As the superhero genre continues to saturate the box office, studios are looking to break from typical superhero film conventions. Marvel Studios introduced a more overtly comedic style to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Guardians of the Galaxy, which paid off big time at the box office – and the studio is looking to capitalize on that success with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 next May. 20th Century Fox ramped up the raunchy with adult superhero action/comedy Deadpool this year, and saw meteoric success as the film became the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time.
As a result of Deadpool‘s success, 20th Century Fox decided to fast-track production on a sequel, and announced plans for Deadpool 2 earlier this year. However, despite major fan interest in the franchise (both emotionally and financially), its sequel has hit a bump in the road during pre-production. Deadpool director Tim Miller has backed out of the production on the sequel, reportedly over creative differences with lead Ryan Reynolds (including, a disagreement over Cable’s casting). The search for a new Deadpool 2 director has been underway since, with reports coming in that David Leitch (John Wick) is a front-runner.
We’ve received news since, however, that two other intriguing names could potentially snatch the coveted creative role. A report from Deadline reveals that both Drew Goddard and Magnus Martens have pitched to Fox in an attempt to bag the director spot. Goddard is a prolific screenwriter, who has written (or written for) such TV shows and movies as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Daredevil, Cloverfield, and The Martian, in addition to having directed the cult hit The Cabin in the Woods. Norwegian television director Martens recently stepped behind the camera for Luke Cage‘s episode 8 and an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Though Leitch is still a strong candidate for the position, it’s noteworthy that the studio is still exploring other options.
Goddard, who earned an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay with The Martian, has been poised to direct a superhero film for quite some time now. Sony originally signed him on to direct their The Amazing Spider-Man spin-off Sinister Six, before Marvel took over the franchise with the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming. Though Goddard is holding out hope for a Marvel-endored Sinister Six, in the meantime this could be a big boon for the writer/director. Magnus Martens likewise did fine work on Luke Cage and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but has yet to direct superheroes for the big screen. The resume for both of these candidates arguably bolsters their chances at landing the Deadpool 2 directing job.
Leitch is still the presumed frontrunner for Deadpool 2, but it sounds like Goddard and Martens are very much in the running. Leitch’s impressive resume also includes stunt work/second unit directing for superhero films, but Goddard especially has played a hand in many successful genre titles over the past decade. His work on The Cabin in the Woods (which Goddard co-wrote with Joss Whedon) proves that Goddard can helm a great genre parody without sacrificing action, and his writing experience shows that he knows how to immerse himself in the superhero world.
If any one of the three aforementioned filmmakers wind up directing Deadpool 2, it should improve the odds of the sequel delivering yet another round of crowd-pleasing vulgarity. We’re excited to keep you updated on the situation as it continues to unfold.