Following Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, Marvel Studios has yet to announce exactly how fan-favorite character Deadpool will fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe—but plans may well be underway. Ryan Reynolds took to social media today to share that he visited Marvel Studios, adding a traditionally quippy caption:
While Reynolds’ note doesn’t detail exactly what he was doing at Marvel and what will become of it, we can reasonably assume they were discussing future plans for the Deadpool franchise. Disney CEO Bob Iger previously stressed that Deadpool would remain a vital franchise following Disney’s acquisition of Fox, while other Fox Marvel franchises like X-Men and Fantastic Four are due to be rebooted under the guidance of Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.
Deadpool is unique in that the character knows he’s in a comic book movie, so he can slide into (and out of) the MCU pretty seamlessly. The one caveat there, of course, is the R-rated nature of the character. The first Deadpool was a risky proposition for Fox and took years to get greenlit, and even then the R-rated superhero film was given a relatively small budget. That didn’t much matter as the movie grossed $783 million worldwide and its 2018 sequel Deadpool 2 grossed $785 million worldwide. That’s a viable, profitable franchise right there, and no doubt Disney wants to figure out how to make more.
Reynolds is a key creative figure involved with the franchise, having worked closely with screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and director Tim Miller to shepherd the first movie through (and out of) development hell, and earning a screenwriting credit on Deadpool 2. So it makes sense that he’d be the point person on the franchise in speaking with Marvel, and I’m curious to see what they cook up.
There are a number of options. There could be a fully fledged Deadpool 3 that has fun with the various MCU toys available at their disposal; the character could show up as a supporting character in a different MCU movie a la Hulk’s role in Thor: Ragnarok; or Disney could opt to give Deadpool his own Marvel Studios series on Disney+. Indeed, Feige is wading into the TV waters for the first time via the new Disney streaming service, spearheading shows like WandaVision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier as vital pieces of the MCU storytelling puzzle. Might Deadpool fit in there somewhere as an R-rated, six-hour limited series?
We’ll find out sooner or later, and Marvel also has another potential R-rated property in Blade starring Mahershala Ali on the horizon, so there are plenty of possibilities on the table at the moment.