Back in 2016, Deadpool scored the highest ever R-rated opening weekend in history. That particular record wasn’t even shattered by Joker, the R-rated Gotham supervillain origin story that achieved the best October opening of all time and later laughed past the $1 billion mark. Indeed, Deadpool surpassed all expectations and roundly pleased audiences, surprisingly without much controversy, so it was somewhat surprising to see director Tim Miller hit the road when sequel time arrived. Miller was, of course, replaced by David Leitch (John Wick), and the franchise continued without a visible hitch.
Now, Miller (in the wake of Terminator: Dark Fate‘s lukewarm box-office performance) is speaking out to clarify why he stepped away. While speaking with KCRW’s The Business podcast, Miller admits that he and star Ryan Reynolds clashed when it came to their respective creative visions. Via CinemaBlend:
“It became clear that Ryan wanted to be in control of the franchise. You can work that way as a director, quite successfully, but I can’t. I don’t mind having a debate, but if I can’t win, I don’t want to play. And I don’t think you can negotiate every creative decision, there’s too many to make. So Ryan’s the face of the franchise, and he was the most important component of that, by far. So if he decides he wants to control it, then he’s going to control it.”
Fair enough. It’s easy enough to see why Miller bristled at the idea of giving up control, but Reynolds did fashion the first Deadpool into a labor of love. He didn’t simply show up and recite his lines and execute fight moves. He also tirelessly promoted the movie with all sorts of silly shenanigans, and it can be argued that he essentially became Wade Wilson for a few years throughout the project’s long gestation. Obviously, if it came down to it, Reynolds could not be replaced by any other actor for this franchise. So while he’s capable of fleetingly crashing SNL, possibly never to be seen again, he’s not that way with the Deadpool franchise. I mean, he was able to resuscitate the character from a horrific X-Men Origins: Wolverine iteration, so the fandom would probably agree that Reynolds earned that control. Not to mention the right to wear that body condom forever.