The X-Men's history in film has long been shrouded by rights issues, with Marvel being forced in the 1990s to sell the heroes' film rights to Fox in order to avoid bankruptcy.
After Fox earned massive success with the X-Men saga, including two of the highest-grossing R-rated movies ever with Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool films, Disney purchased Fox in 2019 and gained the rights to bring the X-Men into the MCU.
Now, Deadpool 3 will make history for the MCU as its first-ever R-rated movie.
X-Men Studio's Role in Deadpool 3
Speaking in the latest issue of Total Film magazine, Deadpool 3 director Shawn Levy confirmed that his MCU film will pay tribute to 20th Century Fox, with Deadpool having initially been brought to life under the Fox umbrella.
This idea was first teased when leaked Deadpool 3 set photos showed off what appeared to be The Void from the Loki series on Disney+, which even included a massive 20th Century Fox logo made out of sand.
Although he didn't enjoy that set photos were leaked, Levy noted how Deadpool and Wolverine were "iconic Marvel-of-the-Fox-era characters," making it clear that the team will include that Fox legacy as "part of [their] storytelling:"
"Deadpool and Wolverine are iconic Marvel characters; more specifically, iconic Marvel-of-the-Fox-era characters. We’re not going to pretend: 'Oh, we snap our fingers, and suddenly that Fox legacy doesn’t exist, and it shaped a lot of what we now know as the MCU.' Fox also shaped Ryan’s career, Hugh’s career and my career. So there’s a lot of history there, and there’s a lot of Marvel history at Fox. And certainly that’s a part of our storytelling."
How Will Fox Legacy Play Into Deadpool 3?
The X-Men's long-awaited introduction into the MCU is unquestionably a milestone moment for the franchise. And with Deadpool being known for his fourth-wall-breaking abilities, it's no surprise that Shawn Levy is embracing that legacy.
This is especially the case with Hugh Jackman confirmed to be taking on a co-leading role in the film as Wolverine, which will mark his MCU debut after playing Logan for 17 years under the 20th Century Fox brand.
Now that Marvel Studios can integrate Deadpool into the greater MCU for the first time, he'll have the opportunity to dive into Marvel's expansive movie history in a way that was never explored in the first two Deadpool films.
Rumors even teased that past X-Men stars could be in line for MCU roles alongside Reynolds, with Storm actress Halle Berry teasing a hairdo that convinced fans she was prepping for a return to her mutant character.
And while fans could potentially still have a long time to wait for Deadpool 3 to arrive due to the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, the Fox legacy is sure to be one aspect of the film that will have viewers anxious about what happens.
Currently, Deadpool 3 was last reported to be coming out on May 3, 2024.