Ryan Reynolds went ahead and did what he does — pull the rug from under our feet by announcing that Hugh Jackman will be reprising his role as the adamantium-powered mutant Wolverine in Deadpool 3. We have addressed how this new development will affect the status of 20th Century Fox’s Logan. But our current concern is not whether it would be considered canon anymore or not, what is actually melting our minds is that the announcement throws the existing theories about Wolverine’s arrival in the MCU out of whack.
Is Wolverine already in the MCU or not?
Unless you are one of the rare MCU fans who gives its TV shows a hard pass — judging you for that FYI — you must have already come across She-Hulk teasing Wolverine’s presence, not just in the MCU but on Earth-616 to be precise. In one of its episodes, Jennifer Walters is browsing the internet and one of the ‘Related Article’ links is headlined “Man fights with metal claws in a bar brawl.” It is a no-brainer that it was a reference to Wolverine, who was seen fighting in a bar in the first X-Men film.
Though the possibility that mutants have always existed on Earth-616 was a hard pill to digest, fans presumed that Wolverine’s preference to stay in the shadows could have been the reason why his presence went under the radar for so long.
All in all, after the She-Hulk episode it was confirmed that Wolverine exists somewhere in the same reality housing the current and future Avengers. But that was until Ryan Reynolds burst our dream bubble by announcing that the much-delayed Deadpool 3 will see Hugh Jackman reprise his role as Wolverine.
We are by no means upset by this very fantastic update — Jackman had broken hearts when he had given a very set-in-stone confirmation of never playing the mutant again after Logan. So, Marvel Studios managing to turn his no into an affirmative is monumental progress. The announcement has pacified all the angry fans who were miffed by the absence of the film during comic-con and the recently held D23. Waiting for Wade Wilson’s MCU debut just became worth it.
But it does bring send all the theories about how Wolverine was always there in the prime timeline on a rollercoaster ride.
Does this mean Deadpool has also been here this whole time? To state it bluntly, it would be a ridiculous assumption as we have seen the very public antics of the mutant — it is impossible that no one on Earth-616 has heard of him and he has never made it to the headlines. The only way he will be joining the MCU is by coming in from a different reality.
So, if he is coming from a different universe, is the MCU bringing in two alternate Wolverines — one existing in the prime timeline and one in Deadpool-land? Or will Earth-616’s Wolverine somehow land in his universe or has something of the sort already happened with their Wolverine who crash-landed in Earth-616 during all the multiversal chaos?
There is also the fact that Reynolds asks Jackman whether he wants to Wolverine “one more time.” Does this mean that Jackman will be the Wolverine in Deadpool’s universe and appear only in Deadpool 3, just like Patrick Stewart’s Professor X in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
The only thing that can be said for sure is that the MCU is surely not planning the debut of Wolverine with a stretched-out origin story. Whether we talk about the mutant She-Hulk teased or the one appearing in Deadpool 3, both already have adamantium claws — the show mentions a man with “metal claws” and something similar is seen slashing the logo of the upcoming film starring the Merc with a Mouth.
Given MCU’s latest streak of keeping things under solid wraps — perhaps they learned from the majorly leaked Spider-Man No Way Home fiasco — we better park our asses and get ready to spin theories as it will be a long time before we get any concrete answers.
Deadpool 3 is set to release in theaters on September 6, 2024. It will be kickstarting Phase Six of the MCU, followed by Fantastic Four, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and Avengers: Secret Wars.