deadpool 2

Upon its release, ‘Deadpool’ became arguably the surprise hit of 2016 virtually overnight. This stunning success guaranteed a sequel, which is now mere weeks from arriving in theaters the world over. In crafting a sequel – to any movie, but especially to a dark horse success – you have to walk a fine line between staying true to what made the original a success while also doing something to set the new film apart from its predecessor.

Of course, sometimes the biggest changes are behind the scenes, as was the case when ‘John Wick’ co-director David Leitch took the helm of ‘Deadpool 2’ following the departure of Tim Miller (who directed the first). Equally significant is the change in the film’s release window. One of the reasons ‘Deadpool’ was such an unexpected success was that it released in February, and while good films can obviously come out at any time of year, studios aren’t exactly known for dropping their best or highest profile releases in the winter months. ‘Deadpool 2’, however, sees the Merc with the Mouth join the summer blockbuster crowd, a fact not lost on those involved. Speaking to Fandango, Leitch offered some hints at what set his film apart from the first:

“We wanted to make sure that it was worthy of a summer tentpole movie, and we knew we were going to be wedged in between some big films. We did our best to expand the action, and in a general sense, just make it bigger. In terms of the tone, and the fun and the DNA of a ‘Deadpool’ movie, you’re going to get everything you expect and more.”

Another of the changes from the first film is the sequel’s expanded cast. Over on, Zazie Beetz (who joined the cast as Domino) shared some insights of her own, suggesting that the sequel may take on a more serious tone, at least in some regard:

“In ‘Deadpool 2’ I think we go heavier than the first one did. Like ‘Atlanta’, the themes are darker. I liked playing this woman who could meet Deadpool face-to-face and toe-to-toe. In terms of our wit and our banter, we match. It really was nice to play that.”

Directed by David Leitch, ‘Deadpool 2’ will see Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Leslie Uggams, Stafan Kapicic, and Brianna Hildebrand reprise their roles from the original alongside newcomers Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz and Jack Kesy. The film is due to arrive in theaters on May 18, 2018.