Actor T.J. Miller has faced sexual assault allegations, and in this scenario, Deadpool 2 should recast the character of Weasel by replacing him. After Harvey Weinstein was exposed in an article by The New York Times which highlighted sexual misbehavior allegations spread over decades, the entire scenario of Hollywood has changed with numerous such allegations coming up continuously. This is a previously unseen scenario which has given a lot of confidence and comfort to the sexual harassment victims to step ahead than earlier. No more than a year back, it would have been easy for the mighty men in Hollywood to shrug such allegations off, but, in the wake of the Weinstein incident, those who are charged with sexual assault allegations are not only reeling by the impact but, also suffering career damages.
Weinstein got fired from The Weinstein Company, a film production house that he was a co-founder of, apart from getting expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Louis C.K. suffered big time as his movie I Love You, Daddy’s distributor abandoned it, and he also got fired from various movies after confessing that he had exposed himself to various women. Another high-profile allegation was against Kevin Spacey who got removed from All The Money in the World by its director Ridley Scott after reports broke of him having sexually assaulted a 14-year-old Anthony Rapp when Spacey himself was 26.
More recently, T.J. Miller, the Deadpool actor faced sexual assault allegations which were refuted by Miller and his wife, Kate. Soon after the allegations went public, Comedy Central shelved Miller’s puppet talk show The Gorbunger Show, although a network representative later stated that it was not related to the allegations. Producer Lauren Shuler Donner has stated that the actor would remain a part of the 20th Century Fox’s X-Men universe sequel Deadpool 2.
Donner left the ball in the court of Fox or Disney (which would own the franchise in future), to decide whether Miller will play Weasel in future Deadpool films or not. However, we believe that it is not impossible to recast T.J. Miller in Deadpool 2.
WHY SHOULD MILLER BE RECAST
In response to a question about recasting Miller for Deadpool 2, Donner said that director David Leitch is about to finish editing the movie and that’s why the actor can’t be recast. For now, we don’t know what is the length of Weasel’s role in the film, which has been written by Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and also Drew Goddard (Daredevil). Miller stated that there would be more of Weasel in Deadpool 2, and hinted that the character had a storyline involving Wade Wilson’s friend Dopinder in the early versions of the movie’s script. It was not clarified by Miller whether Weasel and Dopinder, narrative would be seen in Deadpool 2 or it would be removed.
All that implies that there is no idea about the extent of changes needed by Deadpool 2 if Miller has to be replaced. Taking into account the characteristics of the Merc with the Mouth, there is the option to add another scene or punchline to make fun of or refer to the change. Deadpool is ultimate when it comes to shattering the conventions. The film might need some reshoots, but, since filming ended in October last year and further shooting would incur a lot of expenses. The film which is already in the final stages of editing would find it costly to replace Miller at this point.
However, costly or difficult reshoots are not exotic in Hollywood, especially when it comes to a high potential Hollywood movie. Still, Fox faces a dilemma. Disney is undergoing the process of taking over 20th Century Fox, and while the minute details of their deal are not known, it complicates the chances of Miller’s replacement. The acquisition, which might see thousands of people get fired at Fox, may not allow the studio to spend extra money on Deadpool 2.
Also, now the Deadpool 2 release date has been advanced by two weeks. Thus, there is much less time to really replace Miller. But, is a replacement of Miller as Weasel really not possible?
Plus, now that Fox has moved the Deadpool 2 release date forward two weeks, the film has even less time to potentially pull off the replacement. But, is it truly too late to replace Miller as Weasel?
IS THERE TIME TO RECAST MILLER?
At the time when Fox preponed Deadpool 2’s release, it also delayed its upcoming New Mutants film back by ten months. Another report disclosed that the delay was due to their plans of making a scarier New Mutants movie, to benefit from the trend of horror films as witnessed last year. Although it is not known as to how significant the changes related to The New Mutants are, Fox has spent a lot of time to incorporate them, a full year to be precise. Such lengthy delay means that The New Mutants would need a major overhaul, longer reshoots, editing and more CGI effects to properly highlight the powers of its leading team on the big screen.
What are the implications of all that on Deadpool 2? This timeline might suggest that Deadpool 2 doesn’t have time to replace Miller or even to remove Weasel’s scenes from the film without affecting its narrative. If Weasel is an indispensable element in Deadpool 2 and can’t be edited out, then the studio would need to find a replacement for Miller. If Miller has lengthy scenes, reshoots might be too long, and then there is the need for recasting, finalizing the footage, adding CGI, background score, etc.
Still, we know that changes can be made to big-ticket movies prior to their release. Ridley Scott reshot All The Money In The World just about a month prior to the movie’s premiere, though, he spent $10 million on that. Also, while it has nothing to do with the sexual misbehavior allegations, Lucasfilm and Ron Howard undertook massive reshoots for Solo: A Star Wars Story, when the movie’s original makers Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired. Therefore, it is not impossible for a studio to make big changes to films if they are considered necessary.
Honestly, the fact that Scott undertook such an extensive endeavor to replace Kevin Spacey in All the Money in the World which was so close to its release, it would reflect poorly on Fox if they don’t replace Miller in Deadpool 2. There are still four months before Deadpool 2 releases. Agreed that there are budget and filming related concerns for a movie as big as Deadpool 2, the studio, David Leitch and movie’s star Ryan Reynolds can certainly replace Miller if they considered it important, and the fact is, they must consider it important. The best way to replace Miller would be to recast.
WHO COULD PLAY WEASEL?
Christopher Plummer is an apt replacement to suit the Deadpool’s humor. He replaced Spacey in the Ridley Scott film All the Money in the World, and he can hilariously portray the sequel’s support of the larger movement to expel those who are accused of sexual misbehavior and assault. Plummer would be really funny, taking into account Weasel’s character, and it would have great scope for a Deadpool joke. But, all this makes sense only if Plummer is willing to take up the role.
Also, there are various other options to replace Miller as Weasel. Reynolds might call in a friendly favor, or Leitch might have a plan. Scott secretly searched for a Spacey replacement in All the Money in the World, helped by Patty Jenkins, the Wonder Woman maker, under the pretext of her upcoming movie. If there was some other actor who had been considered to play Weasel before Miller joined Deadpool, then the sequel could check on their availability.
All said and done, Deadpool’s humor has such a tone that the sequel could easily accommodate a new actor. Although finding someone suitable for the role is a big task, there are various comedians who would be more than happy to be a part of the X-Men franchise, and of a film that has been one of the biggest hits in 2016. Therefore, we don’t think Fox would face any trouble replacing Miller, even if the replacement might not be able to perform in exactly the same way.
It’s a mystery why Fox hasn’t gone ahead and recast Miller as Weasel in Deadpool 2, while a few might say that Miller’s career is not impacted the way many other Hollywood men suffered after facing sexual harassment allegations. The comment by Deadpool 2’s producer Lauren Shuler Donner about Fox not considering replacement of the actor is the only thing we have heard so far about the subject. Nobody has commented about Miller’s role in Ready Player One, the upcoming sci-fi film from Steven Spielberg which releases in March. Still, we wonder why Fox isn’t trying to recast him.
It is true that Scott’s reshoots for All the Money in the World were unprecedented, but, due to the allegations that have come up against the sexual predators roaming in Hollywood, this moment is unparalleled in history. Allegations are rapidly sprouting up against Hollywood members, and there is a real change being witnessed. Fox and Deadpool 2 have a great chance to be on the positive side. There are still four more months before the movie releases in May, and we believe there is scope to recast Miller in Deadpool 2.