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Monday, April 22, 2024

‘Stranger Things 5,’ ‘Deadpool 3,’ a New ‘Star Wars’ (10?!), and Taylor Swift Have One Man in Common

I interviewed Ryan for Free Guy a few years ago, and he mentioned that you two would always be working on the script on the train to and from set, even as you were filming. Is that something you’re also doing on this movie?

What we stumbled into on Free Guy is a creative soul brotherhood, a creative intimacy, a simpatico—that’s the word. That developed and deepened on The Adam Project. The same has been true on Deadpool.

I’m now going to ask a question that I pretty much have to ask everyone these days: How do you feel about AI?

I feel like we’re living in a historic moment in which we literally cannot anticipate the pervasive impact of this technology. I’m certainly daunted and anxious, but I also recognize that it’s both unavoidable and unknowable. Which is why the issues around how it will be used are hard to even navigate.

Do you feel it’s coming for your job?

I maybe naively think the very nature of art and artistic expression is human and defined by things other than thought, facts, and ideas. They’re defined by feeling. In that regard, I’m fairly confident I’ll have a job a few decades from now.

I do want to see what an AI trained on Deadpool would do, though.

I will say this: Being around and ingesting data has an impact even on us humans. I was the family comedy director for many years. I have four daughters. I’m Canadian. I’m pretty clean, I don’t work blue.

Now you’re disgusting! In what ways?

Sexually-tinged dialog. The pansexual openness of Deadpool is delightful.

I’m actually glad you brought that up. When it comes to queer representation in comic book movies, it seems like Deadpool was ahead of all that.

I couldn’t agree more. I love that Deadpool is so audaciously ahead-of-his-time fluid.

It seems even more revolutionary now that schools in some places in the US are trying to ban queer books.

Imagine being scared of ideas. That’s weak.

There’s been talk of a Free Guy sequel. Is that something that’s been floated?

It’s been floated, it floats, because Ryan and I love that movie. I’d say it’s a big maybe, but boy it would sure make us happy.

Are you going to end up pulling a Spielberg and working on multiple things at once?

I will be watching dailies of Stranger Things while I’m making Deadpool; I’ll race to Atlanta to direct part of Stranger Things, and then on to Star Wars after that.

So Stranger Things 5 is far along?

The writing wasn’t complete when the strike started. We’re supposed to start filming in June, and we are on hot standby ever since. It’s killing us, because these fucking kids, they will not slow down the aging process. I beg them to do so, but apparently AI can’t do that. Actually, AI could do that, just not in real life. Only onscreen.

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