Following the billion-dollar Marvel Studios hits The Avengers and Iron Man 3, this year both Sony and Fox laid out plans for unified superheroic cinematic universes of their own with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past, respectively. The former may have been a disappointment at the box office and to many fans, but the latter managed to become the highest-grossing X-Men film to date and ushered in a new era of storytelling possibilities.
However, despite the fact that X-Men: Apocalypse and a third Wolverine film have already been announced, Fox's large-scale plans for the Marvel mutants - beyond wrapping up the First Class trilogy and bringing Hugh Jackman back for yet another Wolverine solo film - remained unclear. Even with recent news that the long-rumored Deadpool film is finally in the works, it wasn't clear if the Merc with the Mouth would truly exist in the same film world as Wolverine and company.
Now, courtesy of ComicBook.com, X-Men: Days of Future Past writer/producer Simon Kinberg has set the record straight.
Here's what he had to say on the matter:
"There’s definitely a sort of overall plan that we’ve all been talking about for the 'X-Men' universe now, and 'Deadpool' obviously fits into that. So yeah, I guess I would say it's part of certainly an overall timeline and thought process that goes into these films, some of which is inspired by the comics and some which is inspired by seeing what Marvel's done with telling a larger tapestry and linking all those movies together, even as they stand independently as well. The same kind of thought is going to go into these 'X-Men' movies at Fox."
Kinberg, of course, is keeping details of Fox's plan for the X-Men to himself, but the very confirmation that Ryan Reynolds' upcoming take on Deadpool is considered part of the X-Men films is intriguing.
On the one hand, it's a no-brainer for Fox to tie the film in, as it will help make the edgier character more palatable (and, more importantly, marketable) to casual moviegoers only familiar with the version of Deadpool featured in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. However, it also lends credence to recent reports that the film will be rated PG-13 so that it can fit in with the existing films and play to the same audience.
Still, the fact that Deadpool will exist within the X-Men universe doesn't necessarily mean that fans should expect the title character to be hanging out with Wolverine for half of its runtime, but it does open up the possibility that some supporting actors from the X-Men films (some of whom appeared in certain versions of the script) could reprise their roles. This would also depend on where Deadpool would fall in the timeline with its predecessors. As fans well know, the last thing this franchise needs is more continuity problems.
In the meantime, this news bodes well for the X-Men franchise in that, at the very least, it looks like the team at Fox are applying Marvel's signature brand of big-picture thinking to the beloved mutant heroes.
Are you excited that Deadpool is tied into the other X-Men films, or were you hoping for this to be a standalone adventure? Sound off in the comments below with your thoughts.
Deadpool hits theaters on February 12, 2016, followed by X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016, the third Wolverine film on March 3, 2017, and an untitled X-Men film on July 13, 2018.