It's still a long time away from Deadpool's theatrical premiere, but there's already buzz of a sequel in the works. It might be expected: The X-Men spin-off comes from serialized source material that filmmakers might be hard-pressed to summarize in a single movie, and it's rare that a superhero flick isn't tapped for a follow-up. (Lookin' at you, Fantastic Four .) But Deadpool 2 isn't entirely a given — so much depends on box office performance and, perhaps to a lesser extent, critical reception — but its director and cast have already begun talking about the sequel. So is it true? Will Deadpool have a sequel?
Deadpool is one of the lesser-known superheroes — or antiheroes — of the Marvel universe. He first began appearing in other heroes' comics, from Avengers to Teen Titans, before he earned his own series in the late '90s. The so-called "merc with a mouth" provides a necessary antidote to the self-serious classic comic book heroes. His titles border on meta-fiction; he seems aware that he's in a novel and occasionally breaks the fourth wall of comic strips. First looks at the Deadpool movie show that he's similarly self-aware of his status as a character in a movie, setting him apart from many of the other series currently on offer from the Marvel universe. And given that he has appeared in so many other narratives even beyond his own, eponymous comic book series, it already looks likely that he'll crop up again in other superhero movies that 20th Century Fox has planned to adapt — a much-needed counterpoint to the superhero shtick.
Director Tim Miller spoke about the Deadpool trailer with Empire, and he dropped a few breadcrumbs along the way that indicate that he, and the rest of the team behind the movie, is already thinking about the follow-up. He proposed adding a new archnemesis to the next film: "If we don't put Cable in Deadpool 2 , I think we'll be run out on a rail," he said. (As Cinema Blend describes him, Cable is the time-traveling son of Cyclops and Madelyn Pryor. He and Deadpool don't hit it off — but they eventually team up.)
So that looks good for a Deadpool sequel. And then there are the cagey statements from Deadpool writer and producer Simon Kinberg. "We certainly are talking about the sequel," he told Collider late last year — well before the first film was even coming to theaters. "We were talking about the sequel while we were making the movie just because when you make a film like this that’s from a serialized source material, you hope that it’s the first of many."
Kinberg also noted that he wasn't sure about the studio's plans for a follow-up. Still, the right people all seem to be on board, from Kinberg to Miller to the series' star Ryan Reynolds, who plays the titular role. Reynolds told a crowd at a publicity event in New York that he was already thinking about "making more of these" — "Believe me, that's already being talked about," he said, according to the Independent.
Deadpool is a pretty safe investment for Fox, which perhaps explains why there's already such buzz around a potential follow-up. It was reportedly made on a much smaller budget than the usual massive superhero fare — around $50 million. (It's not just superheroes that rarely get this mid-budget treatment; films in this range have experienced a squeeze on both ends as big budgets get bigger and indie movies get even smaller.) It deviates from the X-Men, Avengers, and Superman norms in content, as well. It appeals to a broader base with its self-referential nods, its hero's amusingly foul moth, and his ambiguous status as the "good guy." Deadpool is not always on the side of right-with-a-capital-R, and that's what makes him such a compelling character on screen. He's funny and flawed.
The announced Fantastic Four follow-up has reportedly been pulled from the Fox lineup, according to Cinema Blend. Like Marvel Studios, 20th Century Fox had a planned roster of films for the next couple of years, assuming that each successive film would be the massive success that comic book adaptations often are — reliably so. But Fantastic Four fell far short of expectations, so its 2017 release date might be subsumed by Deadpool. Or at least, so the rumors go. And given Deadpool's wide-ranging appeal and relatively micro budget, it might be the safer bet.
Images: 20th Century Fox (3)