Deadpool 3: A Long and Rocky Road

By Liana Keane

Deadpool 3

Deadpool 2 was released in theaters May 18, 2018. Since that moment, the world has been asking when Deadpool 3 will be released. Who will direct? Who will script it? And most of all, what do all the superhero genre changes at Disney and Marvel mean for our beloved superheroes, especially the Merc with the Mouth? Now we’re starting to get answers.

Deadpool 3 Will Be Darker?

deadpool chair

According to We Got This Covered, it sounds like Deadpool 3 could be going a darker route with its story. The report does specify that this does not mean that the movie will abandon the series’ trademark humor, but it does say that the third entry is set to tackle some heavier fare than what’s usual for these movies. One has to wonder if the Merc with a Mouth’s inclusion into the Marvel Cinematic Universe will necessitate some weightier material. Could Wade Wilson be losing some of his friends in the transition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe? And exactly how dark will this R-rated franchise be willing to go?

Deadpool 3’s Creative Team

Deadpool 3 creatives

It had been assumed that the creative team from Deadpool 2 would be back for Deadpool 3. Ryan Reynolds has been clear about wanting to keep working with them, and since there is no franchise without Reynolds, his word should be law. But he’s under Disney’s control now.

Disney acquired Deadpool in their merger with Fox and now they’ve handed Deadpool off to the team at Marvel, headed by Marvel President Kevin Feige. And Feige wants more control for himself, at least according to these sources.

Feige has to jettisoned the previous Deadpool creative team of director David Leitch and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. He’s been set on replacing them with his own hand-picked group of Marvel movie makers. And now, it looks like Kevin Feige is getting his wish.

We don’t know who will direct Deadpool 3 yet, but it is believed that it won’t be any of the previous people who made the first two Deadpool movies. However, there are occasional rumors that David Leitch, the director of Deadpool 2, may return. There are also rumors that director Robert Rodriguez is being considered.

Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Loeglin have officially been hired to write Deadpool 3. Who exactly are the Molyneux sisters? They’re people who have never written a movie before, ever. Instead they’ve been writing the TV show Bob’s Burgers and that’s pretty much it. Presumably Marvel thinks that animated, family-friendly comedy background will fit with in well with Deadpool 3. If that doesn’t send a shiver of terror and disappointment down the spine of Deadpool fans, I don’t know what will.

Word is that Feige’s reasoning for jettisoning the old Deadpool creative team is something along the lines that Deadpool 2 wasn’t quite as well as received as Deadpool 1. Both movies made way more than a billion at the box office though, and both movies were still really well received by fans and critics. That seems a thin excuse. It also doesn’t make sense to anger your star since there is no Deadpool without Ryan Reynolds.

There’s also a rumor making the rounds that the flop of the R-rated Birds of Prey movie has made Disney and Marvel want to reconsider their pledge to keep Deadpool 3 R-rated. The previous Deadpool creative team cannot be relied on to deliver a PG-13 rated movie. They’ve already pledged to make Deadpool 3 as R-rated as ever (more on that later), so if PG-13 is what they want; Leitch, Reese, and Wernick will have to be pushed out.

Deadpool 3’s Returning Cast

Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson

There would be no Deadpool movie without Ryan Reynolds. While this statement is true because he’s done a great job, it’s also true that Reynolds has publicly declared his love of the superhero franchise enough times to assure us all he will stick with it and remain committed to doing his part to create the best Deadpool 3 possible. Ryan Reynolds is Wade Wilson. Wade Wilson is Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds is Deadpool.

Cable was a big part of Deadpool 2 and we’ve been hearing increasing chatter in recent weeks that he’ll return in Deadpool 3. Now word is that actor Josh Brolin is actually in talks to reprise the role and he will indeed be back as Cable.

Josh Brolin as Cable

No one else has been confirmed to return for Deadpool 3, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been speculation. Fans are expecting a full cast for this film. Though most believe Hugh Jackman is done playing Wolverine, even he may be convinced to return for this film.

The previous Deadpool movies introduced a long list of amazing cast members. Characters like Colossus (played by Stefan Kapičić), Cable (played by Josh Brolin), Negasonic Teenage Warhead (played by Brianna Hildebrand), and Russell (played by Julian Dennison) are all fan favorites that would be exciting to see return.

The Plot Of Deadpool 3

Marvel really wants to get Deadpool into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To do that, word is they’re going to give the character a soft reboot.

What does that mean? Well Ryan Reynolds will still play the character and he’ll still basically be the same Deadpool we know and love but… they’re just going to pretend Deadpool 1 and 2 never happened. Marvel will just ignore them and pretend that the Deadpool we’re watching in Deadpool 3 is some sort of alternate dimension Deadpool without the history we’ve seen from him in Deadpool 1 and 2.

I’m not sure it matters, I don’t think Deadpool’s actual storyline is that important. Though that may mean we won’t get to see characters like Teenage Negasonic Warhead anymore, which would be a bummer. We’ll see.

Ryan Reynolds has been on social media and in interviews, teasing his fanbase with promises that the third film will be taking an entirely new direction. He hasn’t offered much detail on what that direction may be.

It could be that a third Deadpool movie will include more of the side characters we met in Deadpool 2, like Cable. In the comic books, Wade’s daughter plays a pivotal role that fans have speculated may be addressed in the next Deadpool movie.

Deadpool’s Rating

Deadpool 3 rating

As part of Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, Deadpool finds himself under the ownership of the family friendly Mouse company and back in the influence of its parent company Marvel (a Disney subsidiary). Anxiety hit the fanbase hard on what this would mean for the normally R-rated films in this franchise. Is kid-focused Disney willing to make a rated-R Deadpool?

The latest is that no, they are not willing to make an R-rated Deadpool. Proven scooper Grace Randolph says that leading up to Deadpool 3, Disney/Marvel will have the character appear in other movies as a way to tone him down into a PG-13 character. That will pave the way to a PG-13 Deadpool 3.

Back when Disney first acquired Deadpool, director David Leitch said he didn’t necessarily believe there was a conflict. He says, “It’s rated R so that’s not necessarily the [MCU] brand but he doesn’t necessarily need to be R and [Disney] don’t necessarily need to only make PG-13 movies… I think we’ll find a happy ground.”

And also early on in the process Marvel head Kevin Feige confirmed that Disney had moved to let Deadpool be his rated-R self. But things have changed a lot since then. The production has been in chaos, many of the original Deadpool team seem to be in open revolt.

The baffling thing here is that since Disney owns 20th Century Fox they don’t even have to release it under the family-friendly Disney/Marvel banner. They could make it rated-R and slap the 20th Century Fox logo on it. Talking to ScreenRant Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick had this to say…

Absolutely, because I don’t think it’ll be under the Disney banner. Like, I don’t think when you go to Deadpool 3, there’s going to be a Magic Castle that appears. I think it’s going to be under the Fox banner, so yes.

Problem solved. Maybe if we all pretend Deadpool 3 is a Fox movie Disney will get out of the way and let him be rated-R.

The Rocky Road To Deadpool 3

Ryan Reynolds Deadpool

Since Disney’s acquisition of Fox, which incidentally gave them control of Deadpool, there have been a lot of problems. The level of infighting over what Deadpool 3 should be at Disney quickly grew out of control. Disney has never made a superhero movie like a Deadpool before and no one was eager to actually pull the trigger.

Deadpool’s creator, Robert Liefeld had been speaking out about what Disney and Marvel are planning to do with Deadpool and he indicated they weren’t going to make Deadpool 3.

Fans responded by saying that Liefeld isn’t involved in the production and Disney (true) and therefore was just speculating and doesn’t actually know what he’s talking about. Unfortunately for anyone anticipating Deadpool 3, it now seems that isn’t the cast.

Robert Liefeld recently clarified his original comments saying, “Do I know that there is no movement on a Deadpool 3 right now? I know that. Yes. And does that worry me? No. Not at all. What I did was I answered a question honestly. And what I learned this week is, just lie. Just tell people everything is lollipop and unicorns and rainbows and you’ll be better off in your life because people want to be lied to. Just because some guy goes, ‘Yeah, We’re still moving along’ that’s code for ‘There’s nothing to see here.’

Liefeld’s previous comments make it pretty clear he’s not happy with what Disney’s doing at all. Here’s what he said before the clarification…

You know what I would love, I would love for Ryan Reynolds to be Green Lantern again. More than him to do Deadpool 3. I would love to see him (do that).

I’m not sure if Liefeld is actually the only person in the world who loves Green Lantern or he is just so totally disillusioned by what Disney/Marvel is doing (or not doing) with Deadpool 3 that he wants Ryan Reynolds to bail before they ruin his character. Given his later comments, it’s probably the latter. Liefeld continues…

“We got two brilliant movies, and we live in a culture that always looks forward because all they’re ever selling us is ‘next, next, next.’ It’s the fever… For me, as the fever calms down, people just need to calm down and realize that Deadpool 1 and 2 were released within two years of each other, 2016 and 2018, and I just can’t… I’m not really that crazy about Marvel’s plan right now.”

– -Robert Liefeld

Basically, Liefeld thinks that Disney/Marvel isn’t putting any energy into making Deadpool 3 at all and they seem content simply to let the franchise die. He explains that even if they started making Deadpool 3 right now, which he doesn’t think they have any interest in doing, “It would come out in four years. I can’t be excited about that.” Liefeld says he “can’t gloss it up, you want to know the plan with Deadpool right now? They have a goose egg, zero, zero.”

It took awhile but Ryan Reynolds has finally started to share his feelings about what it means for Disney to have control of Deadpool. Here’s what he says about where he feels he’s at in the Deadpool 3 production process to Games Rader

I don’t feel like an insider at all. I think once I’m more intimate with it – if we get to make a Deadpool 3… if or when we get to make a Deadpool 3, I’ll probably have a better perspective on that. But I’m a huge fan of Marvel, and how they make movies. So when Disney bought Fox, I only saw that as a good thing. Deadpool hopefully being allowed to play in that sandbox, I think is just a win for everyone involved. But we’ll certainly see.

– -Ryan Reynolds

It’s great that Reynolds remains optimistic but it’s sort of worrying that he doesn’t feel like “an insider” given that he was one of the main creative forces behind the first two Deadpool movies. If Disney is making Deadpool 3, then he definitely should be an insider unless things are going horribly wrong.

Deadpool As The New Stan Lee

Stan Lee

In addition to making Deadpool 3, the character could end up with an even larger role in the Marvel universe. Word is that Marvel is considering giving Deadpool a cameo role similar to the one once held by the late, great Stan Lee.

Stan Lee was, of course, the creator of Marvel comics and most of the Marvel characters you love best. He cameoed in every Marvel movie up until his death in 2018.

The news that Deadpool might step in cameo similarly to Stan in future Marvel movies comes from proven Marvel scooper Roger Wardell who tweeted this…

It’s great to know that Marvel will still use Stan Lee in some capacity. I’d imagine we’ll see photos of him or occasional CGI wizardry to insert him now and then. But they should be able to have a lot of fun by having Deadpool just wander through a crowd scene or show up when no one expects to break the fourth wall. It’s something they’ll have to set up in Deadpool 3, so we have awhile to wait before any of it actually happens.

Involving Wolverine And The X-Men

One thing we know Ryan Reynolds is pushing hard for and has Marvel’s full backing on is finding a way to bring Wolverine, yes Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, for at least one final cameo. In fact, rumor is that Marvel has come up with an idea on how to do this.

The idea here is that they (Marvel) would like to include a scene in Deadpool 3 where the Merc encounters and then kills off Fox’s X-Men. So not only would Jackman reprise his role as Wolverine, they would also be bringing back a number of the original actors for cameos.

Knowing the tone of Deadpool, this most likely would be played for laughs but is this how you’d want to see Wolverine appear in a Deadpool movie? Especially given the fun back and forth Reynolds and Jackman have enjoyed over the years? Fans of both would probably want a more “meaningful” interaction between the two and possibly longer than a simple cameo for Wolverine.

The Future Of Deadpool

Beyond Deadpool 3

All signs point to Deadpool continuing on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even after the completion of Deadpool 3. Marvel has a plan for him and that plan might include him fighting the X-Men.

Recent reports suggest that Marvel is developing a Deadpool vs. The X-Men movie. The claim from these scoopers is that the movie is still in early development stages at Marvel Studios, with the idea still being fleshed out. Deadpool screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are expected to put together the Deadpool vs The X-Men script. But the intention is to create some kind of movie mash-up between Deadpool and the X-Men, perhaps as a way to introduce the new version of the X-Men Marvel has in the works. Word is that Marvel may even get the ball rolling with an introduction of new X-Men in Deadpool 3.

The X-Men have already been heavily involved in the Deadpool universe. While Deadpool hasn’t interacted in a significant way most of the X-Men as a team or big names like Professor X or Storm; Colossus has been an integral part of both Deadpool movies. Cable was a key component in Deadpool 2. Deadpool’s sometimes sidekick Teenage Negasonic Warhead is also one of the X-Men. Taking Deadpool’s involvement/sometimes rivalry with the X-Men one step further makes a lot of sense.

Deadpool 3 Release Date

While Disney has yet to announce a release date, Kevin Feige has said that filming will begin in 2022. Disney’s release schedule has an opening in May 2023. Some are hopeful to see it filled with a Deadpool 3 release date, we’ll we have to wait for filming to at least begin before we’ll get official word.