest in superhero movies as he did for Blaxploitation then we’d really see a film that could redefine the rules of the superhero movie for the next ten years. Deadpool 2 could very well be the Scream of its genre and era.
So Ryan Reynolds wants Deadpool 2 to be raunchier? Well hold on, we’ve got just the guy. Jody Hill, the mind behind The Foot Fist Way, Observe and Report, Eastbound & Down, and Vice Principals, has consistently delivered some of the most uncomfortable, and boundary-pushing humor of the past decade. If Deadpool seemed too juvenile at times and its jokes occasionally obvious, well Hill will not only shock and surprise, but deliver a movie that’s really not for kids. Also, if we can get Danny McBride in a Deadpool movie then we’ll know that all these years of cinema have finally payed off.
The Soska Sisters
If you follow them on Twitter then you know that there are few filmmakers out there who are bigger Deadpool fans than The Soska Sisters. While they’re primarily thought of as horror filmmakers, the Soskas have honed their skills on the action genre with Vendetta. They can do brutal, they can do hard-hitting black comedy, and they can deliver a clearly-defined theme. If Fox can wait until they’re finished with Rabid to start filming Deadpool 2, we think they’d make a film completely in line with the comics that have influenced them.
Back in 2010, Robert Rodriguez was in discussions to direct Deadpool. He even went as far as reading the script, but it never panned out. Rodriguez often has a horde of projects in various stages of production but if Fox can rope him in, we think he’d really up the ante and make a film that feels expansive and driven by a strong voice. Whether it’s From Dusk Til Dawn, Spy Kids, Sin City, or Planet Terror, Robert Rodriguez is always delivering concepts unlike anything we’ve seen. With so many superhero properties out there, and so many more that are after the off-beat humor that made Deadpool so successful, we could all do with a few surprises and outright weirdness from the man with the Mariachi-style.
Featured Image: 20th Century Fox