Deadpool can exist in the MCU with one big change, says director

Deadpool in full costume
(Image credit: Fox)

Could Deadpool exist in the MCU? It's been a question on many fans' minds ever since Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox – the studio behind the R-rated superhero's two live-action movies – in March 2019.

In the two years since, however, we've had confirmation that the wisecracking comic book character will make his way into the MCU (more on this below) even if that won't be anytime soon.

While we know that Deadpool 3 will take place in the MCU, some individuals are unsure that Marvel and Disney will retain one key element of what makes Deadpool so popular – including the director of Deadpool.

In an interview with Inverse, Deadpool director Tim Miller weighed in on whether Deadpool would fit into the MCU, and what would need to change in order for that to become a reality.

"I do [think Deadpool could fit in the MCU], he said. "I think Ryan Reynolds' take on the character, and the way he embraces the particular kind of insanity – even if you said he's not gonna use four-letter words – would still be there. He still is that character. You can take the R-rated parts out of it if you wanted and it would still be Deadpool if Ryan was doing it."

Analysis: Deadpool 3 will be an R-rated MCU movie

Miller's comments on dropping Deadpool's R-rated content aren't that outlandish. After all, nearly every MCU movie has been rated PG-13 in the US (12 or 12A in the UK). When Deadpool eventually makes his MCU debut, you might expect Deadpool 3 to fall in line with Marvel and Disney's age rating for their superhero movies.

However, that doesn't sound like it'll be the case. Back in January, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed (per Collider) that a Deadpool MCU movie was already being planned. Not only was Ryan Reynolds penning the script for Deadpool 3, Feige explained, but Marvel would also be retaining the R-rated elements that have made Wade Wilson's alter-ego such a fan favorite.

“It will be rated R," Feige revealed. "And we are working on a script right now, and Ryan’s overseeing a script right now… It will not be [filming] this year. Ryan is a very busy, very successful actor. We’ve got a number of things we’ve already announced that we now have to make, but it’s exciting for it to have begun. Again, a very different type of character in the MCU, and Ryan is a force of nature, which is just awesome to see him bring that character to life.”

Given that Miller hasn't been involved in Deadpool's movie series since the first instalment, it's possible that he wasn't aware of Feige's comments before speaking to Inverse. If that's the case, it'll explain why Miller stated his belief that Deadpool's mature content would need to be cut in order to make his MCU debut.

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Right now, it's unclear how Deadpool 3 will fit into the MCU. In hindsight, including Deadpool 3 as part of Marvel's Phase 4 plans (which are partly centered around the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse) would have made the most sense but, given Feige's comments, it appears that is extremely unlikely.

Marvel could have introduced Deadpool to the MCU as part of the 'reality breaking down' thread that will run throughout Phase 4. Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange 2, among others, will explore this in detail, and it would have provided Marvel with the perfect opportunity to bring Deadpool into the MCU in a crossover capacity.

Unless Marvel alters its Phase 4 release schedule post-2021, we shouldn't expect Deadpool to potentially make his first MCU appearance until Phase 5. We don't know how Deadpool 3 will end up factoring into the MCU (or MCM), but we're confident that Marvel knows how it'll introduce Wade Wilson in due course.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

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