The difference maker for the hugely successful Deadpool – other than the fact it was an ultra-violent, ultra-sweary slice of genius – was that in comic book movies terms, it was very laid back.
While the rest of Hollywood’s costumed crime fighters have been going through a dark, brooding emo stage, taking their campy universes far too seriously for their own good, Deadpool was keeping it chill, kicking ass for the sheer fun of it, and giving zero effs whatsoever.
And it worked: the film was a monster success, notching up almost $800m at the box-office and turning the 20th Century Fox-produced Deadpool into a wise-cracking superhero success nobody saw coming.
But behind the scenes on Deadpool 2, things could be anything but laid back, as director Tim Miller - who was behind the first film and was on board for Deadpool 2 - has left the project over “creative differences” with star and producer Ryan Reynolds.
Deadline reports that the split was “amicable” – and that Miller may now direct Fox’s Influx instead – but it could mean a serious overhaul for the Deadpool sequel, with Miller's SFX background being a major part on the first movie’s snappy visual style.
He’d already spent time developing Deadpool 2, though it’s hard to know how much of his influence will carry over to the finished version (consider how the obvious Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish-written moments from Ant-Man – such as the high-speed Thomas the Tank chase – remained after Wright parted ways with Marvel over creative issues).
It’s also unclear what exactly the creative differences between Reynolds and Miller were. Was it a simple difference of opinion? Has Reynolds’ revived career and lucrative BT adverts gone to his head and turned him into diva?
Either way, it sounds like Reynolds has a firm hand on his vision for the character – and let's be fair, he was brilliant as "the Merc with a mouth" – but it’s a shame to lose one of the key creative talents from the first film.
Undoubtedly, Fox won’t want to upset things much more for the sequel, or stray from the formula of the first Deadpool. Not only was it huge box-office smash, but after drab Fantastic Four reboot and weak X-Men films, it was also the best superhero film the studio has made in years.
Sorry, Wolverine, but it was.