What's Going On With Deadpool 3

Deadpool shocked face in Deadpool 2

As things presently stand, there are few comic book heroes who possess the popularity of Deadpool. The character has been a fan-favorite for years among Marvel Comics readers, but his solo movies starring Ryan Reynolds were not only both box office smash hits, but have created a rabid demand to see more and more of him on the big screen. Unfortunately, that’s a big development that needs a big ol’ “Under Construction” sign at the moment, because everything going on with Deadpool 3 behind the scenes is currently rather complicated.

So what exactly is going on with the project? Well, we’ve put together this feature with the precise intent of sorting all of that out. While this isn’t a project about which we’ve been hearing regular official updates, we do have a decent grasp on what’s going on with Deadpool 3 at the moment, and have worked to detail that information for you below:

Deadpool in Deadpool

Unlike The Previous Two Movies, Deadpool 3 Will Be A Disney Movie

Under normal circumstances, the $785 million that Deadpool 2 earned globally back in 2018 would have led to massive big screen plans for the titular antihero, with not only Deadpool 3 put on the fast track, but also the quick development of the team-up feature X-Force… but the last couple years haven’t provided normal circumstances. The Fox-Disney merger effectively dissolved the existing X-Men universe, and while the Merc With The Mouth has survived that dissolution (more on that in a second), it has also left the character hanging in limbo.

This means that Deadpool is now through-and-through a Disney-owned character, and while that creates its own special complications (again, more on that in a second), it also means that his future is now in the hands of the company that has built what is indisputably the most successful comic book movie franchise of all time: Marvel Studios.

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool

Ryan Reynolds Will Continue Playing The Character

Thanks to the aforementioned Disney-Fox merger, we can expect that the next few years will be filled with all kinds of exciting casting news as Marvel Studios finds new actors to embody iconic characters like Professor X and The Human Torch, but one hero who specifically won’t be getting a new face in the coming years will be Deadpool. We can’t say for certain what the future will hold for any of his previous co-stars, but Ryan Reynolds will be back in his red-and-black suit for Deadpool 3.

This is a “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” situation pure and simple. It’s Reynolds’ particular voice that really makes the big screen version of the character sing – and that’s both on camera and off, as he is also a producer on Deadpool movies and a credited co-writer along with fellow writer/producers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

Deadpool in Deadpool 2

Disney Has Said The Movie Will Still Be R-Rated

When referring to the “special complications” in the relationship between Deadpool and Disney earlier, I was essentially referring to the fact that DP is a character who takes great pleasure in shish kebab-ing his enemies with katana and relentlessly using foul language. That’s behavior that doesn’t quite line up with the image that the Walt Disney Company works to project (a.k.a. The Most Family-Friendly Corporation On Earth), but evidently the serious clash isn’t going to have any kind of effect on the violence-loving mercenary’s future.

Fans have been assured multiple times that even though Deadpool is now a piece of Disney IP, his future adventures will still be R-rated. Unless something else develops first, like possibly Blade starring Mahershala Ali, Deadpool 3 will be the first R-rated superhero made by Marvel Studios. And that’s its own whole barrel of monkeys…

Deadpool with X-Force in Deadpool 2

How It Could/May Connect To The Marvel Cinematic Universe Is Presently Unclear

What truly makes the Marvel Cinematic Universe special as a franchise is its interconnectivity – the fact that you can not only enjoy each of the movies individually, but that each of the stories simultaneously acts as a puzzle piece within a bigger picture. But what happens if one of those puzzle pieces is only appropriate to be viewed by audiences 18 or older? This is a conundrum involving the development of Deadpool 3 that hasn’t officially been addressed as of yet.

To throw out another folksy saying, Marvel Studios seems to want to have its cake and eat it too by letting Deadpool 3 have the freedom of the R-rating and also exist in a canon that to date has been exclusively PG-13 (and it never became an issue in the X-Men franchise simply because crossovers didn’t become significant prior to the Disney-Fox deal). Marvel might have to have the Merc With The Mouth exist in a separate label on the big screen, like what Marvel Comics did with the Max Comics imprint, but if that means that DP can’t hang out with all of the other characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that’s going to be particularly disappointing to fans.

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool with the X-Men in Deadpool 2

Deadpool 3’s Development/Release May Tie To The Re-Introduction Of The X-Men

As has been alluded to here, Deadpool is far from the only character who has seen the future of his big screen existence caught up in the Disney-Fox deal. The reality is that Marvel Studios is now presently tasked with the immense challenge of folding in all of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four into the already expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe, and at present we really have no idea how all of that is going to work. That being said, it would probably come to the surprise of nobody if the ultimate wait times for Deadpool 3 and re-launch of mutants on the big screen are relatively close.

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said back in 2019 that bringing the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not part of the five-year plan that has been mapped out for the future of the franchise, which means that the earliest we will probably see the recognizable characters will be in 2025. As such, one probably shouldn’t expect Deadpool 3 before then either.

Deadpool in the Deadpool 2 opening credits

A Script Is At The Very Least In The Works

Based on everything you’ve read here, you may be thinking to yourself right now that Deadpool 3 is forever away – but for whatever it’s worth, the project is at the very least definitely in active development. In December 2019, Ryan Reynolds did an interview where he confirmed that the script for the next Deadpool adventure on the big screen is being worked on (presumably alongside Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick) and that working in tandem with the minds at Marvel Studios is “like the big leagues all of a sudden.”

Fans of the first Deadpool movie will remember that the script went through a lot of changes during a long stay in development hell, and it’s definitely possible that what’s being put on the page for Deadpool 3 today will have nothing to do with what we end up seeing in the finished film. That being said, it’s assuring to know that the gears are turning.

In case it isn’t obvious, Deadpool 3 is one of the projects we’re most anticipating in the years ahead, and have remained hungry for updates about the sequel ever since we left the theater after seeing Deadpool 2. Stay tuned on CinemaBlend for all of the latest news about the film, and hit the comments section to share what you want to see in the blockbuster.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.