One of Miller’s biggest plans for “Deadpool 2” was beefing up the role of Vanessa, played by Morena Baccarin. The character dies at the start of the “Deadpool 2” theatrical cut and only appears briefly afterwards, but that’s not what Miller wanted for her storyline. The director said he “cracked the secret to the Vanessa storyline,” and The Playlist reports, “Vanessa had a far richer character arc than what was presented in the final cut of the film seeing her transformation into the iconic character Copycat and a deeper exploration of the love story between herself and Wade.”
Miller also intended to feature a major “Fantastic Four” crossover by using Ben Grimm/The Thing in the movie’s third act battle between Deadpool and Juggernaut. The director said he got permission from executives at 20th Century Fox to use The Thing in “Deadpool 2,” but his idea got left on the cutting room floor after he left the movie and the script got reworked. While The Thing was an exciting addition, it was ultimately Vanessa’s expanded role that Miller pushed hardest for in the film.
“It was clear this part was what Miller was most passionate about as he stated he ‘fought hard to have that in there,” The Playlist reports on Vanessa’s storyline. “Even in the eleventh hour prior to exiting the project, he spoke to the higher-ups at 20th Century Fox and pleaded with them before moving forward insisting they at least keep the Vanessa story before throwing everything out.”
Miller was replaced as director by David Leitch. “Deadpool 2” opened in May 2018 to less favorable reviews than Miller’s original, but it still grossed a strong $785 million worldwide. Miller’s “Terminator: Dark Fate” is opening nationwide November 1.
That's another one in the record books for Joker. The movie has had one heck of a run at the box office since it opened in theaters earlier this month. A far better take than anyone truly expected. To that point, Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime now stands above Ryan Reynolds as the Merc With a Mouth, as Joker has officially passed Deadpool 2 at the box office, making it the highest-grossing R-rated movie in history.
As of this writing, Joker has earned $258.6 million domestically and $526.9 million overseas and counting. That gives it a current grand total of $785.5 million. That puts it narrowly above last year's Deadpool 2, which made $785 million. That, itself, was narrowly above the first Deadpool, which earned a record-breaking $782.6 million in 2016. Which, in part, gave other studios the confidence to green light R-rated comic book movies and other big blockbusters. In a way, different as the movies may be, there is probably no Joker without Deadpool.
It's also important to point out that a relatively large chunk of Deadpool 2's gross came from the PG-13, holiday-themed re-release, Once Upon a Deadpool. The re-edited version of the flick brought in just $6 million in North America, but did pretty well overseas, bringing in another $44 million. So, if one wants to look at this in terms of pure, R-rated gross, Deadpool 2 made $735 million in its original form, which would still make Deadpool the previous, highest-grossing R-rated release. Either way, Joker takes the cake no matter how one wants to slice it.
Related: Joker Director Refuses to Show Deleted Scenes or Make Extended Cut
Joker has now set a new standard for what success means within the DC universe. Other movies such as Aquaman $1.15 billion and Wonder Woman $821 million have grossed more in terms of cold, hard box office dollars. But since Warner Bros. didn't have quite as much faith in director Todd Phillips' vision, they gave the movie a much smaller budget, reportedly in the $55 million range. That also meant a smaller marketing spend. Taking all of that into account, Joker is expected to turn nearly $500 million in profit, which is in the same ballpark as Marvel's Avengers: Endgame, which grossed $2.79 billion at the box office and now stands as the highest-grossing movie in history.
Love it or hate it and the movie has proved to be divisive amongst critics, certainly, this experiment proved to be a colossal success. Even if a sequel doesn't happen, and Todd Phillips has said this was always envisioned as a standalone but we'll see about that, Joker will undoubtedly pave the way for more out-of-the-box comic book flicks down the line. Be it in the DC universe, or elsewhere. Especially if it does go on to add a little Oscar gold to its growing list of accomplishments. This news was previously reported by Forbes.
Marvel is going to reboot Fantastic Four at some point and we may have a solid candidate for the job. Matthew Vaughn, director of The Kingsman movies, has thrown his hat in the ring. Or, at the very least, he's expressed interested in taking on Marvel's first family, assuming he gets to tell the story the way he wants to tell it.
Matthew Vaughn, who has helmed more than his share of comic book movies in the past, made the trek to New York Comic-Con this weekend to promote The King's Man, the upcoming Kingsman prequel. During an interview, he was asked about the possibility of directing the forthcoming Fantastic Four reboot. Here's what Vaughn had to say about it.
"Yeah I've always loved the idea of doing Fantastic Four as it was originally written. I mean it's one of my favorite comics and I actually think that Fantastic Four, as a nice piece of IP, is in theory as big as Spider-Man. I think those, the values of Fantastic Four and Spider-Man, I think those are the reason, if you're a kid, you can imagine being a part of the Fantastic Four family and you can imagine being Peter Parker. So yeah, I think Fan-Four would be the one that would excite me the most."
The "as it was originally written" bit is particularly important. That implies Matthew Vaughn wants to stay very faithful to the versions of the characters brought to us by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Previous iterations of the franchise have been modestly successful at best, but 2015's Fantastic Four was a truly massive bomb, and none of the live-action adaptations to date have truly captured the potential that these characters have. Be it Vaughn or someone else, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige isn't going to squander this opportunity.
Disney's merger with Fox allowed the X-Men and Fantastic Four rights to wind up in Kevin Feige's hands. While we're still years away from these characters being rebooted within the MCU, it was announced during SDCC 2019 over the summer that those projects are very much in the cards. Phase 4 will take us through 2021 and all of the movies and TV shows for the next couple of years have already been firmed up. So we won't see Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm back on the silver screen until, at the very earliest, 2022.
Related: Fantastic Four Reboot Confirmed for MCU Phase 4
Matthew Vaughn previously directed Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class, outside of the Kingsman movies. So he knows his way around a comic book adaptation. Next up, he's got Kingsman 3, which is technically being made for Disney, given the Fox merger. If that goes well, perhaps that could put him on deck for an MCU gig. Though, Ant-Man director Peyton Reed also wanted to make a Fantastic Four movie at one point and one has to wonder if Marvel would give him a crack at it. Either way, this is a property that big-name filmmakers are very interested in. This news comes to us via Comicbook.com.
The Canadian safety organization that investigated a fatal 2017 motorcycle stunt crash on the set of Deadpool 2 has concluded the film's production company violated numerous safety regulations, including “Instructing the stunt performer not to wear safety headgear while operating the motorcycle.”
Joi Harris, who was performing her first movie stunt, was killed on the film's set in Vancouver in August 2017 when she was ejected from the motorcycle she was operating and crashed through the window of a nearby building.
WorkSafeBC, British Columbia's version of the U.S. government's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also found that the film's production company, TCF Vancouver Productions Ltd., “Failed to ensure that the workplace was designed with safety controls in place so that the stunt performer or the motorcycle could not proceed beyond the perimeter of the film set. Barriers were absent that should have prevented the stunt performer and motorcycle from leaving the set perimeter.”
The report read it in full here released Wednesday also found that the company “Failed to conduct a risk assessment addressing safety controls, speed of the motorcycle, and equipment limitations. The employer failed to complete important health and safety documentation, including a stunt safety inspection checklist and a production activity notification checklist, as required by its own health and safety program.”
It also said the company “failed to ensure that the stunt performer was provided with a new worker orientation and failed to ensure that the stunt performer completed the young and new worker orientation checklist.” Harris was an experienced motorcycle racer, but had never worked on films before.
WorkSafeBC said its findings “may result in an administrative penalty where violations of the Workers Compensation Act or the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation have occurred. WorkSafeBC is now considering a penalty based on the findings” of its investigation.
20th Century Fox, which released the Marvel superhero sequel starring Ryan Reynolds in May 2018, reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement with Harris' family in April.
After filmmaking duo Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert launched their wacky debut “Swiss Army Man” at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, they went through the usual routine of fielding offers. The directors, who have gone by the collective moniker “Daniels” since their music video days, announced their surreal and playful style with the story of singing castaway Paul Dano and the farting corpse Daniel Radcliffe he befriends. That may not sound like the most commercial idea, but the film eventually grossed $5.8 million in release, along with rave reviews for blending outrageous toilet humor with poignant storytelling.
It also made them wary of studio properties that came their way. “My dad was so upset that we didn't take the meeting for 'Deadpool 2,'” Scheinert told IndieWire recently, and laughed. “I'm sure they took meetings with tons of people. But we were like, ‘We're not right for that,’ and didn't take the meeting.”
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Scheinert was sitting at Kwan's house while juggling phone interviews to promote “The Death of Dick Long,” which Scheinert squeezed in as his first solo directing effort while the pair work on their next collaboration. Set in Scheinert's native Alabama, “The Death of Dick Long” revolves around two longtime pals Michael Abbott Jr. and Andre Hyland who spend a frantic day trying to hide their involvement in a friend's accidental death. The movie unfolds like “Fargo” by way of “Dumb and Dumber,” mining for surprising bursts of emotion in an oddball saga of bumbling idiots.
Scheinert directed the story from fellow Alabama native Billy Chew's script. “Obviously, when it comes to someone else's material, I'm attracted to things like death of 'Dick Long,' not 'Deadpool,'” he said.
20th Century Fox
But Daniels were also uninterested in franchise filmmaking for other reasons. “Dan and I legitimately think we'd do a bad job on that kind of movie at this point in our careers,” Scheinert said. “Directing's really hard, but if you're really passionate about it, it's worthwhile to follow your impulses — whereas trying to continue a franchise or punch up someone's script, or diving into some IP is a really challenging thing. It's not us being like, 'Ooh, we're original filmmakers.' We're just trying to be self-aware about what we're good at.”
Daniels' next project certainly holds plenty of intrigue. Currently in pre-production, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has been described as an “interdimensional action film” in earlier reports, with Michelle Yeoh and Awkwafina attached to star. “It's not officially greenlit, but we're so close, and we're so bummed it took another three years to write it,” Scheinert said. “It's about a 55-year-old Chinese woman trying to finish her taxes. It's kind of like if Dan Kwan's mom was in ‘The Matrix.’” He laughed. “If I were to pitch the real movie, it would take me 10 minutes. I'm so excited about it, but it is bonkers.”
A24 releases “The Death of Dick Long” on Friday, September 27.
As has long been expected, we now know that Marvel Studios is developing X-Men and Fantastic Four movies. With both properties now under the studio's ever-expanding content umbrella, this news was inevitable, and comic book and MCU fans alike will now turn their attention toward the crucial question: How can Marvel make this work?
Both projects are immensely challenging, though for completely different reasons. On the X-Men front, several of the 20th Century Fox films we've seen over the course of nearly two decades have been exceptional. There have been whiffs as well, but installments like Logan and X-Men: First Class were at least good enough to give the broader franchise a favorable place in fans' eyes. On the other hand, two attempts at adapting the Fantastic Four have been disastrous, leaving some critics questioning whether this particular team of superheroes is even adaptable.
Fantastic Four lines up along side of MCUs Iron Man and Captain America
So, can Marvel do its own version of a cinematic X-Men without disappointing fans of the existing franchise? And can it actually get the Fantastic Four right? Only time will tell, but we can think of a few ideas that could help with both challenges.
Develop The Projects On Their Own
If there's one main challenge Marvel Studios is facing as it expands beyond the Avengers/Thanos cycle, it may just be creating the origin stories all over again. This has gone well enough with Spider-Man and Captain Marvel, though these roll-outs haven't been seamless. Marvel used Captain America: Civil War to launch MCU's Spider-man, and it's been said that Brie Larson filmed her Avengers: Endgame part before Captain Marvel existed — which made things feel somewhat forced and random on screen.
Captain America: Civil War scene Introducing Spider-man.
These integrated, gradual character introductions aren't quite Marvel's strong suit, so for starters we'd suggest that new X-Men and Fantastic Four sagas be kept independent at first. The temptation will be to slot these characters right into the MCU proper, but it will likely be for the best if Marvel first establishes its own X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises, separate from the existing stories and heroes.
Drum Up Casting Excitement
Right now the biggest questions surrounding the X-Men and Fantastic Four concern casting. Who's playing who will largely dictate public perception before films are even released. And while that means it's important for Marvel to get the casting right, so to speak, it may also be in the studio's best interest to drum up some excitement about the decisions.
One way to do it is through betting speculation — which is actually outside the studio's control. They've been somewhat obscure, but there have actually been odds for Marvel news posted on betting sites before — most typically regarding which characters might die in a given film. Today, PayPal-driven online casino sites and more forgiving legislation in parts of the world have made those same betting sites more visible and accessible than they were even a few years ago. So that means odds listings for which actors might take on which roles could actually lead to a great deal of activity, debate, and excitement.
Thanos gets snapped out of existence by Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame.
Start With A Fresh X-Men Character
We already covered the idea of Marvel introducing X-Men and Fantastic Four films before injecting the characters into other, ensemble projects. But going a step further we'd argue that the first film from either series ought to be a solo film about a character we haven't seen much of yet. In other words, Marvel shouldn't launch a Wolverine film no one will live up to Hugh Jackman, at least not so soon; it shouldn't go full X-Men this might just be confusing given the other series; and it shouldn't start with the Fantastic Four quite a risk given recent history.
Instead, the first project should be a bold, new adventure with a fresh character — Gambit, perhaps? The popular X-Men character did appear briefly in the 20th Century Fox series, and a Channing Tatum film was long rumored before we learned that it was no longer in development. Opening with a Gambit film would therefore show Marvel pulling off something 20th Century Fox couldn't, and give us someone effectively new in the process. The studio could then build the X-Men series from there, and throw in the Fantastic Four when it can afford more risk.
Channing Tatum, Gambit Concept Art.
These are just a few suggestions, but they speak to the subtle complexities of what Marvel's trying to do — and, we think, — how it could go well. Random: Wouldn't it be insane to watch Wolverine vs Hulk in an epic fight scene in one of the upcoming MCU films?