The future of “Deadpool 3” has been up in the air ever since Disney acquired the rights to the franchise with its purchase of 21st Century Fox, officialized in 2019. The most crucial change necessitated by the purchase was the incorporation of Deadpool into the MCU. This raised obvious questions about what the movie might look like, with fans worrying that Disney’s notoriously family-friendly content policies would water down Ryan Reynolds’ motormouthed R-rated humor.
As the movie continued in development, fans were assured multiple times that Deadpool will remain Deadpool in the third film. Meanwhile, other storms were brewing as the project churned through writers and directors, finally bringing Shawn Levy aboard to helm. Principal photography began in May 2023. But just as it seemed like the project was finally on track, Hollywood’s labor unions began their largest push in decades for fair compensation. The same month “Deadpool 3” started filming, the WGA strike impacted Reynolds by preventing him from improvising lines on the fly, as doing so would have been considered writing work. Finally, as the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA joined the WGA on the picket lines in July, “Deadpool 3” ceased production entirely.
Given that the first two “Deadpool” movies were massive hits, with “Deadpool 2” pulling in about $735 million, the omission of “Deadpool 3” from Disney’s latest earnings presentation feels like an ominous portent of yet another setback for the long-dogged project. Pending another official statement from the House of Mouse, how long the wait will now be is anyone’s guess.
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