Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says the Deadpool movies won't change, now that Disney owns the X-Men rights. The Mouse House finalized its purchase of Fox's assets last month, giving it full control over their IPs like Avatar, Alien, and The Simpsons, to name but a few. It also gave Disney the rights to both the Fantastic Four and X-Men films, which includes the Ryan Reynolds-led Deadpool and its sequel (not to mention, the PG-13 Once Upon a Deadpool cut). Of course, this begs the question: what comes next for The Merc With a Mouth and his pals?
In the past, Disney CEO Bob Iger has indicated that the studio will be pretty hands-off when it comes to the Deadpool franchise, given its current success. The Mouse House even plans to release more R-rated Deadpool movies in the future, though probably separate from the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the time being (lest it lose its family-friendly, PG-13 brand). Feige, for his part, seems to be on the same page with Iger, as far as Marvel Studios' plans for the Deadpool property and its potential spinoffs (like X-Force) are concerned.
Speaking to Variety, Feige touched briefly on Marvel Studios' plans for the Deadpool franchise. As he put it:
“When we were purchased, Bob [Iger] said to us, ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. There’s no question that Deadpool is working, so why would we change it?”
Reading between the lines, it seems the tentative plan is for the Deadpool movies to carry on business as usual, post Disney-Fox deal. They might not be included in the MCU anytime soon (something Feige also hinted at during his Variety interview), but that could honestly be for the best. Arguably, a big part of the reason that Reynolds' take on The Merc With a Mouth has worked is because he's been free to play in his own version of the X-Men universe, untethered to the continuity of the mainline films. With the X-Men expected to be rebooted for the MCU after Dark Phoenix hit theaters in June, the Fox era of the franchise is about to come to an end anyway - so why start pretending that Deadpool is really all that connected to his mutant peers (and, in turn, due for a similar makeover for the MCU) now?
If there's a downside to this, however, it's that Deadpool is unlikely to share the screen with the superheroes of the MCU in the immediate future. As much as fans would want to see Wade Wilson hang out with Peter Parker in New York or show up at the Avengers' headquarters, that's not going to happen until his movies suddenly become PG-13 rated or Marvel Studios start making R-rated MCU films in general. Still, who knows: Once Upon a Deadpool suggested that Reynolds' version of the character could ultimately work in a PG-13 world without completing sacrificing his "edgier" qualities, so a compromise might be in order to make an MCU crossover possible. If not, then at least Wade can still crack wise about Mickey Mouse keeping him on a long leash in Deadpool 3.