For a while there, it seemed like despite its standing as one of the most successful R-rated cinematic ventures of all time, the Deadpool franchise might get its wings clipped by Disney's purchase of Fox. With the Fox film rights back home with Marvel Studios, fans came to expect new versions of previous cinematic franchises like X-Men and Fantastic Four, but even with that in mind Deadpool felt like an outlier. Could there possibly be room for the R-rated Merc with a Mouth in the same realm that brought us Ant-Man and the Wasp and Thor: Ragnarok? Did Ryan Reynolds' incarnation of Deadpool really have a future?
Thankfully, the answer now seems to be yes. Just a few weeks ago we got word that the third film in the series had picked up new writers — Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Loeglin of Bob's Burgers fame — and now Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige himself is confirming that Deadpool 3 will not just be R-rated, but will somehow rope Wade Wilson into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“It will be rated R and we are working on a script right now, and Ryan’s overseeing a script right now… It will not be [filming] this year," Feige said in an interview with Collider to promote the upcoming launch of WandaVision. "Ryan is a very busy, very successful actor. We’ve got a number of things we’ve already announced that we now have to make, but it’s exciting for it to have begun. Again, a very different type of character in the MCU, and Ryan is a force of nature, which is just awesome to see him bring that character to life.”
The second Deadpool film earned nearly $800 million worldwide when it was released in May of 2018, and at the time that success seemed to pave the way not just for another sequel, but for a long-discussed X-Force spinoff film starring various characters who made their debut in the second installment. Then the Disney deal came along, putting Deadpool — a spinoff of Fox's X-Men franchise, which was itself already beginning to sunset — in a precarious new position. Now we know that Feige and company have found a way to work the perspective of Reynold's films into the MCU, setting the stage for more R-rated hijinks.
So, how will that integration ultimately work? Well, Wade Wilson's never been a character who seems to exist within conventional definitions of reality, so the fourth wall-breaking super-assassin might just show up with a hilarious montage explanation for how he wound up in the MCU. Or, since we've got reports that everything from the second Doctor Strange film to the third Spider-Man film is set to play with the concept of the Multiverse, it could be that Wade just re-appears in his own little pocket universe, having adventures separate from the main MCU until the right crossover comes along to fit him into the larger tapestry. However it works, it's coming...eventually.