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Smoke 'em if you got 'em, Bub! Not even death in 2017's Logan can keep James Howlett from one more mutant romp on the big screen. Ryan Reynolds took to social media Tuesday to announce that Hugh Jackman has agreed to once again don the Adamantium claws as Wolverine for the upcoming third chapter in the Deadpool film franchise, which will officially bring the Merc with a Mouth into the Disney-owned Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"We're very sad to have missed D23 [Expo], but we've been working very hard on the next Deadpool film for a good long while now," Reynolds says. "I've had to really search my soul on this one. His first appearance in the MCU obviously needs to feel special. We need to stay true to the character, find new depth, new motivation, new meaning. Every Deadpool needs to stand out and stand apart. It's been an incredible challenge that has forced me to reach deep inside and I...have nothing. Yeah, it's just completely empty up here. And terrifying."
His faux bout of creative blockage suddenly clears: "But we did have one idea...," as Jackman shows up in the background, serenely munching on an apple as Reynolds poses the million-dollar question, "Hey, Hugh...wanna play Wolverine one more time?" Without hesitation, Jackman lazily answers, "Yeah. Sure, Ryan," and strolls out of frame. This is followed by the Deadpool logo (the Marvel Studios emblem floating above it for the very first time), which becomes severely slashed by the X-Man's indestructible talons. The film's release date is then revealed: Sept. 6, 2024.
Does this mean the actors' feud is over?!
Jackman's played the gruff and cigar-chomping mutant since the release of Bryan Singer's first X-Men film in the summer of 2000. Together, he and Patrick Stewart (famous for portraying Professor Charles Xavier) hold the world record for "longest career as a live action Marvel superhero."
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Shawn Levy — who enjoys professional ties to both Reynolds (Free Guy, The Adam Project) and Jackman (Real Steel) — is attached to direct the new film, which rocks a screenplay from Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Loeglin (known for their work as writers and producers on Bob's Burgers). Absolutely nothing is known about the plot, but former Mouse House CEO Bob Iger did promise the company would not censor Deadpool's R-rated sensibilities for the character's standalone adventures, just so long as the marketing was clear.
The two Deadpool movies have never wasted an opportunity to poke fun at Jackman or his superhero alter ego, and Reynolds hasn't shied away from the fact that a Wade Wilson/Wolverine crossover is something he's wanted to do for years. "That would be amazing," he told ComicBook.com earlier this year. "I say write to Kevin Feige, care of Marvel Cinematic Universe at whatever Buena Vista Way. I don't know where it is, but yeah, that would be nice. That would be a dream. That would be dream come true."
Technically speaking, the two characters already crossed paths in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, though that movie's portrayal of Deadpool is so reviled by fans, that Wade purposefully traveled back in time to murder the mouthless interpretation of his beloved, fourth wall-breaking rascal.
For his part, Jackman has denied rumors of a reprisal. “It’s still a character I hold close to my heart, but I know it’s done,” he remarked last year when asked for his thoughts on a return through the whole multiverse concept. “Tell that to whoever you want, but please tell it to Ryan because he doesn’t believe it. He thinks I’m joking.”
Disney acquired 20th Century Fox in 2019, gaining access to classic Marvel properties like the X-Men, Deadpool, and Fantastic Four. A Fantastic Four reboot is slated to hit theaters in late 2024, while plans for a new live-action X-Men movie (one that will presumably recast all the major roles) continue to remain uncertain. With that said, a revival of the classic animated arrives on Disney+ next fall. What's more, the MCU has already begun laying the groundwork for the arrival of mutants in projects like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Ms. Marvel, and the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
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.