Ryan Reynolds’ ‘Deadpool 3’ gets a boost from Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine

Reynolds just announced, via an amusing self-mocking video, that A) Deadpool 3 (or whatever they call it) will open in theaters on September 6, 2024 and B) Hugh Jackman will reprise his role as Wolverine. It is 6.5 years after Deadpool 2 that the third ‘merc with a mouth’ adventure will (at least somewhat) be part of the MCU. Between X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the first Deadpool, there were just under six years. The Fox X-Men franchise will have ended 7.5 years ago when Jackman’s Logan died off as a series finale/epilogue. If Jackman’s Logan does anything else on the franchise, it will be the series finale/epilogue to the Fox X-Men franchise.
Shawn Levy and Ryan Reynolds won’t invalidate James Mangold’s Logan’s ‘died holding his heart in his hand’ finale. Disney might not want to upset the director of the current Indiana Jones film. Additionally, they still want Logan to be monetizable as ‘Wolverine’s last ride. I’m guessing the Logan in Deadpool 3 will either be a comic-accurate version (maybe wearing yellow spandex in the comics) or just exist somewhere between Days of Future Past and Logan, whether multiverse-hopping or non-continuity in-jokes are involved. There is no need to speculate endlessly about what could be a 30-second cameo.

Deadpool 3 would be Kevin Feige’s first choice if he ever decided to do an MCU musical. This is a fourth-wall-breaking title, one that can exist in the continuity without making a mess, and Jackman can do his song-and-dance routines. I don’t know if Reynolds can sing, but as long as it’s funny, that’s all that matters. In addition, it’ll open a month before Joker: Folie à Deux, a quasi-musical sequel to Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker starring Lady Gaga. In addition to bringing Jackman into Deadpool 3, I wonder if the deal involves a revival of the Greatest Showman IP.

Those who are indifferent to a third Deadpool will have a reason to care or be curious about it. Logan/Wolverine is Hugh Jackman’s most famous character. Since at least 15 years ago, Hollywood has been trying to forge a path with actors like Sam Worthington, Taylor Kitsch, Henry Cavill and Chris Hemsworth to take him from unknown franchise actor to movie star.
 It would be news if Jackman joined the MCU in any capacity. Deadpool 3 will become even more exciting when he returns to the role he defined for general audiences. As a result of the continuity-loose nature of the MCU, Marvel was able to include Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine during the development of the MCU before casting their own version at a later date.

There is no need for such a boost for Deadpool 3. On a budget of $59 million, Deadpool grossed $763 million from a $132 million Fri-Sun/$152 million Fri-Mon weekend (still a record for an R-rated opener). With a $110 million budget, Deadpool 2 earned $318 million domestically and $734 million worldwide, with an additional $6 million domestically and $45 million overseas (including $24 million in China). Days of Future Past ($746 million), Logan ($619 million), and Apocalypse ($543 million, including $121 million in China) are the top three X-Men films in terms of revenue. For Venom 3, Wade Wilson does not ‘need’ Logan/Wolverine any more than Eddie Brock does for Peter Parker/Spider-Man.

Jurassic World Dominion didn’t need the Jurassic Park trio returning to rub elbows with the newcomers. Despite making $1 billion, Jurassic World grossed $1.67 billion compared with Fallen Kingdom’s $1.308 billion and few explicit franchise references. When audiences show up for Split and Prometheus, they don’t necessarily expect an Unbreakable sequel or an Alien prequel. In the same way that Multiverse of Madness was 90% a sequel to Doctor Strange, I hope all parties let Deadpool 3 stand on its own without resting on franchise-specific nostalgia or multiverse cameos. I don’t care how breathlessly the Internet speculates for two years, but let Deadpool 3 be a third Deadpool movie.

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