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SYFY WIRE Deadpool 3

How is Wolverine back for 'Deadpool 3'? We look at 4 theories for how this might work in the MCU

Hugh Jackman is returning as Logan, and there's a number of ways Deadpool 3 could go about explaining that.

By Matthew Jackson
Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine in X-Men (2000)

This week, Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman broke the internet with the news that Jackman will pick up the claws one more time and reprise his role as Wolverine for the upcoming Deadpool 3. Now, the long-awaited third installment in the Deadpool series will introduce not one, but two established mutant fan-favorites into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, making the film a must-see blockbuster for 2024. 

But how, exactly, will this all go down? After all, Wolverine has a complicated history all his own going back more than 20 years through several movies, and the tone of his standalone films doesn't necessarily always vibe with Deadpool's. Throw in the fact that both characters will now be integrated into the MCU, and you've got a bit of a strange journey the characters will have to take in one way or another. It's a lot to get your head around, and though the answer might ultimately just be "It's a Deadpool movie, just roll with it," we still have a few theories as to how this might work. 

So, from time travel to something weirder, here are a few of our favorite ideas for how this whole mash-up might work on the big screen.

Time travel

In a fun new video posted to his Twitter account early Monday morning, Reynolds (with Jackman by his side) assured fans that the beloved Wolverine film Logan will not be affected by Deadpool, in part because it takes place in 2029 and, therefore, is still in the future of Deadpool 3's timeline (or the future of the old X-Men movie franchise, at least).

Still, looking at Logan and the world it built, it's clear that things have been going south for the character for quite a while, and it also doesn't feel like the kind of world Deadpool would be hanging around in, so maybe Logan himself is set to time travel, and beam back to a simpler, better time for mutantkind? He's done it before thanks to Days of Future Past, so it's quite possible that an older version of the character, prior to the events of Logan, could do it again. Still, that seems a bit needlessly complicated, and the film doesn't necessarily want to remind everyone about Logan, so maybe it's more like...

They both land in the MCU at the same time

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (2009)

This is definitely a plausible idea that MCU films and Sony Spider-Man films alike have already played with. At the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the multiverse started doing some wild things, and those wild things continued into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, with characters from other universes popping up in the MCU as the barriers between worlds got at least a bit thinner. It's possible that the film won't deal with this, and will just decide from the beginning that Wolverine and Deadpool are in the same universe, but it's also possible that Logan and Wade end up pushed together by fate, both beaming into the MCU at the same time and deciding that they've got to work together to get home. Or maybe there's an even simpler explanation, like...

This is a different Wolverine

Films like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness have established that there are many different versions of the same character out there, some of whom already look alike. With that in mind, it's possible that Deadpool 3 will play with the idea that there are just multiple Wolverines out there in various universes, and a lot of them happen to look like Hugh Jackman. The film could play with this concept through a single Wolverine who still has, say, his attitude from something like X2, or it could even show us multiple Wolverines. Maybe there's even one out there who ended up with Famke Janssen's Jean Grey, giving us yet another cameo. Or maybe Wolverine's return is something even wilder, like...

He's Deadpool's imaginary friend

Screen Shot 2022 09 28 At 10.36.21 Am

If we've learned anything from Deadpool movies so far, it's that Wade Wilson's mind just works differently. As far as we know, he's the only superhero character joining the MCU so far who's actually aware that he's in a movie, and that means he gets to play by an entirely different set of rules. So, suppose those rules for Deadpool 3 include the idea that he needs someone to psych him up, a sort of father figure to guide him through life's new set of challenges with tough love and an eye for violence. Who better to do that than Wolverine? Sure, it might be unlikely because some fans will see it as a cop-out, but think of the possibilities. And thanks to the magic of Deadpool movies, imaginary Logan could even participate in fight scenes somehow because, as we've established, these movies work on a different plane than the rest of the MCU. 

Deadpool 3 is in theaters Sept. 6, 2024.

Looking for more sci-fi comedy? Check out SYFY's Resident Alien, which is rolling out new episodes every Wednesday and can be watched next-day on Peacock.