Crossovers are all the rage these days. Pulling one popular character into another’s realm has been going on in literature and popular culture for decades. However, it was the sequential art realm that truly gave rise to the cross-character bonanza. In the film world, though, any old crossovers fans can imagine aren’t so easily achieved. For instance, it took some serious negotiating between Sony and Kevin Feige to get Spider-Man into Captain America: Civil War and even the directors of that film seem skeptical Netflix's Defenders will ever crossover into the film world.
On the other hand, Fox’s mutant-filled cinematic universe, sometimes called the Singer-verse (for X-Men director Bryan Singer) has a handful of properties that can interact with relative ease. And since Deadpool’s success at the box office left fans yearning to see Merc with a Mouth enter into the larger X-Universe, it sounds like they may get their wish.
According to Variety, Bryan Singer discussed the depth of Fox’s franchise after X-Men Days of Future Past "altered the timeline." When asked about the possibility of bringing Wade Wilson into the X-Men’s path, Singer seemed optimistic. Unfortunately, there is a caveat. Singer explains:
“If you take a character as irreverent and meta as Deadpool and connect him to something as grounded and serious as X-Men, you have to do it carefully and gently. When you drop them all in together it can be a disaster. That has to be done delicately, but there’s plenty of room to do it.”
Naturally, interspersing Deadpool into an X-film would need tweaking to balance the tone. To ease Wade Wilson into the more somber X-franchises, Singer could use the X-Force film, something Ryan Reynolds seems focused on. Singer feels that with the right angle, an X-Men/Deadpool exchange would work well, though. He says:
“I think the underbelly [could be explored]. There’s always something interesting about a school that’s got a military aspect beneath its classrooms. Is there another layer to all of that? Is there another layer to the Hellfire Club? The idea of, ‘Who’s running the world?’ — that’s something that was touched upon in ‘First Class’ but has yet to be fully explored. It just has to be explored in a very gentle, methodical way. And I’ve seen it go haywire. I’m not going to be specific where I believe it has. The audience will tell you. But when it’s done right, it all can connect.”
With so many stories for the X-Men franchise yet to tell, it seems only fitting that Deadpool would find his way into a mutant movie. It’s really only a matter of when and how. Wilson’s already been ‘recruited’ by the Professor X and his team in his standalone movie. And time-travelling, on-and-off X-Men member Cable would be the perfect buffer zone for Deadpool’s antics if he joins up with the team.
Singer does have a point, though. In order for a Deadpool/X-Men crossover to work, the serious X-franchise needs to match up with Wade Wilson’s fourth-wall breaking, snarky hijinks. An R-rated X-Force film featuring the more ribald members of the X-Men is only one possible gateway for the Merc with a Mouth. The upcoming Wolverine 3 or future adult X-fare could also accommodate Deadpool into the X-Men’s realm.
No matter how Singer and crew do it, a joint venture between Deadpool and the X-Men could inject a new, snide life into the franchise after nearly 20 years of cinematic exploits.
X-Men: Apocalypse will open in U.S. theaters on May 27, 2016, followed by Wolverine 3on March 3, 2017, and unannounced X-Men films on October 6, 2017 (possibly Gambit), January 12, 2018 (possibly Deadpool 2), and July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.