Mild spoilers for Deadpool 2.
Deadpool 2 may be striking with the strength of Juggernaut, but don't expect a direct sequel Deadpool 3 any time soon. It took over a decade for Ryan Reynolds to get his Merc with a Mouth passion project green-lit, but no time at all for the sequel; by the time Deadpool released, a second movie was already in development.
That sequel is now here and shaping up to be an even bigger hit than the las; its reviews are on a similar par, with many critics comparing it favorably on account of expanded scope to the action and comedy, and already it's smashing box office records. As such, it's easy to expect Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese are already be working on the script for Deadpool 3 and Ryan Reynolds is getting his spandex body ready. But don't hold your breath for mutant powers just yet.
The next time audiences see Wade Wilson, Cable and Domino is unlikely to be in Deadpool 3, with Fox instead moving a proper X-Force movie into production. Drew Goddard will write and direct, and although no release date is yet set, based on the current X-Men slate - 2019 includes Dark Phoenix, New Mutants and possibly Gambit - 2020 seems like a fair bet. What to expect beyond the returning characters is unclear at this point given how the X-Force formed in Deadpool met a humiliating end.
With X-Force the priority, that puts Deadpool 3 on the backburner. Wernick and Reese have said they're looking forward to the break, having written a Deadpool draft in some form every year since getting involved with Wade Wilson in 2009. Reynolds, however, has gone further, saying that he's not sure the third film will happen at all:
"For Deadpool 3, you know, it's an odd thing to say but I don't think there will be a Deadpool 3. I think going forward it would be an X-Force movie, which would be his team so to speak."
Now that Cable and Domino have solidified themselves as stars in their own right, it would be counterintuitive to go back to just Deadpool, which perhaps offers a relief for Reynolds on a creative level. It's definitely worth noting that he isn't trying to put an end to Deadpool or his corner of the X-Men universe. Josh Brolin has talked about a four-movie arc, and it's clear that X-Force isn't in anyway the end-game.
Of course, there's another factor here: Marvel. Or, rather, the pending Disney purchase of Fox that would see the X-Men, Deadpool and X-Force return home to Marvel Studios. Disney CEO Bob Iger has made clear he's interested in more Deadpool, even hinting at a "Marvel R" label, but the logistics of such a move and the consolations that may need to be paid put the entire idea in question. If it goes through, the deal will be finalized in mid-2019, around the time of X-Force's expected production, meaning Deadpool 3 will undoubtedly be affected.
We're talking, though, of the superhero who was bastardized once and spent seven years slowly clawing his way back by way of leaked test footage. A rights change is nothing. With Deadpool, you should never say never.
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020