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? Keep reading to find out.
No, the two Deadpool movies are not part of the MCU. They were initially part of Fox’s X-Men franchise – although they weren’t part of the main narrative – and although the rights, along with the movies, have been bought by Marvel as part of Disney’s acquisition of Fox, the movies do not belong in the MCU.
Marvel Comics is a comic book publishing company founded in 1939 under the name Timely Comics. Timely Comics changed its name to Marvel Comics in 1961. Along with its chief rival, DC Comics, Marvel Comics is the biggest and most important mainstream comic book publisher in the United States.
Marvel has, along with DC Comics, contributed to the development of American comics, specializing in the superhero genre. Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby are just some of the pivotal writers who’ve helped shape the style and universes of Marvel Comics.
Throughout the years, Marvel has created several pivotal superhero characters and has launched successful franchises such as the Avengers, X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy, all of which have been adapted into movies, TV shows and video games.
Some of the most famous Marvel Comics heroes are Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Wolverine, Professor X, Storm, Cyclops, Jean Grey; but, the franchise also includes famous supervillains such as Thanos, Apocalypse, Galactus, Loki, Magneto, the Mandarin, Doctor Octopus, the Green Goblin, Venom and others.
Now that we’ve given you a short introduction, let us discuss the topic of this article in more detail.
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.
Ajax’s convoy is attacked by Deadpool. He begins his attack by eliminating the guards inside a car, before attacking the rest of the convoy. After a long skirmish, where he is forced to use only twelve remaining bullets, Deadpool captures Ajax (whose real name is Francis, which Deadpool keeps reminding him of). After the intervention of the X-Men, Colossus and Negasonic come to prevent Deadpool from causing more havoc and rally him to Professor X’s cause; Ajax manages to escape by removing the sabre from his shoulder. At the same time, he learns the true identity of Deadpool: Wade Wilson. In flashbacks, we look back on the mercenary life of Wade Wilson and on his relationship with his girlfriend Vanessa Carlysle, a former prostitute with whom he will live for a year before marrying her. The couple will learn of Wade’s terminal cancer at the end of the year. He chooses to follow a stranger who offers him a treatment that will make him a superhero. He volunteers for the program for Vanessa’s sake, as he wants to stay with her. Once in the secret underground lab, scientists led by Ajax torture him to awaken his mutant genes. While Ajax puts him through yet another torture session by placing him in a machine which, by filtering the oxygen, will prevent him from breathing properly and cause him to suffocate, his mutant gene is finally awakened. The machine also causes terrible damage to his body and disfigures him. At the same time, Ajax reveals that Wade will never be a hero: he intends to put a control collar on him and make him a slave. Rendered almost immortal, Wade escapes from the laboratory. He then joins the mercenary bar and chooses a nickname, Deadpool, before starting to put together a costume on the advice of his bartender friend, nicknamed the Weasel. He then begins a fight against Ajax’s organization in order to find him. This one confessed to being the only one able to cure him, thus allowing him to find the love of Vanessa. The story then resumes its course, and we see Deadpool in some sort of dilapidated house run by Al, a blind old woman addicted to cocaine who serves as his roommate. There, he regains his strength – he cut off his hand to escape Colossus – while Ajax heals himself. The latter decides to kidnap Deadpool’s girlfriend, forcing him to intervene in an epic fight in the ruins of a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. At the end of this fight during which Vanessa fails to suffer the same fate as Deadpool, the latter defeats Ajax and kills him, after the latter confesses to having lied to him: he cannot cure him. Everything ends well, however, as Vanessa accepts Wade’s new appearance.
As we can see from the synopsis, the 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.
Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool, has been fighting criminal gangs around the world for two years. Wade returns home to Vanessa, with whom he prepares to have a child. Suddenly, bandits break into their house and kill Vanessa. Believing himself to be guilty for the death of his beloved, Deadpool makes several attempts to commit suicide. Colossus removes Wade’s body parts, blown apart by the explosion, from the rubble of his apartment and takes them to the X-Mansion. Deadpool recovers and is escorted by Colossus and Negasonic as an X-Men trainee to an orphanage called the Mutant Reeducation Center. There, a teenage mutant Russell Collins (Firefist) threatens to blow everything around him to smithereens and kill everyone who approaches him. The young man insists that the shelter workers mocked him. Hearing Russell’s words, Deadpool kills one of the workers. He and Russell are arrested and put in a prison for mutants. Meanwhile, the cyborg soldier Cable breaks into the prison to kill Russell. Wade, protecting the boy, falls from the prison wall in the explosion, taking the cyborg with him. Russell remains in prison. Deadpool assembles a team to rescue a mutant boy. The squad he formed is parachuted onto a convoy that transports prisoners, but all members of the squad, except for Deadpool and Domino, die from an unsuccessful landing. Cable engages in a fight with Deadpool, during which the convoy is destroyed. Russell, along with Juggernaut, one of the transported prisoners, escapes. After the battle, Cable agrees to help Wade stop Russell and Juggernaut from destroying the mutant asylum. Deadpool, Domino and Cable arrive at the orphanage and fight Juggernaut, while Russell tries to kill the orphanage director. The heroes lose to Juggernaut, Colossus, Warhead and her girlfriend Yukio come to their aid. Wade tries to persuade Russell to end the carnage. He puts on a collar that neutralizes superpowers, and asks the boy to kill him. Cable shoots Russell, but Deadpool takes the bullet and dies. As a result, the future is changing. Cable goes back in time and attaches the badge Vanessa gave to Deadpool at the beginning of the movie, thus saving him from his bullet. Russell no longer wants to kill the director of the shelter, but then the taxi driver Dopinder deliberately knocks him down. In the post-credits scenes, Warhead and Yukio restore a time travel device that ran out of charges during the movie. Deadpool travels in time and rescues Vanessa, then Peter from X-Force. He then kills his copy from X-Men Begins, Wolverine and actor Ryan Reynolds, who has the script for the film Green Lantern. In the extended version of the film, Deadpool also appears at the cradle of Hitler, but cannot raise his hand to the baby and says that he will send Cable at this time, who “loves to kill children.”
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.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!