It’s a sad day for Deadpool fans and Ryan Reynolds devotees worldwide. According to Deadline, Marvel Studios’ hotly anticipated Deadpool 3 will not be screening in theaters on its scheduled release date, May 3, 2024.
Deadpool 3 started shooting before the SAG-AFTRA strike, but it requires so much work, even if the strike ended this month, it’s too late to meet the May 3 release date.
The ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike explains the setback. Still ongoing, the labor dispute continues to postpone and problematize various film productions. Regarding the third movie in the Deadpool series, despite the movie being reportedly halfway through production, the projected, once-promised May release now appears unfeasible, even if the strike were to end magically over the next few weeks. The enormous task of reconvening the crew, cast, and logistical elements is unachievable in such a limited time span.
Deadpool 3 has already moved release dates from September to November and then May, and now it’s going to move at least one more time.
Deadpool 3’s situation resembles that of many other projects. And its delay, given how impactful the film will likely be, might disturb other 2024 movie releases, forcing other studios to reorder their lineups and press tours. All of which leads everyone in Hollywood to wonder: what will become of the upcoming summer blockbuster season?
It depends on the film. For example, Captain America: Brave New World, which had been initially penciled in for that same and popular May 3 date and was then shifted to July 26, is allegedly once again being rescheduled—but thankfully forward in time, instead of backward. The reason is that it has completed production, which is, unfortunately, more than we can say for Deadpool 3.
However, Disney didn’t become Disney without knowing how to orchestrate release dates in their favor. Meaning even if Ryan Reynolds and the next installment in his adored franchise don’t hit theatres in the Spring, other potential—and potentially lucrative—slots remain available.
These include weekends in early November, a period that proved quite fruitful for Marvel, who premiered super hits like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Thor: Ragnarok in the first half of the Autumn month. Another viable candidate is December 20, not coincidentally the stated date for Marvel Studios’ Thunderbolts (which also saw its production stalled in May thanks to the since-resolved WGA labor dispute).
The wait for Deadpool 3 and the introduction of the X-Men to the MCU is proving to be excruciating for fans.
This game of musical premiere dates is not the only significant change underlying Deadpool 3.
This third chapter in the franchise marks its debut under the Marvel Studios umbrella, itself on the heels of a merger with Disney. Fans may recall that the previous two installments in the Deadpool franchise were under the auspices of 20th Century Fox, who introduced the cinematic world to the Deadpool character. To date, the franchise can proudly boast over one and a half billion dollars in global profits (not exactly pocket change); the franchise is also a pioneer for R-rated Marvel films.
And part of why it’s so painful to grow farther, not closer, to a Deadpool 3 release date is the franchise’s unique, authentic sensibility. It’s one we’ve all grown to love and something the third Deadpool entry’s director, Shawn Levy, has articulated. Excitingly, the filmmaker described his upcoming feature as being equal parts bold and gritty, steeped in the authenticity and raunchy realness that earned adulation for the franchise.
Even though it is farther away than ever, the third Deadpool can’t come soon enough.