Deadpool Making Fun Of Marvel Won’t Save Your Cinematic Universe, Disney

By Charlene Badasie | Published

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a dominant force in filmmaking since Iron Man hit screens in 2008. But as the years passed, a slow decline in quality began to creep in. When Deadpool & Wolverine was announced as the only Marvel Studios release of 2024, fans believed it would save the franchise. However, as more information about the film, like clips of the Merc with a Mouth making fun of Marvel and Disney, make its way online, I fear those hopes have been dashed.

Deadpool & Wolverine Takes Shots At Kevin Feige And The MCU

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With Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman reprising their roles as the titular heroes, Deadpool & Wolverine has been billed as one of Disney’s most hyped projects in recent memory. The film marks the first R-rated outing for the MCU on the big screen, promising to deliver an audacious take on the superhero genre. However, when cast member Karan Soni revealed that Deadpool will take aim at Marvel boss Kevin Feige and the entire franchise, one can’t help but feel like we’ve seen that gag before.

It’s Already Been Done

The closing episode of She-Hulk: Attorney At Law saw Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) shattering the fourth wall while taking shots at everything Marvel Studios has created, including Kevin Feige. While the green lawyer had already broken the fourth wall throughout the series, Episode 9, titled “Whose Show Is This?” took it to new heights by pausing the finale to question if the audience wanted the ending that was being presented.

Disney Doesn’t Get It

Walters then broke into the Disney+ home screen, using the Assembled Marvel documentary section as a portal to confront the series writers. Nobody expected the final She-Hulk episode to unfold like this. While some may have enjoyed the chaos, seeing it as a way for the often sidelined character to take control of her own story, most viewers were exasperated by the move because it honestly felt like Marvel/Disney was chastising viewers for expressing their opinions on social media.

The She-Hulk episode’s greatest gag was its revelation that the “Kevin” overseeing the MCU is not Kevin Feige but an A.I. named K.E.V.I.N. (Knowledge Enhanced Visual Interconnectivity Nexus). It was essentially a dig at criticisms that superhero stories sometimes feel algorithmically designed due to their formulaic nature. But the plot twist that Disney fails to see is that the formula was never broken. It’s just that the overarching MCU story that fans loved ended a long time ago.

The Formula Isn’t Broken

While no character is better suited to such antics than Deadpool, given the character’s tendency to break down the structural boundaries of his own comics, do we really need more recycled content? No one asked for the popular antihero to poke fun at perceptions of the Marvel formula or the man (Feige) who created so many successful MCU Phases. Comic book fans who buy tickets to see these movies are familiar with the good versus evil plotline and have been happy with it forever.

Disney Is Wasting Deadpool

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As such, Disney using Deadpool to showcase its willingness to reflect on criticisms of its own work is just plain stupid. Moreover, presenting alternate realities and versions of characters through a million cameos and remixing them for an audience attuned to the similarities or differences has been done before, too.

Until Deadpool & Wolverine hits screens on July 26 and (hopefully) changes my mind, it seems like Disney squandered its chance to turn Deadpool into a hero among heroes. Instead, the House of Mouse opted to use a great character as a means to a punch line.

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