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Wait, Did Deadpool Nearly Have An Awesome Marvel Movie Cameo?

Deadpool in Deadpool 2
(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been wild so far, with the beloved franchise greatly expanding on the small and silver screens. One of the biggest questions surrounding the MCU is exactly if/when Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool will appear in one of the upcoming Marvel movies. But did The Merc with the Mouth almost have an awesome Marvel cameo in a recent movie?

Technically Deadpool made his MCU debut in a digital short alongside Taika Waititi’s Korg, which was just a commercial for their movie Free Guy. Fans want to see an actual big screen appearance for the R-rated antihero, and now it seems like we may have gotten a chance to see this in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Some concept art for that acclaimed blockbuster recently arrived online, featuring Ryan Reynolds’ signature character. Check it out below,

Shang-Chi concept art with Deadpool

(Image credit: Andrew Kim)

Suddenly I’ve got some serious FOMO. While this is just a piece of concept art and not an actual confirmation that Deadpool nearly made it into Shang-Chi, I can only imagine how theaters would have exploded into applause if Wade Wilson surprisingly appeared in the cage fight sequence. Hopefully we’ll get to see this character pairing happen sooner rather than later.

The above image comes to us from the website of concept artist Andrew Kim. He helps the filmmakers of popular projects find a visual language for their movies, including Marvel projects like Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And when using his talents in this way for Shang-Chi, he included Deadpool in the movie’s cage fight scene. 

But just because this image features Deadpool doesn’t necessarily mean that Ryan Reynolds’ signature Marvel character was actually close to joining Shang-Chi. It’s possible that Andrew Kim just included the character for fun, or was instructed to feature someone outside of the Shang-Chi cast. Facing off against Wade Wilson in the concept art is Thanos’ sidekick Proxima Midnight, who was turned to dust at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Her inclusion makes this possible pairing all the more suspect.

Still, this image is sure to go viral, as moviegoers are eagerly awaiting Deadpool’s grand entrance into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the first two (massively successful) installments of Ryan Reynolds’ franchise came out in quick succession, Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox brought the franchise to a screeching halt. While Reynolds has been in contact with Disney and sometimes offers cryptic teases about the franchise’s future, fans want to see Deadpool 3 happen sooner rather than later.

As for Shang-Chi, the movie’s critical and box office success resulted in a sequel already being confirmed by Marvel Studios. It’s unclear what that might contain, but it’s clear that Simu Liu’s new hero is going to have a major presence in the MCU. 

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 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 CinemaBend. 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 famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.