Ever since it was announced that Ryan Reynolds and Deadpool were headed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe it’s been mostly just a laundry list of questions about what this would mean. Would the tone remain the same? Would the character be different than the previous iterations? Who would helm the flick? Well, it looks like we know at least the answer to that last question. The Hollywood Reporter has it that Ryan Reynolds is teaming up with Shawn Levy for Deadpool 3. The latter will direct and this could continue a winning formula for this budding actor and director team.
What a fantastic addition for Deadpool 3 and it’s rather easy to see just how something like this would come about. After all, Ryan Reynolds and Shawn Levy have been working together on major films over the last couple of years and clearly have as tight a director-actor relationship as anyone going in the business now. And the timing around this announcement makes a lot of sense considering their latest movie is getting in front of audiences this weekend.
One interesting thing about this addition of Shawn Levy for Deadpool 3 is that it would signal at least a moderate shift in tone for the franchise. Up until this point, the franchise has leaned way into its R-rating, going heavy on basically everything from the violence to the language to the sexual innuendo. It’s completely and totally worked for the movies, helping to make them some of the most successful ever for the superhero and comic book genre. But Levy’s work has been more family-friendly fare throughout his career, something that would definitely play well under the Disney banner.
The last two big-budget movies from Shawn Levy involved fellow Canadian Ryan Reynolds. One was last summer’s Free Guy which despite theaters still operating at less than full capacity last summer still managed more than $331 million in box office revenue while also scoring really well with critics at 80%. And then there is going to be The Adam Project which opens this weekend on Netflix. It’s currently sitting at 69% on Rotten Tomatoes which critics mostly took to because of the nostalgic feel of the story combined with a futuristic vibe.
Shawn Levy directing Deadpool 3 will mark the third director in the first three movies of the franchise. Tim Miller helmed the first film to massive success. But creative differences with Ryan Reynolds for the second film saw him moving on and David Leitch stepping in. While Levy will now be the third guy in line, there is obvious optimism around the situation considering his resume. And one consistent thread for the franchise will be the writing pair of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick who helped co-write the first two films as well.
In all, adding Shawn Levy to Deadpool 3 is such fantastic news for the franchise and really seems like the perfect choice to bridge the gap between what the character has done in the past and what he likely wants to do in the future. Will we see the pure R-rating from the past? That’s unclear. Ryan Reynolds has signaled in the past that the feel wouldn’t change all that much. And we know that Disney is starting to step up the parental control aspect of Disney+ with the addition of the Netflix Marvel group. But it’s hard to imagine they will go all the way there with Levy in the driver’s seat.