Deadpool is easily the surprise mega-hit of 2016. The film not only provides a welcome dressing-down of the omnipresent superhero genre, it also exploits audience’s familiarity with the genre. Most of Deadpool’s (Ryan Reynolds) fourth-wall breaking digs in the movie are aimed at his official connections to the X-Men cinematic franchise – with Deadpool, at one point, asking Colossus if he’s being taken to meet the Patrick Stewart or James McAvoy version of Professor X.
However, there were also some less-than-official references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe planned for Deadpool that ended up being dropped from the final theatrical cut of the film. It’s now being reported that one such Deadpool deleted scene would have established a (non-canonically) shared location between the movie and Captain America: Civil War.
Spotted by a CBM user, the scene in question would have depicted main villain Ajax being released from the maximum-security supervillain prison The Raft prior to his involvement in the (present-set) events of the film. The Raft is a prominent location in the Marvel Comics Universe, and also made a (non-deleted) appearance in Captain America: Civil War; where its facilities are used to house Captain America’s anti-registration heroes who are captured by Iron Man’s government-backed team. The connection was not intended to be official, as evidenced by the two versions looking entirely different and no inter-film reference being made.
While Marvel retains the rights to the majority of its original comics properties, the feature film rights to several prominent franchises were licensed to competing studios prior to the comics publisher starting their own production house and being acquired by Disney. Arrangement has since been made to place Marvel back in co-control of the Sony-owned Spider-Man films, the X-Men brand (including Deadpool) is still exclusive to Fox. That means the X-Universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe are not able to officially cross-over.
While The Raft sequence was ultimately deleted from the final cut of Deadpool, several other nods to the wider Marvel Universe were included in the theatrical release – albeit reworked so as not to draw the ire of Disney and Marvel’s legal teams. The film’s climactic battle takes place on a decommissioned carrier that looks eerily similar to a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, and a shady figure identified as “Bob” corresponds to a Marvel Comics fixture popularly known as “Hydra Bob.”
Wolverine 3 opens in U.S. theaters on March 3rd, 2017, followed by unannounced X-Men films on October 6th, 2017, March 2nd, 2018, and June 29th, 2018. Deadpool 2, Gambit, New Mutants and X-Force are currently in development.