After two successful solo films in 2016 and 2018 under Fox, Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool franchise has been on a hiatus since Disney acquired the former X-Men studio. Recently, progress has begun to pick up on Deadpool 3 with the writers behind the previous films returning to pen the script and Free Guy's Shawn Levy boarding as the director.
Even with reassurances from Disney and Marvel Studios, fans of the Fox franchise remain concerned the Merc with the Mouth may lose his R-rated outrageousness for an MCU staple PG-13 rating. These concerns were only furthered when the writers of the first two films, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, were replaced by those of Bob's Burgers, but fortunately, the original team is back now.
As the highly-anticipated third film gets gradually closer to filming and eventually releasing, the writers of the prequels have discussed the writing process for their first MCU venture.
Deadpool 3 Writers Talk Joining the MCU
During a recent interview with The Playlist, Deadpool 3 writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who penned the first two entries in the trilogy, reacted to Marvel Studios' original plan to replace them with Bob's Burgers' Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Loeglin.
Reese acknowledged "that did happen," but shared they're happy to now be back "in the mad scientist lab creating fun stuff:"
“Yeah, that did happen. And look… It just came down the way it did, but we’re thrilled to be back is the bottom line. We just couldn’t be happier where we are right now in the mad scientist lab creating fun stuff and hopefully, we’ll get a movie out to you guys soon.”
The writer went on to share their determination to "make it great." Reese called the threequel a "marriage between Fox and Disney," promising to "merge those... worlds:"
“We want to make it great. We’re in the laboratory working on it with Ryan Reynolds all the time, and we’re very much entertaining ourselves. So, hopefully, that translates and ultimately will entertain the world. But you know, it’s a marriage between Fox and Disney, and it’s two different universes, and it’s not easy. But it’s also a wonderful challenge and, you know, high-class problems to be able to merge those, those worlds. So, we’re, we’re enjoying it.”
The interviewer then asked what has been delaying the film, questioning whether the R-Rated nature of the franchise or Deadpool's Mutant nature is a factor, to which Reese said "yes and no." But he did calm concerns about bringing the Merc with the Mouth into the MCU, promising that Disney is "gonna let Deadpool be Deadpool:"
“I mean, yes and no. Obviously, it’s like, it’s two completely different regimes, right? So, it’s two different bureaucracies. It was Fox, all these different people, and now it’s not those people anymore. It’s these [Disney] people and these people do things their way. And we were used to doing things our way, so there are differences, but I think the great part is that Marvel’s been incredibly supportive. They are gonna let Deadpool be Deadpool, you know? It’s not like any particular joke may be the one that they say, ‘you know, that’s too far,’ that could happen, but to this point, it’s been nothing but support.”
Discussing the support Disney and Marvel Studios have offered, Reese promised they have been eager to help, make their life easier, and offer up content from the MCU for use:
“It’s been nothing but, ‘how can we help you?’ ‘What from our universe would you like to use? How, how can we make your life easy?’ And we’re gonna let Deadpool be Deadpool. We’re not… this is not going to be the Disney-fied ‘Deadpool.’ So they’re awesome, and now it’s up to us to come through and justify that faith.”
Reese concluded by reaffirming past statements that Deadpool 3 will "absolutely" still be R-rated as Disney will not "mess with the tone," but there is a small chance that may change:
“Oh, absolutely. They’re not gonna mess with the tone. I mean, I’d never say never, I guess there’s an outside chance, but we’ve always been told it can be R-[rated], and we’re proceeding as if it’s R. We would like it to be R, we always have, so I don’t think that’ll change."
What Will MCU Deadpool Look Like?
Marvel Studios has yet to release a project filled with the violence, language, sex, and outrageousness of the Deadpool franchise. Moon Knight was the closest the Disney-owned studio has come to touching the infamous heights of an R-rating, and even that had a distinctly PG-13 feel.
With these past limitations in mind, the concerns that Deadpool 3 will be "Disney-fied" to suit the PG-13 market are justified. But if the words of the movie's writers are to be believed, combined with past statements from Disney and Marvel Studios executives, the third installment in the trilogy will be just as adult-oriented as ever.
The Marvel universe has always been incredibly varied in the comics, there's truly a hero and series for every age range. Hopefully, Deadpool 3 will be the first step toward bringing more mature content to the MCU, opening the doors to R-rated projects with The Punisher, Daredevil, and the Midnight Sons.
Even though Deadpool ought to remain just as crazy as ever in his own franchise, that's not to say the Merc with the Mouth can't appear in PG-13 projects. Perhaps Ryan Reynolds' Mutant could still appear in various team-ups but simply dial back the gore to Moon Knight levels and reduce the swearing, all while keeping the usual cheeky tone.
Deadpool 3 looks set to bring the anti-hero out of Fox's X-Men universe and into the main MCU timeline, presumably through Multiverse-hopping. This might open the doors to farewell appearances from some old X-Men characters while also offering the opportunity to feature MCU fan favorites - Chris Hemsworth's Thor has already been thrown out as one possibility.
All around, the future of Deadpool looks to be in safe hands with Reynolds back in the suit, the same writers tackling the script, and Shawn Levy sitting at the helm. Deadpool 3 has yet to set a release date, but with writing taking place as we speak, 2024 may be a safe bet.