Samuel L. Jackson might frequently be touted as the single highest-grossing actor in history having appeared in movies with a cumulative box office gross of over $27 billion, but if you want to split hairs and include talents that aren’t professionals, then the honor falls to Stan Lee instead.
Thanks to his recurring cameos in almost every feature-length adaptation of a Marvel property, the comic book legend’s filmography accrued a haul of over $30 billion from theaters before his final onscreen role in Avengers: Endgame, which came after his passing in November 2018 at the age of 95.
It’s going to be weird getting used to the idea of Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbusters without the requisite Stan Lee cameo, but a new report is claiming that the void could be filled by Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool. In a story focused on alleged behind the scenes disagreements between star and studio over the censorship trying to be forced upon the Merc with a Mouth’s first solo outing at his new home, it’s mentioned that Wade Wilson is set to occupy the Stan Lee role in the MCU.
There’s not much in the way of additional information, but it wouldn’t be too difficult to have Deadpool pop up during the end credits to pass judgement on the movie that audiences have just seen. Having him appear when the narrative is ongoing would be an altogether trickier proposition, though, given his self-aware and fourth wall-breaking nature, which could easily ruin the immersion, but Marvel Studios will be keen to start monetizing their newly acquired and hugely marketable asset sooner rather than later.
While the report calls into question just how smoothly the development process is progressing on Deadpool 3, it was never going to be sunshine and roses dropping an irreverent R-rated character into a staunchly PG-13 environment, and it was always expected that at least a couple of setbacks would arise.