Deadpool 2 only just premiered in China, but star, producer, and co-writer Ryan Reynolds confirmed that a sequel is already in preproduction — although things might feel a little different the third time around. At Deadpool 2‘s Chinese premiere, Reynolds claimed that his team is “looking to go in a completely different direction” for the Merc with a Mouth’s next set of mutation-fueled shenanigans.
“Often, they reboot or change a character maybe like four movies too late,” Reynolds said, according to Variety. That tracks with what Deadpool 2 producer and co-writer Rhett Reese told CinemaBlend. The next Deadpool flick, Reese said, “contracts back down” into something “personal and small” after Deadpool 2 expanded its universe by introducing characters like Cable, Domino, and the ill-fated members of X-Force.
It’s not hard to ascribe a few mouse-related motivations to these changes as well. In July 2018, Disney officially bought 21st Century Fox and its assets, which include Deadpool and the X-Men, for $71.3 billion. Given that Disney’s brand revolves around family-friendly fare, the purchase raises many questions about how the company will reconcile its image with Deadpool’s extremely adult sense of humor.
An all-ages take on Deadpool could have international implications, too. Deadpool 2‘s surprise release in China only happened after Fox submitted a PG-13 edition of the movie to Chinese authorities. The recut version of Deadpool 2, known stateside as Once Upon a Deadpool, earned a paltry $6 million during its brief theatrical run. In part, that can be chalked up to the fact that the original Deadpool 2 arrived on home media months earlier, but it’s still unclear how down fans are for a cleaned-up version of the raunchy superhero. After all, Deadpool’s irreverent edge is what makes him so special.
Deadpool 3 is far from the only Deadpool project currently in production. X-Force, which will be written and directed by Cabin in the Woods‘ Drew Goddard, will reunite Reynolds with his Deadpool 2 co-star Josh Brolin, who will return as the time-hopping warrior Cable. Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld told Nerdist that a Deadpool cartoon is also in the cards. FX and Fox axed a different Deadpool animated series, which would’ve been developed by Donald Glover, in 2018, citing “creative differences.”
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