Earlier this year, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige confirmed that Deadpool 3 will be rated R, just like its predecessors. He also confirmed that it will be set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with filming likely to get underway in late 2022.
That announcement got fans of the MCU excited, but it also made them wonder just how that would be the case, since the previous movies were obviously set in Fox’s X-Men movie universe.
As with any superhero movie discussion, all kinds of theories were subsequently being touted, as people tried in vain to establish ahead of the movie’s release just how the Merc with a Mouth would crossover into a different universe.
On that note, let’s jump into a few theories about how it might happen…
While there are a number of things going on in the MCU itself that could cause Deadpool to end up there (which we’ll get to later), there’s also a distinct possibility that something could happen in Deadpool’s own universe that results in him traversing the multiverse.
For example, in the mid-credits sequence at the end of Deadpool 2, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio repaired Cable’s time-travelling device for Deadpool (which he used to save the lives of his lover Vanessa and X-Force member Peter, before killing both the X-Men Origins: Wolverine version of Deadpool and the real world version of Ryan Reynolds while he was considering starring in the Green Lantern movie, as well as failing to kill baby Hitler). It could well be the case that the time-travelling device enabled Deadpool to end up in the MCU.
That may seem like a strange claim to make, but it could turn out that the MCU is just an alternate timeline of the X-Men movie universe – and Deadpool messing around with such a potent object could end up with him showing up almost anywhere.
Moreover, there were plenty of powerful mutants in existence in the X-Men movie universe whose power could have torn a hole between realities. Essentially, we have to consider the possibility that it wasn’t something in the MCU that resulted in Deadpool’s emergence there – and it would either have to happen off-screen (given that there are no more movies being made in the X-Men franchise), at the start of Deadpool 3, or in a mid or post-credits scene of another MCU movie.
But the more likely scenario is that Deadpool appears in the MCU because of something that happens in the MCU – and the most obvious things to have caused his arrival are the Snap and subsequent destruction of the Infinity Stones that took place in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, as well as both the reversing of the Snap and Tony Stark’s self-sacrifice in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
All four of those events saw all six Infinity Stones being used at the same time for one reason or another – and each event will have sent out a massive wave of energy that could have torn holes in the very fabric of reality.
2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home hinted at the possibility that something of that nature could have happened, when Jake Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck lied about being from an alternate version of Earth, having come through a hole in reality created by the Snap.
It could be the case that something like that really did happen, with the repeated usage of all six Infinity Stones creating a doorway between the MCU and Deadpool’s reality.
Of course, the recent events of the brilliant Disney+ series WandaVision could be responsible for the introduction of Deadpool – and countless other characters – into the MCU.
The series saw Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff rewriting reality in the New Jersey town of Westview, in the image of classic sitcoms, so she could live a happy life with Vision – and there’s every chance that could have repercussions on the fabric of reality on a wider scale. In other words, it could potentially signal the arrival of Deadpool.
Such an emphatic display of power could have ripped a hole in the barrier between the MCU and other realities – including the X-Men movie universe – which would open a door for Deadpool and his X-Men universe compatriots to enter the franchise.
Notably, one of WandaVision’s in-show commercials was for a product called “Nexus” – an important word in the context of Marvel lore. You see, in the comic books, the Nexus of All Realities is a location in the Florida Everglades that is a gateway to every reality in the multiverse. If the “Nexus” commercial in WandaVision was hinting at the existence of said location in the MCU, that could be the way in which Deadpool makes his way there.
Then again, Deadpool’s entrance into the MCU could come courtesy of something that happens in an upcoming MCU movie, such as 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, or even Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania later that year, as we know that all three of those sequels will be incorporating the multiverse as integral parts of their plots.
It’s now common knowledge that the likes of Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus and Jamie Foxx’s Electro are set to appear in Spider-Man: No Way Home, meaning characters from two different Spider-Man movie franchises will be debuting in the MCU. With that in mind, there’s every chance that characters from other Marvel movie universes will do the same – and the X-Men movie universe could be one of them, which would lead perfectly into Deadpool 3 (on an exciting and somewhat related note, it could also mean characters from the likes of Ghost Rider, Blade and Fantastic Four movie franchises could make surprise appearances).
The fact that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness literally has the word “multiverse” in its title would certainly suggest that a large number of alternate universes will be explored in the movie. Bearing in mind the potential complexities of introducing mutants and their supporting characters to the MCU – one of those characters being Deadpool, of course – using said movie as the catalyst for the Merc with a Mouth’s introduction seems like too good an opportunity to miss.
Given what we know about it, we could also surmise that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania could provide a route for Deadpool into the MCU. Kang the Conqueror is set to be the villain in the movie – and we know from the comics that he’s involved in all kinds of weird timeline shenanigans, so he could very easily create anomalies in the timestream that lead to barriers between universes being breached, giving Deadpool access to the franchise.
We briefly saw Stephen Strange traversing the multiverse – albeit involuntarily – in the first Doctor Strange movie, when Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One sent him on a wild journey through it, and his next stop could definitely be the X-Men movie universe for an encounter with the Merc with a Mouth, who could then make his way to the MCU and become a permanent fixture in the franchise going forward.
But one thing most people haven’t considered at all is that Deadpool’s introduction to the MCU could come courtesy of an entity we haven’t yet been introduced to. For instance, an item of power, a character or an event that we’ll be introduced to in an upcoming MCU project could be the catalyst for Ryan Reynolds’ character making his debut in the franchise.
Marvel’s comic books are genuinely teeming with things that have the power to cause rips in reality and open gateways to other universes. Beings like the One-Above-All and the Living Tribunal or items like the Cosmic Cube and the Heart of the Universe could very easily be introduced into the MCU and cause all kinds of multiversal havoc.
We could realistically list dozens of things from the comics that could cause other universes to bleed into the MCU – and you could probably do the same. It really would be an impossible guessing game to correctly predict which one would ultimately be responsible – if indeed it is something we haven’t yet been introduced to in the franchise that causes Deadpool to appear.
Of course, given the very nature of Deadpool – he can literally talk to the audience and is aware that he’s a fictional character, for heaven’s sake – it could just be the case that he appears in the MCU without any form of explanation and fans would just accept it. Ryan Reynolds’ character could just say “I’m here, deal with it” and everybody would just be like “okay!” – not least because they’d be so overjoyed to see him that they simply wouldn’t care how it happened.
So that explains some of the potential ways in which Deadpool might be squeezed into the MCU, but it doesn’t discuss the possibility that he might not fit in thematically or in terms of the MCU’s tone, given the R-rated nature of the Merc with a Mouth and the predominantly child-friendly nature of the Disney-owned franchise – so how might Marvel Studios get around that obstacle without hindering the character?
It’s fairly simple really: they’ll have to work around him! There is no way Deadpool will be anywhere near as successful as Marvel Studios want him to be if they censor him in any way, shape or form. He’ll need to be every bit as violent, crude and foul-mouthed as he was in the X-Men movie universe, which may mean only surrounding him with characters who’ll work in that kind of uncouth movie environment.
In other words, if the character is merged into the wider MCU – i.e. not merely limited to his own solo movies in which existing MCU characters never appear – don’t be surprised to see more adult-oriented and rugged (and sometimes crass) characters like Blade, Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon and Nick Fury interacting with Deadpool, but don’t expect him to be seen offering his unique brand of impurity alongside the likes of Aunt May, Morgan Stark, Kamala Khan or Jimmy Woo.
As for what Deadpool goes on to do in the MCU, it’s very unlikely he’ll join the Avengers (he’s only ever been loosely associated with the Astonishing Avengers, the Avengers Unity Division and the Great Lakes Avengers in the comics), but there’s definitely a possibility that he could find himself as a member of another team in the franchise.
Even though he’s not a mutant, he has been a member of X-Force in the comics (as he was in Deadpool 2), so he could end up joining the MCU X-Men or one of their mutant spin-off teams, once they’re introduced into the franchise. He’s also been associated with the likes of the Secret Defenders, Heroes for Hire, the Maggia, Agency X and Six Pack in the comics, so there are plenty of options for him in the MCU, should those teams make appearances in future projects.
However, the most likely outcomes for the character probably involve him joining the Thunderbolts, being recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. (both of whom he’s been heavily associated with at times in the comics) or being recruited by S.W.O.R.D., who might seek to utilise him as a sentient weapon, as they did with Vision in WandaVision.
Now that the MCU is delving into the concept of the multiverse, Ryan Reynolds’ character could even become a member of the Deadpool Corps – the Deadpool Corps being a team consisting of several alternate versions of the Merc with a Mouth. While that would certainly be interesting, there’s no doubt it would also be incredibly chaotic – and we can’t figure out whether or not we’d end up loving or hating it – but whatever happens with Deadpool in the MCU, we’re definitely excited to see it!
How do you think Deadpool will fit into the MCU? Let us know your thoughts!