Marvel Artist Clarifies Deadpool’s Rumored Role In Shang-Chi

Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool
(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a powerful force in the entertainment world, with tons of dedicated fans who watch for every update and upcoming Marvel movie. So when some rumors swirled that Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool might have had a role in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the internet was set ablaze. Now the Marvel artist behind concept art that went viral has clarified the Merc with the Mouth’s inclusion.

Rumors about Deadpool’s possible role in Shang-Chi came when concept art for the blockbuster made by Andrew Kim started circulating around the internet. In it we saw Deadpool in the movie’s cage fight sequence, seemingly battling Thanos’ (dead) follower Proxima Midnight. It was a dizzying concept, and now Kim has told the real story behind that awesome image. As he put it,

Well, long story short, sorry to disappoint you but there was no involvement of Deadpool or Proxima in the early going. When I was designing the fight club, my PD mentioned to me that we could see other Marvel characters fighting in the ring when we first revealed the scene. Deadpool and Proxima was my idea to put in as I thought their dynamic fighting styles could be a perfect fit in the ring like that. (you know, they don’t fly…haha) And Deadpool’s red was a nice pop against the bluish background.

Well, there you have it. Although fans are patiently waiting to see Deadpool join the MCU on the big screen, that was never going to happen in Shang-Chi’s cage fight. Although that sounds like a solid idea, so perhaps it could be used in a potential sequel. Who doesn’t want to see Ryan Reynolds’ hilarious character duking it out with another character from within the shared universe?

Andrew Kim’s comments about Shang-Chi come from a recent interview with CBF about the viral situation. He’s an accomplished concept artist, who has worked on a variety of Marvel projects including Ant-Man and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This is a hugely important part of the development process, helping to secure the visual language of each Marvel blockbuster.

While Deadpool was never going to appear in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, fans were still delighted by who we got to see in the ring of the cage fight. Because prior to Simu Liu’s title character stepping in, we saw Wong and Hulk villain The Abomination facing off. Still, theaters would have broken out into applause if Wade Wilson showed up and broke the fourth wall.

Shang-Chi concept art with Deadpool

(Image credit: Andrew Kim)

Moviegoers have been eager to see Deadpool join the MCU since Ryan Reynolds’ original movie was released back in 2016. And when Disney acquired 20th Century Fox and its properties, this finally seemed like a possibility. But there hasn’t been any word as to if/when he’ll be back on the big screen, although Reynolds has been communicating with the studio. In the meantime, Deadpool technically had a MCU crossover in a short opposite Taika Waititi’s Korg which promoted the non-Marvel movie Free Guy.

The next installment in the MCU is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 6th. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.