It’s been a rough week for the nascent Deadpool franchise. Last weekend, the original film’s director Tim Miller announced that he would not return to helm the planned sequel despite his fanbase’s widely held assumptions. Miller never signed any paperwork committing him to the project, and clarified his position on Saturday, citing creative differences with star Ryan Reynolds as the key reason for his abstaining. It left the producers in something of a bind, scrambling to lock down new talent before principal photography gets going early next year.

But now a new hope has entered the picture. Or as the Merc with a Mouth might say, “You’re gonna have to pay me if you want to quote me in your stupid little article. These colors don’t run and these words ain’t free.”

Update: Deadline confirms that Leitch is in the running for Deadpool 2, but that Fox is also eyeing a handful of other contenders, including The Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard (who also penned last year’s The Martian) and Magnus Martens, whose TV credits include Marvel’s Luke Cage. Original story continues below…

Mashable ran an exclusive on Friday declaring John Wick director David Leitch to be the frontrunner for the job, with executives from 20th Century Fox holding off on any official statement for the time being. The article specifies that no concrete offer has yet been made and other directors may still be in the mix, but even so, they state that “by most accounts, 20th Century Fox has found their man.”

Leith would be a slam dunk get for the producers, having already established positive relations with Reynolds as the action coordinator on X-Men Origins: Wolverine. (Not that the Deadpool 2 producers want anyone recalling Sewed-Mouth Demon Deadpool. We try not to revisit those dark days.) And John Wick has already made diehard fans out of plenty of viewers who’ll be eager to see the same genre mayhem brought to Deadpool 2. If this does indeed go through, it promises a bright future for the black sheep of the superhero genre. It’s in moments like this when I’m reminded of Deadpool’s immortal words: “F–k off, you jabroni. Stop talking to me, I’m serious, I will break your shinbones.”

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