Marvel Studios is off to a blazing start with Phase 4 of the MCU in 2021. However, this year through 2023 still have plenty of entries left to debut, including a plethora of sequels along with numerous movies and shows bringing the MCU debuts for highly-anticipated new characters.
Heroes from the Disney/Fox merger will soon make their way to the MCU, finally allowing heroes from franchises like X-Men and Fantastic Four to arrive alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. However, even with Jon Watts’ Fantastic Four confirmed and rumors of The Mutants being in early development, there’s one man who continues to find his way into fan theories and predictions on a regular basis: Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool.
Wade W. Wilson found himself alongside the MCU’s Avengers in fans’ imaginations long before he officially became part of the Disney family. Even with no official title or release date yet, the character became the first formerly owned by Fox to receive plans for a solo movie with Deadpool 3 already being written by Bob’s Burgers sister scribes Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Loeglin.
Reynolds himself has often hinted at his imminent MCU arrival, whether it’s been with a simple tease of his mask or joking about his long-time comic man-crush, Spider-Man. Safe to say, the Merc with of Mouth’s arrival will be the talk of the MCU fandom until it becomes a reality. The biggest question that remains is where will the red-suited mutant make his debut?
While Deadpool 3 is simply waiting on an official announcement by Marvel Studios, one theory is that he will make his first appearance before his first MCU solo movie. With the ability to fit in just about anywhere in the MCU, the challenge is finding the right movie or show into which he could bring the most impact alongside established Marvel Studios regulars or newcomers.
Without further ado, here are The Direct’s predictions for the most probable projects in which Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool could make his MCU debut.
**Note: Projects are listed in release order.
Loki, Season 1, Episode 6 (Release: July 14, 2021)
Deadpool is regarded as one of the most mischievous beings in Marvel’s catalog of characters, never one to hold back from pulling fun pranks or causing general chaos. Even if it may be a little early, there could be a door open for the Merc with a Mouth as Marvel Studios’ Loki finishes its run on Disney+ in the coming weeks.
Episode 4 showed fans that Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is not the only one out there thanks to the four God of Mischief Variants in the post-credits scene played by Richard E. Grant, Jack Veal, DeObia Oparei, and even a crocodile. Deadpool is just the kind of character that could pop up alongside a multiverse’s worth of crazy takes on MCU classics.
Seriously, just imagine what Wade Wilson would do in an interaction with a crocodile version of Loki. He’d be chomping at the bit for an opportunity to quip about it on sight.
Additionally, with different Variants of Loki in play, Marvel Studios could add to this with Deadpool and bring in his 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine Variant, similar to how Deadpool 2 used it in a post-credits scene. Given, this Variant likely wouldn’t last long, but it would be a fun and hilarious option nonetheless.
In reality, as much as fans want Deadpool in the MCU right away, this seems like a less likely option considering Loki ends in just under two weeks. However, with the God of Mischief’s penchant for calamity and Wade’s need for chaos, it’s not completely out of the question.
What If…? (Release: August 2021)
What If…? is one of the MCU’s more interesting Phase 4 projects. Not only is it Marvel Studios’ first leap into the world of animation, it will take a look back at the 23 movies in Phases 1-3 rather than definitively tell a story that will integrate into and expand on the future of the MCU.
However, there are signs pointing to this series actually having an impact on what comes after it in live-action over the next couple of years. Should this be the case, there is a small window through which Deadpool could climb for an animated role before Ryan Reynolds comes to screen.
Fans have wondered for a long time what Deadpool would have done if he’d been a part of the MCU since the beginning. If Marvel Studios wanted to answer that question, there’s no better place to do it than in this animated retrospective on the Infinity Saga.
Even with different stories coming such as those centered around Captain Carter or T’Challa as Star-Lord, the friendly neighborhood Pool-guy could sneak into the fray in any number of situations. Perhaps one of the episodes teases the MCU’s introduction of mutants, or maybe Deadpool forces his way alongside this series’ version of Peter Parker by any means necessary.
As was the case with Loki, it seems like a long-shot for Deadpool to appear in What If…?, particularly if Marvel keeps its focus squarely on the Infinity Saga and the characters that told its story. However, with Fox’s characters now under Marvel Studios’ eye, the team certainly has the option to throw mutants into the alternate fray if they so desired.
Spider-Man: No Way Home (Release: December 17, 2021)
Although Wade Wilson could fit into any of the MCU’s future outings in theaters or on Disney+, the anti-hero seems to have been made for big screen adventures as proven by Deadpool and Deadpool 2. That being said, there are a handful of movies in Phase 4 and beyond into which he could add a new level of thrills.
In Deadpool’s comic history, almost nobody has found themselves in the Merc’s company more than Peter Parker, although it seems to be against Parker’s will on a regular basis. Nevertheless, the two make for one of the most entertaining duos in their outings together, both in print and on screen, and it seems only fitting that Wade and Peter should team up somehow in the MCU.
Cue the arrival of the multiverse in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which will already bring Doc Ock from Spider-Man 2, Norman Osborn from Spider-Man, Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and others into Marvel Studios’ expansive universe.
When news first started coming about these appearances in No Way Home, The Direct took the opportunity to fantasize about other heroes and villains that could come along as well. At the top of that list was none other than Deadpool, who could legitimately try to pass himself off as the web-slinger with his own red suit and youthful enthusiasm on full display.
Ryan Reynolds himself has even used Spider-Man as a part of his arrival to the MCU, joking that he showed Kevin Feige the first two Spider-Man movies and passed them off as Deadpool films. It’s clear that Reynolds is well aware of Spidey and Deadpool’s comic bromance, and he’s willing to bring it to life under the Marvel Studios umbrella.
Deadpool doesn’t even have to play a role in the core story of the movie, especially with Peter Parker already in for a world of trouble with likely enough villains to fill a Sinister Six roster.
Imagine a post-credits scene where the story is resolved, and Wade finds his way in front of either Tom Holland’s Peter solo or the trio of Holland, Maguire, and Garfield’s web-slingers. He’d even be the perfect choice to utter the line "What the f—-" before the credits roll as Aunt May and Peter Parker did in the first two MCU Spider-Man movies.
If Wade Wilson is to make his MCU debut alongside any character, there would be no better choice than Spider-Man and no better opportunity for this than Spider-Man: No Way Home. It would be a match made in heaven, and it could make for one of the MCU’s most iconic moments ever should it come to fruition.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Release: March 25, 2022)
While Spider-Man: No Way Home will certainly introduce the MCU’s multiverse, it’s set to be utilized to other-worldly levels in 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. This movie will feature the Sorcerer Supreme teaming up with Wanda Maximoff against more intense threats than either of them have seen before, particularly with the fate of the multiverse likely in the palms of their magical hands.
The specific story details for next year’s first movie are still being kept a secret, although rumors have pointed to some truly crazy plot points coming into play. From alternate versions of past MCU heroes to America Chavez teaming up with Strange and Wanda to fight Shuma Gorath, there seem to be no limits to ways this movie could drastically change the MCU’s future.
Given all that madness, similarly to its web-based predecessor, Ryan Reynolds’ fan-favorite could find any number of paths to use for passage into this movie.
While Doctor Strange and the Scarlet Witch’s specific destinations in the multiverse are still a mystery, the movie’s title alone gives Wade an opening to meet “Sherlock” and ‘the other Olsen sister” as they work to keep their reality intact. It could even be as simple as a “wrong place, wrong time” scenario that ends up working for Wade, who will undoubtedly want to get into the Avengers’ world with his fourth-wall-breaking nature.
If Marvel wanted to go here for Wade, it could even be a case of the MCU literally calling him home after being stuck with Fox for so long.
The Doctor Strange sequel has even been rumored to include versions of MCU characters played by actors previously in the running to play them. This could serve as an opening for Reynolds to murder his 2009 version once again if the character gets to join the MCU fray here.
In addition to Deadpool joyfully coming into the story in this movie, the frustration likely to come from the Sorcerer Supreme would make for pure hilarity. After having to deal with Spider-Man’s antics in Avengers: Infinity War, he might lose his mind completely with an immortal mutant on his tail.
The formerly Fox-owned F-bomber would surely find add a new layer of fun to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. With the word “madness” literally in the film’s title, Marvel has the chance to do something truly mad by introducing Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool early next year.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Release: February 17, 2023)
Marvel Studios is set to take a deep dive into the MCU's Quantum Realm with Peyton Reed's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, set to be Phase 4's first movie in 2023. While this mysterious dimension has largely been used for time travel purposes in the MCU as showcased in Avengers: Endgame, there are surely plenty of aspects that have yet to be explored.
Time and space have been seemingly irrelevant in the Quantum Realm in its few MCU appearances so far, and it's only accessible by using either Pym Particles or a sorcerer's Sling Ring. With so much of this world still needing to be discovered, and with more than 18 months until the threequel debuts, there's a chance that Marvel Studios could use this outing to introduce Wade Wilson to the MCU.
More than anything else, Paul Rudd and Ryan Reynolds in the same movie together would make for potentially one of the funniest MCU pairings ever. Both could play off their characters' ridiculous qualities at every turn, especially considering everything Scott Lang has seen since the end of Phase 3, making for some comedic genius should Marvel go this route.
Scott and Hope Van Dyne are also set to encounter Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conqueror, who will make his MCU debut after coming to Marvel Studios in the Fox merger alongside Deadpool. This could ease the Merc with a Mouth's path into the expansive franchise as well as having a travel buddy of sorts, one that he could poke endless fourth-wall-breaking fun at along the way.
Of the options in this list, this does seem to be more of an unlikely one since Scott Lang and Wade Wilson only share a few adventures together through Marvel Comics. However, it's not an impossible idea to bring to life, especially with a character like Deadpool who is so flexible with fitting in alongside his supporting cast.
Fantastic Four (Release: TBA)
Of all the Marvel heroes coming home to the MCU thanks to the deal with Fox Studios, almost none are bringing more excitement than the Fantastic Four. After three wildly mixed outings from Fox in 2005, 2007, and 2015, Marvel Studios jumped at the opportunity to take on Marvel's First Family by putting Fantastic Four on the schedule with Jon Watts as the director.
This outing is still at least two full years from coming to theaters worldwide, and although Marvel Studios likely has an idea for the plot, it won't start coming to light for some time. The Direct thought up a few ways the team could come into play in the MCU, and we're anxious to find out what happens with this exciting new team.
While Marvel will surely want Fantastic Four to largely focus on its core team for their first solo adventure, Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool is packing his bags and moving from Fox to Disney in the same way the First Family is.
Marvel has seen its fair share of coming runs featuring Wade Wilson alongside Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben, and their ties back to Fox are no secret. This could make for some hysterical banter from the mutant quip-master in and of itself, especially with two unique versions of the team that have appeared on screen through three previous movies.
Front and center in that regard is a popular, real-life factoid that both actors who played the Human Torch in Chris Evans and Michael B. Jordan are now MCU icons. This amusing bit of trivia could set up one of countless quips towards Marvel Studios and Disney themselves:
"Captain America or Killmonger? These timelines get so confusing."
Now that Marvel Studios has so many options of formerly Fox-owned characters to utilize in the MCU, it could be a fun move for the story and viewers alike to throw these heroes into one outing together.
Deadpool likely wouldn't play a major role in a story like the Fantastic Four's, but their cinematic history would make for an easy transition into the biggest movie franchise ever.
The Mutants (Release: TBA)
If the rumors are to be believed, Marvel Studios is in the early stages of development for its official X-Men reboot, which will go under the title The Mutants. While no specific details are known about this movie other than having Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige as the producer, it's been billed as the movie that will bring the heroes to the MCU for the first time.
With an endless list of characters to center this movie around both from comics and past movies, Marvel basically has an open slate with how to introduce this massive team alongside Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The prevailing theory is that the outing will focus on the mutants in their earlier days rather than the actual X-Men team to ease them into the fray.
Who's to say Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool couldn't simply slip into the MCU alongside other individuals who gained powers similar to himself?
The MCU seems to be bringing Deadpool 3 in as a semi-pure sequel to the character's first two outings with Fox, meaning he won't need to have his own origin story retold the way the other X-Men will in this reboot.
This movie could even do an incredibly simple Deadpool cameo if it wanted to tease his arrival, something like how the X-Men appeared for about two seconds in Deadpool 2 before Beast closed the door on them. There could be small rumblings of somebody not from this or any known universe who comes in, brutally murders people, makes strange jokes, and leaves with no one ever the wiser.
It could provide another post-credits opportunity as well, possibly after the MCU's mutants begin evolving into the MCU's official X-Men team. Wade could show up and say something along the lines of "It's about damn time" as he looks shamefully at the rebooted group.
Of any project outside a Deadpool solo film, The Mutants would undoubtedly make the most sense logically with Wade Wilson identifying as a mutant himself (amongst identifying as many other things). However, taking into account how famous he already is on his own, it will be interesting to see if Marvel Studios brings him in as part of a larger group.
Deadpool 3 (Release: TBA)
Looking at the many ways Wade Wilson could join the MCU through another character or group's solo movie or TV show, it could end up being as simple as this: Marvel may bring Deadpool into the MCU with his confirmed solo film, Deadpool 3.
Looking at box office success, Ryan Reynolds' two solo Deadpool films are the highest-grossing movies in the entire Fox X-Men catalog domestically and worldwide, which is particularly impressive with both of them having R-ratings. The leading man himself comments on the original film ranking just behind Passion of the Christ in the opening scene of Deadpool 2.
Combine this level of acclaim with the MCU's long-standing run of excellence, and you have a recipe for a Deadpool debut that fans will flock to see.
The plot of Deadpool 3 is still being expectedly kept under wraps, but with the character's penchant for humor, he has more opportunities for fun gags and quips than ever before. From relentlessly hitting on Spider-Man to potentially bashing the end of Fox's run with Marvel properties, Reynolds is about to have the time of his life bringing Deadpool home to the MCU.
Reynolds commented multiple times on his excitement to take the Merc with a Mouth to Disney, especially with confirmation that his movies will continue with the R-rating as they did with Fox. It seems clear that he is working closely with Marvel Studios to bring the best solo Deadpool movie possible with the new resources at his disposal.
Particularly with Deadpool's ability to break the fourth wall and comment on anything and anyone he so chooses, all the previous movies could find their way into Deadpool 3 in the end anyway. And now, with Marvel able to actually bring characters from these franchises in as full characters alongside Wade Wilson, there's no telling what kind of madness could ensue.
Even with little confirmed information on production, Deadpool 3 is one of the most highly-anticipated outings Marvel Studios has to offer in Phase 4 and beyond. The team could likely choose this movie to bring Ryan Reynolds into play for the first time as the katana-wielding mutant, and if that happens, no Marvel fan on Earth will miss it.