Deadpool’s alter ego Ryan Reynolds just set the internet a-buzz with his latest Instagram post. It’s a photo of Reynolds in front of the Marvel Studios sign. Reynolds notes how his audition for the role of “Anthony Stark” went poorly and how he was escorted out to the tune of a taser. It was all tongue-in-cheek, of course.
With the recent Fox/Disney merger, speculation is high that this was the first of many meetings to incorporate Reynolds and the Deadpool character into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, outside of Bob Iger’s earlier statements, there are no officially announced plans for Deadpool’s return, yet.
The major question is how will this fourth-wall breaking, R-rated character successfully make the transition? And if indeed Deadpool is planned to appear under a different film imprint than the MCU, will such integration even be attempted?
Deadpool fans are excited over the idea of their anti-hero appearing in and around the Marvel films past and present to gleefully skewer (figuratively and literally?) the mighty Avengers and co. But this might not agree with the direction Iger, Alan Horn and Kevin Feige want for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The original R-rating of the Deadpool and Deadpool 2 may be part of the problem. Disney and Marvel Studios want to keep their films in the firmly PG to PG-13 realm for general audiences to flock to. And then there are the toys. They want to keep selling toys to the kids who come to these movies. Teens are likely to see an R-rated MCU film, but the younger audience and toy buyers aren’t as likely to attend.
As for box office, there’s little concern there. Both Deadpool movies and the recently released Joker have proven that an R-rated comicbook film can still make big money. But can Deadpool the character exist separate from an established superhero universe? If Marvel Studios decides to go in this direction, they will face some serious challenges, since so much of the humor of the character derives from mocking superhero film and comicbook clichés.
Then again, Deadpool may fit right into the MCU, especially when one considers the perhaps darker, more horrific elements promised by the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. What better place for Deadpool to initially appear but surrounded by the madness his character is noted for? Will Deadpool cross over to the MCU from an alternate reality of the Marvel multiverse? Only The Watcher knows.
Another serious consideration would be to have Deadpool featured in a television series via Disney+ or more appropriately Hulu. Like the Marvel Netflix titles, a television series would allow for darker material to be explored, including the downside to Deadpool’s usually manic insanity (or is he really the only truly sane guy around?).
No matter what, the news is out that Reynolds met with Marvel Studios and is likely to continue to do so in the months to come. What eventually comes of these meetings fans will have fun speculating over, but the end result should be well worth the wait.