Director David Leitch is known best right now for being half of the team that created the surprise hit, “John Wick,” but expect to hear his name more for the next year.
The stuntman-turned-director has two major movies coming up: first is the Charlize Theron Cold War spy movie, “Atomic Blonde” (opening July 28), then he’ll follow that with the highly anticipated “Deadpool 2,” the sequel to the box office hit from 2016 that starred Ryan Reynolds playing the unique Marvel character.
Leitch took on the second Deadpool movie after the director of the original, Tim Miller, left last October over “creative differences.” Currently shooting “Deadpool 2,” Leitch said he’s trying to keep focused and not get caught up in the hype around the project.
“You can’t deny the expectation,” Leitch told Business Insider, while doing press for the release of “Atomic Blonde,” when asked if he feels any pressure to deliver as big or bigger than the first movie. “There’s such an incredibly passionate following, which I’m grateful for to be involved in it. But at the end of the day, I’ve been working on films for 20 years, we’re in the creative process right now and I’m just focused on that. It feels like we know what to deliver. Ryan knows Deadpool like the back of his hand and we’re in a really good place.”
Miller’s departure from the sequel was reportedly due to him not seeing eye-to-eye with Reynolds about the scope of the project. Miller wanted to go bigger with story and ideas while Reynolds, along with screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, wanted to stay close to the original’s $60 million budget and have lots of raunchy material.
The original earned the biggest box office opening ever for an R-rated movie with $132.4 million and a worldwide box office total of $783.1 million. With Reynolds as the face of the franchise, the success or failure of the sequel is placed on his shoulders.
But that’s what’s impressed Leitch the most since coming on board, how connected Reynolds is to the demented persona of the “Merc With A Mouth.”
“He was made for this role and the character is made for him,” said Leitch of Reynolds as Deadpool. “They are one, let’s say it that way.”
“Deadpool 2” will open in theaters on June 1, 2018.