Every film currently in development at 20th Century Fox has roughly two months to start production before Walt Disney’s acquisition of the studio is officially approved. At that time, the Mouse House is expected to halt the progress of any pictures that haven’t started filming. But if Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds is concerned about the future of his foul-mouthed blockbuster behemoth franchise, he isn’t showing it.
Reynolds decided to skip a scheduled surgery on his arm this past weekend in order to promote the release of Once Upon a Deadpool—the sanitized PG-13 version of May 2018’s Deadpool 2—in China, where the country’s rigid film censors finally approved a release date for the Merc with a Mouth. (This speaks to the growing power of China’s box office and the requirements of movie stars today to sell their flicks overseas). The one-day press tour provided fans with a brief tease from Reynolds about Deadpool 3.
The actor told assorted media (per Variety) that the creative team was “looking to go in a completely different direction,” noting that “often, they reboot or change a character maybe like four movies too late.” Should we expect Deadpool 3 to poke fun at the clichéd tropes of sequels and reboots à la 22 Jump Street? The series’ meta and self-aware humor is perfectly tailored for such fodder.
But Reynolds doesn’t know for sure if he’ll even be given that opportunity, as Deadpool’s R-rated material and X-Men ties don’t fit with Disney’s family-friendly vibe and Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yet, the series is the most popular X-property at Fox. And while the X-Men and Fantastic Four are expected to be recast and rebooted for the MCU, Disney CEO Bob Iger would be throwing away a lot of money if the studio sidelined Wade Wilson. Iger seemed aware of that when he discussed the future of the franchise under Disney in late 2017.
“[Deadpool] clearly has been and will be Marvel branded. But we think there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like Deadpool,” Iger said at the time. “As long as we let the audiences know what’s coming, we think we can manage that fine.”
Both Deadpool movies have earned at least $740 million worldwide, and that Magic Kingdom doesn’t come free, folks. Expect Reynolds’ Marvel character to continue at Disney relatively unencumbered.