Fox Wants Liam Neeson for DEADPOOL 2
Deadpool is one of the biggest breakout hits of the year, and it’s one that studio Fox didn’t wholly foresee. A $58 million dollar movie hauled in a whopping $760 million dollars worldwide, making a sequel an obvious and welcome inevitability. Ryan Reynolds is already on board to return as the unfiltered Merc with a Mouth, and Cable – Deadpool’s favorite superhero-team-up-partner in the comics – is confirmed to join ‘Pool in his next cinematic outing. Recent internet rumors pointed to Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights, Bloodline) as being eyed for the telepathic, time-traveling mutant, with Mackenzie Davis (Halt and Catch Fire, The Martian) reportedly wanted for Domino, a psionically gifted mutant who is “said to be the scene-stealer of the movie.”
Mashable‘s Jeff Sneider claims Chandler’s name has been “floating around for Cable for months,” though he added fans should “take this with a gigantic grain of salt.” Heroic Hollywood’s Umberto Gonzalez notes that Chandler was director Tim Miller’s “first choice” for the highly coveted role, though he says the studio “wants a movie star.” That star? Liam Neeson, who headlined Fox’s highly lucrative (though eventually run-into-the-ground) Taken franchise. Gonzalez adds that Fox wants Neeson, but Miller doesn’t – and considering Miller is a huge part of why Deadpool was the tremendous success it was, it’s hard to see why the studio won’t play ball and let the director have who he wants in the role. It’s clear that Deadpool is now Fox’s golden child, but we’ve seen “studio interference” drag down an endless list of movies – like Fox’s own Fant4stic, and countless other examples in the comic book movie genre alone – so it’s puzzling at best and frustrating at worst that Fox supposedly is butting heads with one of the main driving creative forces on the movie over a character who is destined to forever be the sidekick when co-starring in a movie with Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool.
There’s also the fact that Fox already has a “movie star” in the movie, and it’s Deadpool (aka Ryan Reynolds, who worked his ass off for a decade to make the movie that is widely accepted as a massive crowd-pleaser). Deadpool saved his career, and Reynolds embodies the character. Deadpool 2 is as close to a guaranteed success as you can get, and adding Liam Neeson isn’t going to add so much that Deadpool 2 won’t be a hit without him (and I love me some Liam Neeson). Neeson is the kind of star you land when you need to add some pedigree and some star power to an unproven property; you don’t create conflict with the guy (Tim Miller) who gave you a massive new franchise hit over a secondary role. Neeson is a great (although obvious) choice for the grizzled warrior, but if it’s me, I let the filmmakers who delivered Deadpool have a reasonable amount of free reign and trust them to deliver another $700 million plus grosser. Deadpool 2 arrives January 12th, 2018.