Deadpool 2 lost its director last weekend, when Tim Miller, who directed the first film, left reportedly over creative differences with star Ryan Reynolds. Now, the first replacement name has emerged, as David Leitch of John Wick is the new frontrunner to direct Deadpool 2, according to Mashable.
Miller and Reynolds apparently couldn't agree on the casting of Cable, the time-traveling mutant who will buddy up with (and probably clash with) Deadpool in the sequel, as teased in the post-credits scene of the first film. There was also an issue of tone, as Miller reportedly wanted a more visual (he runs an effects company, Blur Studio, after all) and setpiece-oriented film, but Reynolds wanted to double down on the wit and humor of the first. The departure didn't have any hurt feelings, though, and 20th Century Fox is looking for another film for Miller to direct for the studio.
As for David Leitch, his directorial debut as co-director of John Wick was a huge cult success, spawning a sequel and incredible critical support. He's an EP on the sequel, and has history with Fox and superhero films. Leitch's history in stunt work includes being a stunt performer, coordinator, and choreographer on TV shows and films like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Blade, the Daredevil film, Constantine, V for Vendetta, two Bourne films, Jumper, TMNT, and of course X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where he worked with Ryan Reynolds in his first go at bringing Deadpool to life. He was also second unit director on The Wolverine and Captain America: Civil War, so his comic book and action resumés are long and storied.
The only thing in the worry column as far as Leitch goes is that he's extremely in demand. Thanks to his contacts across the film world from his stunt and second unit work, Leitch is already attached on two other comic book movies; he has signed on to Cowboy Ninja Viking, an Image Comics adaptation set to star Chris Pratt, and he's set to direct Bloodshot from Valiant Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment. The good news is, Deadpool 2 is due to start filming long before either of those films, so it's quite possible Leitch could start his comic book film directing career with this film.
Deadpool 2 follows the top-grossing worldwide R-rated movie, and top-grossing film in the X-Men movie franchise. The first film was in development hell for over a decade, and only got made and released in the first place because of test footage that Tim Miller and Blur Studio created... and leaked, that starred Reynolds. The sequel is rumored for a January 2018 release.