In true Deadpool fashion, Ryan Reynolds bypassed Marvel’s giant San Diego Comic-Con and D23 events and instead updated fans on the status of Deadpool 3 via a quippy video on Twitter. On Tuesday, Reynolds announced that not only was the Deadpool sequel officially in the works at Marvel Studios (after being in limbo in the wake of Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox), but the Merc with a Mouth would bring one of his X-Men friends along for the ride: Wolverine. Despite retirement, Hugh Jackman would pick up his claws one more time for Deadpool 3.
The news immediately raised questions about what the heck Deadpool 3 would be about, and when it would take place. Jackman’s run as Wolverine ended definitively — as far as comic book movie deaths go — in 2017’s Logan. But in a follow-up video tweeted by Jackman, dropped with the message “some answers-ish,” he and Reynolds insist that Deadpool 3 won’t undermine the character’s bittersweet finale, which earned writer-director James Mangold a frickin’ Oscar nomination.
“Logan died in Logan. Not touching that,” Reynolds says. “What actually happens in our film is, these two fucking guys...” Cue “Jitterbug” by Wham!
Known tricksters Reynolds and Jackman aren’t ready to spoil just how Marvel Studios will integrate the once-and-future Wolverine into Deadpool’s adventure (or the broader Marvel Cinematic Universe), but their comment on the Logan matter feels sincere. Wolverine popping back up in a movie does kinda fuck with Logan’s death in Logan, and Jackman’s commitment to “leaving a bit in the tank,” as he explained in a 2017 Entertainment Weekly story eulogizing the end of his run. Of all people, it was Jackman’s pal Jerry Seinfeld who convinced him to walk away on a high note, which he found in Logan. Mangold promised Jackman that the film would be Wolverine’s Unforgiven.
“I thought, ‘This is a reason to do another movie and a reason to do no more after it,’” Jackman told EW. “But we really needed to earn it [...] Logan is someone who is most scared of intimacy, and so he wants to be alone and do things for himself. The idea that, in the end, he must give his life to save someone else… I thought that was really powerful.”
Jackman gave up the adamantium claws and super-healing powers after a 17-year run as the character, putting him up there with franchise-committed actors like Sean Connery as Bond (an on-and-off 22 years), Vin Diesel (who’ll have been fasting and furiousing for 22 years after 2023’s Fast X), and Tom Cruise (who will hit 28 years playing Ethan Hunt when Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two rolls around in 2024). Logan wasn’t just a powerful end of a character’s life, but the wrap on a performance that proved comic book source material could be dramatic and cool as hell. Now he’s back for Deadpool 3, which is almost certainly going to be a joke. The good news is: Jackman is Wolverine. So maybe who cares. Let the man end with a goof.
The addition of Wolverine to Deadpool 3 suggests that original plans for the threequel likely changed since Deadpool 2 took in $786.3 million worldwide in 2018. That film introduced Josh Brolin as Cable, and its success initiated plans for Cabin in the Woods and ex-Sinister Six writer Drew Goddard to write and direct an X-Factor team-up movie featuring Deadpool. That didn’t happen, but Deadpool 2 writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick may have done Reynolds a solid by building a perfect logic-breaking MacGuffin into the movie that fits nicely into the MCU’s current direction: time travel. Or is it multiverse-travel?
Deadpool 2’s wild post-credit sequence saw Deadpool jumping back to the worlds of his clumsy, mouthless first attempt at playing Deadpool in X-Men: Origins - Wolverine and eventually our own reality in order to save Ryan Reynolds from starring in a Green Lantern. In a stretch of films that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has dubbed the “Multiverse Saga,” it is not impossible to imagine Deadpool 2 successfully setting the character up to hop around universes, picking up a different version of Wolverine than the one we saw die in Logan, then making their way to the formal MCU. Anything is possible.
The most befuddling part of the announcement is what Hugh Jackman returning as Wolverine means for the future of the X-Men in the Marvel Universe. A number of Marvel shows and movies from this year have planted mutant seeds that could be sowed for an X-Men introduction in the not-too-distant future, and comic readers know the upcoming Avengers: Secret Wars could be the perfect opportunity for an X-Person to swing by. But so far, there’s been little formal talk of an actual X-Men project, save for Disney Plus’ upcoming X-Men: The Animated Series reboot X-Men ’97. Rumors have circulated prior to Jackman’s casting in Deadpool 3 that actor contracts cemented during X-Men’s Fox years could prevent new actors from stepping into well-known roles, and keep Marvel Studios’ ambition to bring the group to screen on the burner until after 2025. Deadpool 3 should at least satiate the appetite for claw-related action in the MCU until bigger plans take shape.
Deadpool 3, starring Ryan Reynolds as the Merc with a Mouth and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, is really, really happening. There’s even a release date: Sept. 6, 2024. You better believe Deadpool knows Logan was supposed to be Hugh Jackman’s last Wolverine movie and will turn to camera and make a joke about it when the time is right.