|Directed by||Shawn Levy|
|Music by||Rob Simonsen|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios|
Deadpool 3 is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Deadpool, produced by Marvel Studios and Maximum Effort, and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is intended to be the 34th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and a sequel to Deadpool (2016) and Deadpool 2 (2018). The film is being directed by Shawn Levy from a script by the writing team of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick as well as Zeb Wells, Ryan Reynolds, and Levy. Reynolds stars as Wade Wilson / Deadpool alongside Hugh Jackman, Morena Baccarin, Brianna Hildebrand, and Jennifer Garner.
Development on a third Deadpool film began at 20th Century Fox by November 2016, but was placed on hold after the company's acquisition by Disney was completed in March 2019. Control of the character was then given to Marvel Studios, who began developing a new film with Reynolds. It integrates Deadpool with the MCU and is expected to retain the R-rating of the previous films, the first MCU film to have such a rating. Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin joined in November 2020 to write the script, with Reese and Wernick returning from the previous films to rewrite it by March 2022. Levy was hired to direct then. Jackman decided to reprise his role as Wolverine from the X-Men films in August 2022, followed by additional casting in early 2023. Filming began that May in London and at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England, with additional filming in Norfolk. Filming was suspended in July due to the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike and was also expected to occur in Vancouver, Canada.
Deadpool 3 is scheduled to be released in the United States on May 3, 2024, as part of Phase Five of the MCU.
Reprising their roles from the previous Deadpool films are Leslie Uggams as Blind Al, Wilson's blind elderly roommate; Karan Soni as Dopinder, a taxi driver and admirer of Wilson who serves as his de facto chauffeur; Stefan Kapičić as the voice of Colossus, a member of the X-Men with the mutant ability to transform his entire body into organic steel; Shioli Kutsuna as Yukio, Negasonic Teenage Warhead's girlfriend and fellow X-Men member; and Rob Delaney as Peter, a member of Wilson's "X-Force" team. Additionally, Emma Corrin has been cast in a lead villain role, and Matthew Macfadyen is cast in an undisclosed role.
After the success of Deadpool (2016), 20th Century Fox began developing two sequels. The third film was set to include the superhero team X-Force. Deadpool director Tim Miller chose not to return for the sequels due to creative differences with star Ryan Reynolds, and David Leitch was hired to direct Deadpool 2 (2018) in November 2016. Fox was looking for another filmmaker to develop the third film. In March 2017, Deadpool and Deadpool 2 co-writer Rhett Reese said X-Force would be introduced in Deadpool 2 before featuring in a planned spin-off film that would launch "something bigger", separate from the third Deadpool film which would be more personal.
When the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney was announced in December 2017, the Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger said Deadpool would be integrated with the PG-13 rated Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and Disney was willing to make R-rated Deadpool films "as long as we let the audiences know what's coming". He added that a "Marvel-R brand" could be developed for characters like Deadpool. In May 2018, Reynolds said a third Deadpool film may not be made given the franchise's shift of focus to X-Force, but Reese and his writing partner Paul Wernick felt a third film would absolutely happen after Reynolds took a break from the character and the X-Force film was released. They compared this to the crossover film The Avengers (2012) being released between Iron Man 2 (2010) and Iron Man 3 (2013). Leitch expressed interest in returning for another Deadpool film, depending on the "time and place". A third Deadpool film was believed to be in active development by August 2018, with production planned to take place in Atlanta, Georgia, rather than in Vancouver where the previous films were made. Once Upon a Deadpool, a PG-13 version of Deadpool 2, was released at the end of the year. It was watched carefully by Disney and Marvel Studios to see how it might inform their approach to the character in the PG-13 MCU. While promoting Once Upon a Deadpool, Reynolds confirmed that a third Deadpool film was in development, and said it would go in a "completely different direction"; Reynolds later revealed that it was intended to be a road trip film styled after Rashomon (1950) and would have featured Hugh Jackman's X-Men character James "Logan" Howlett / Wolverine. Jackman had himself envisioned a team-up film with Reynolds inspired by 48 Hrs. (1982) while attending a screening of Deadpool in 2016, despite formally retiring from the role of Wolverine at that time. In March 2019, Disney officially acquired Fox and gained the film rights to several Marvel Comics characters for Marvel Studios, including Deadpool and the X-Men. The Marvel-based films that Fox had been developing were placed "on hold".
Josh Brolin revealed in June 2019 that he had discussed his future as Cable with Marvel Studios several times after starring as that character in Deadpool 2. Brolin also portrayed Thanos in the MCU. In October, Zazie Beetz said she would be surprised if she did not reprise her Deadpool 2 role of Domino in a future film. That month, Reese and Wernick said they and Reynolds were taking a "much needed rest from Deadpool" while they waited to hear from Marvel Studios about the future of the franchise. They confirmed that another Deadpool film would be made, that it would be R-rated like the previous films, and that it would integrate the character with the MCU. Wernick stated that there was never a set pitch for a third Deadpool film between their exhaustion following the completion of Deadpool 2 and the announcement of Fox's acquisition by Disney, with Reese adding that they now had to "land on the right idea and once we do, I think we'll be off to the races". The writers felt there would be more characters available in the MCU to act as foils for Deadpool compared to their restricted options among the characters that Fox had control over for the previous films. At that time, Reynolds revealed that he was meeting with Marvel Studios. In December, Reynolds confirmed that he and "the whole team" were actively developing a Deadpool film at Marvel Studios. During his meetings with the studio, Reynolds urged Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige to include Wolverine in the film but was told that this would not be possible.
Throughout October 2020, Reynolds and Marvel Studios met with potential writers for the next Deadpool film, with Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin hired to write the screenplay that November. Reynolds and Marvel Studios felt the writers' pitch was in-line with their own intentions for the film, which would remain R-rated. Reynolds and Marvel Studios were open to Leitch returning for the film, but he was not expected to due to other commitments throughout 2021 and was not involved in hiring the writers. Leitch confirmed he had met with Marvel for the film, but both understood scheduling and other commitments would prevent him from returning. In January 2021, Feige reaffirmed that the film would have an R-rating and would be set in the MCU. Reynolds was supervising the scripting process at that time, and Feige said filming would not begin until after 2021 due to Reynolds' busy schedule. He said Deadpool was a very different type of character to have in the MCU. That July, Reynolds and Taika Waititi promoted their film Free Guy (2021) by appearing as Deadpool and Waititi's MCU character Korg, respectively, in a commercial for that film titled Deadpool and Korg React. Deadpool breaks the fourth wall and discusses joining the MCU with Korg in the commercial. The next month, Reynolds said he expected filming to begin in 2022, which Feige soon confirmed. He said Marvel Studios had a release timeframe in mind for the film. In November, Beetz and Rob Delaney expressed interest in returning as their Deadpool 2 characters Domino and Peter; Beetz ultimately did not return. Reynolds said they were "plugging away" at the film at that time.
Shawn Levy was revealed to be directing the film in March 2022, having previously directed Reynolds in Free Guy and The Adam Project (2022). Levy said filming would not begin until after 2022 due to his busy schedule through the remainder of the year. At the same time, Reynolds confirmed that his production company Maximum Effort would co-produce the film, and Reese and Wernick were hired to rewrite the screenplay. The pair said in June that they were excited to use elements of the MCU as a backdrop for the film, and said Disney and Marvel were supportive of the jokes about the MCU they were writing for Deadpool given the success of the previous films. They would not confirm whether they were starting from scratch on the script or just reworking the previous draft by the Molyneux sisters, and said answering this question could divulge plot details. Also in June, Raymond Chan was revealed to be the production designer after previously working on the Disney+ MCU television series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021). Feige said in July that the film would be elevated from the first two in a similar way to other third installments of MCU film series, such as Captain America: Civil War (2016), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). He added that it was fun to be working with Reynolds.
After being content with his decision to retire as Wolverine for several years, Jackman had a change of heart in mid-August 2022 and decided that a team-up film with Reynolds "could be so much fun; I'll probably have more fun on that movie than anything I've ever done". He contacted Reynolds about joining the film at the same time that Reynolds was preparing to have a meeting with Feige about it. Reynolds had continually entertained the idea of a team-up with Jackman over the prior years. He announced in September that Jackman would return as Wolverine for Deadpool 3, and also announced that the film was set to be released on September 6, 2024. Reynolds and Jackman soon clarified that the film would not interfere with the events of Logan (2017), in which Wolverine dies, and would take place before that film. Jackman said it was important to him that they not interfere with the events of Logan, and the character's return would be the result of a narrative device that Marvel Studios came up with so the characters could move around timelines. He reached out to Logan director James Mangold to inform him of the story for Deadpool 3 and said Mangold was both enthusiastic about the idea and relieved that Logan would not be interfered with.
Pre-production work had begun by October 2022, when filming was expected to begin in January 2023 in Vancouver, before the release was pushed back to November 8, 2024. Jackman indicated that the film may not be titled Deadpool 3; Reynolds soon referred to it as "The Deadpool/Wolverine film", and Jackman later referred to it as Wolverine and Deadpool. Reynolds said in November that filming would begin just before mid-2023, and Levy confirmed in December that filming was set to begin in May 2023. He said developing the film was one of his most fun creative experiences, citing the self-awareness, violence, and foul language. By February 2023, Patrick Stewart, who portrayed Charles Xavier in the X-Men film series and reprised the role in the MCU film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), had been approached to potentially make an appearance in the film. Later that month, Emma Corrin joined the cast in a lead villain role. Marvel had been considering Corrin for the role since late 2022, but had to work through scheduling issues with their other commitments before they signed on. Corrin was cast after Levy saw their performance in a stage production of Virginia Woolf's Orlando. Corrin was excited to play a villain in the film as they had not played many villainous roles before. Levy was revealed to be producing the film alongside Feige and Reynolds, and filming was set to take place in London.
In March 2023, Jeff Sneider of Above the Line reported that the Time Variance Authority, Mobius M. Mobius (portrayed by Owen Wilson), and Miss Minutes (voiced by Tara Strong) from the MCU television series Loki (2021–present) would be featured in the film. Later that month, Matthew Macfadyen joined the cast in an undisclosed role, which was described as a "third wheel" to Deadpool and Wolverine. Karan Soni and Leslie Uggams were set to reprise their roles as Dopinder and Blind Al from the previous Deadpool films. Zeb Wells was co-writing the script by then, after previously working on the MCU television series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022) and Marvel Zombies (2024) as well as the film The Marvels (2023). In early April, Morena Baccarin said she had been asked to reprise her Deadpool role as Vanessa and was in negotiations to do so. She was confirmed to be reprising her role later that month along with Stefan Kapičić returning to provide the voice of Colossus. The following month, Delaney was confirmed to be reprising his role as Peter from Deadpool 2, when Reynolds and Levy were said to have writing credits on the film. Later in May, Brianna Hildebrand and Shioli Kutsuna were revealed to be reprising their respective roles as Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio.
Jackman wears a yellow and blue costume in the film similar to Wolverine's costumes from X-Men: The Animated Series (1992–1997) and the comic books, specifically Astonishing X-Men volume 3 (2004–2013) drawn by John Cassaday; it also features elements of the character's design in the 1970s by John Romita Sr and Dave Cockrum and the 1990s design by Jim Lee. Jackman did not wear a comics-accurate costume in the X-Men film series but it was referenced in X-Men (2000) and The Wolverine (2013). The costume was met with a positive reaction, and some commentators believed it indicated that Jackman was portraying a different iteration of the character from the X-Men films, such as a live-action adaptation of the animated series or comics versions. Reynolds has an updated costume from the previous Deadpool films as well, featuring a brighter shade of red and larger black circles on his mask. This is reminiscent of the character's comic book design during the 1990s.
Principal photography began on May 22, 2023, in London, and at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England, under the working title Tidal Wave. George Richmond serves as the cinematographer. Filming was previously expected to begin in January 2023, and then around April 2023. It was not expected to be impacted by the 2023 Writers Guild of America strike that began in early May outside of Reynolds being unable to contribute to the script during filming, as he had done during the previous two films, in compliance with the strike rules. Marvel Studios was reportedly planning to shoot what they could during principal photography and make any necessary writing adjustments during the film's already scheduled reshoots. Levy worked with Marvel Studios and the creatives of the Netflix series Stranger Things (on which Levy is an executive producer) to allow him to direct at least one episode of that series' final season, since he was aware that the planned schedule for Deadpool 3 would overlap with production on Stranger Things before the latter was delayed because of the writers' strike. In June, the film's release was moved forward to May 3, 2024. Filming for a car crash scene took place on location in London in early July 2023. Shortly after, Jennifer Garner was revealed to be appearing in the film as Elektra, after previously portraying a version of that character in the Fox-produced film Daredevil (2003) and its spin-off Elektra (2005). Filming with Reynolds and Jackman also took place in Norfolk, before production was suspended on July 14 because of the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. Filming was also expected to occur in Vancouver.
Rob Simonsen was hired to compose the film's score, after previously working with Levy on The Adam Project and the fourth season of Stranger Things, by mid-July 2023.
Deadpool 3 is scheduled to be released in the United States on May 3, 2024. It was previously scheduled for September 6 of that year, and then November 8. It will be part of Phase Five of the MCU.