Deadpool is a character whose path to popularity is a very interesting one. He appeared as a mock character based on DC’s Deathstroke and after an initial run was abandoned even by his own creators. Yet, as he was revitalised, he has become one of Marvel’s most popular characters due to his unorthodox nature and the stories he is involved with. There’s nothing that Deadpool cannot do and while he did star off as a villian, today – he is most certainly a hero (well… most of the time). This is why it should not come as a surprise that the two Deadpool movies are so popular, but you might wonder – are they part of the MCU?
The MCU and the X-Men franchise
Before we actually write about the two Deadpool movies, we are going to give you a brief introduction to the MCU and the X-Men franchise.
The X-Men franchise started in 2000. The rights to the characters were, at the time, in the hands of 20th Century Fox. In 2000, Marvel was not even a relevant player in the market and the characters it had rights to weren’t really something people wanted to see. The X-Men, on the other hand, proved to be a hit and 20th Century Fox kicked off its franchise strongly. The X-Men series was the first superhero cinematic universe and we can freely state that MCU copied a lot of these elements while building its cinematic universe.
The MCU, on the other hand, is a large cinematic project by Disney and Marvel Studios that started in 2008 with the Iron Man movie. Despite being set in the same comic book universe, the MCU was completely distinct from the X-Men franchise and since two different studios owned the rights to these characters, there was no chance of these characters meeting.
Thing changed when Disney bought 20th Century Fox and the rights to the X-Men franchise, which officially came to an end in 2020. All the characters are now part of the MCU, but the movies that were part of Fox’s series, although now owned by Disney, aren’t part of the MCU and should be viewed as a separate cinematic series.
Where do the Deadpool movies fit in?
Now that we know about the structure of these two cinematic universes, let us see where the movies fit in.
Deadpool movie is closely tied to the X-Men franchise. And while Deadpool is not an X-Man himself, he makes several reference to that cinematic universe and some members of the X-Men appear in the movie. Since the MCU was actually quite developed at the time, there should be no doubt that Deadpool is not part of that universe, but rather of the X-Men franchise.
The second movie reaffirms Deadpool’s role in the X-Men franchise. Everything that was confirmed and suggested in the first movie is further reaffirmed, but on top of that – we even have a group cameo of the younger versions of the X-Men characters that appeared in the movies. This finally confirmed, for all those that doubted it, that Deadpool is not part of the MCU.
Is Deadpool 3 going to be part of the MCU?
A third Deadpool movie seems to be a sure thing, based on how popular and lucrative the first two have been. Ryan Reyonlds confirmed that a third movie was in development by Marvel as far back as 2019, but it wasn’t until 2020, when the screenwriters were officially hired, that Marvel Studios confirmed a third movie, with Reynolds set to return to the role. Still, is that movie going to be part of the MCU?
Based on what Reynolds said, this seemed like a certain thing, but Disney’s recent move during its Investors Day seems to hint at something completely different. Namely, despite Deadpool 3 being in development, Disney did not include the title on its list of upcoming MCU project during Investors Day; the list goes up to 2022. So what does this mean?
It could mean two things, but we don’t know for sure. One, Deadpool 3 might not have a rough release date as of yet so Marvel didn’t want to put the movie on the list, as they are unsure when it might be released. This is a more optimistic possibility.
On the other hand, this might be a subtle hint from Marvel that Deadpool, while continuing his adventures, won’t be part of the MCU, which would also make sense because his humour and the general level of violence of his movies are completely incompatible with the MCU. This is a more pessimistic solution.
But, based on what we know now, we have no clue as to which one it is, i.e., whether Deadpool 3 is going to be part of the MCU or not. The movie is happening, but whether it is going to be a standalone film or part of something bigger, we don’t know yet, which is why we advise you to keep following us for more news and updates.