Marvel Studios faces a conundrum with Deadpool 3. So far the MCU is strictly PG-13 and has hit the sweet spot of appealing to both children and adults. It’s difficult to argue with the tens of billions of dollars made via this strategy, but with Ryan Reynolds’ upcoming sequel the MCU will be going R rated for the first time on the big screen.
What’ll make it especially tricky is that Marvel-mad children are desperate to see the full MCU story, meaning they’ll inevitably be attracted to Deadpool 3 and if Reynolds’ previous two movies are any indication it won’t exactly be family-friendly fun.
But with crisis comes opportunity. There are many Marvel characters that don’t lend themselves to a PG-13 universe and Reynolds apparently envisages his movie as a way to do them justice in the MCU. Two characters our sources are telling us that he specifically has in mind are Blade and the Punisher.
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Mahershala Ali has been cast as Blade with a solo movie in the works, though it seems a long way off yet. Perhaps introducing him in this movie in a similar manner to Spider-Man’s MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War would be a smart way to get audiences caught up with the character.
And, of course, the MCU already has a Punisher in Jon Bernthal. Ever since the Netflix/Marvel deal ended he’s been in limbo, but he was amazing in the role and I believe enough time has passed for Marvel Studios to use him in their own movies/shows. In addition, the somber and serious Frank Castle has often been written as a foil for Wade Wilson in Marvel Comics so it’d be neat to see that partnership in live action.
Before any of that happens Marvel Studios need to figure out how Deadpool will make the jump from Fox’s X universe to the MCU. The obvious answer is through multiversal shenanigans, so I’m holding out hope for a quick cameo or post-credits scene in next year’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Deadpool 3 doesn’t have a release date, though it’ll likely hit theaters sometime in 2023.