Shawn Levy Avengers 5 Rumor Hints Deadpool & Wolverine Really Is Marvel’s Savior

Deadpool & Wolverine’s Shawn Levy is reportedly in talks to direct the next Avengers movie. If that’s true Wade Wilson really could be “Marvel Jesus.”

Shawn Levy and Hugh Jackman on Deadpool and Wolverine
Photo: Marvel / Disney

Deadpool & Wolverine is not in theaters for almost another two months, but the hopes and aspirations of the Marvel Cinematic Universe—and perhaps now the summer movie season box office itself—are already being placed on Ryan Reynolds’ broad, leather-clad shoulders. So it’s not like the Merc with a Mouth needed any more pressure. Yet pressure he might receive if the latest report out of Deadline is true: director Shawn Levy has entered early talks to helm the next Avengers movie.

The discussions are apparently in early stages, with the trade noting Levy has been handed the latest draft of the screenplay by Michael Waldron (Loki, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness), but that Levy has apparently not decided if he would like to direct the film. Furthermore, Marvel Studios will continue approaching other directors while awaiting an answer about Levy’s interest. However, it would seem that Marvel has seen something they like in Deadpool & Wolverine and in Levy, because this is a veritable keys-to-the-kingdom kind of job offer.

Levy has of course proven himself to be a reliable and steady studio hand over several decades in the industry. His credits include genuine crowdpleasers like the original Night at the Museum in 2006 (as well as its sequels) and the more recent Ryan Reynolds-fronted Free Guy in 2021. He also has a knack for attracting talent who enjoys working with him since in addition to collaborating with Reynolds ahead of Deadpool 3, he also worked with Hugh Jackman on Real Steel (2011), who then cameoed in a Night at the Museum sequel. Levy also has directed nine episodes of the nerd culture phenomenon Stranger Things, a series on which he is an executive producer.

So Levy makes a certain amount of sense for Marvel, which is likely looking for a steadying hand after a few turbulent years in the press and at a the box office. Indeed, even the title of Avengers 5 is currently in question after the studio parted way with Kang actor Jonathan Majors following his being found guilty of misdemeanor assault and harassment (the movie was previously titled Avengers: The Kang Dynasty). This uneasy moment for the studio creates the need for an experienced, calming hand on the project. Which is probably another another plus in Levy’s column since he makes reliable crowdpleasers and has experience handling quirky ensembles on television, a prerequisite that aided all the other directors of Avengers movies: the Russo Brothers and Joss Whedon.

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Yet if the report is true, it also signals a huge vote of confidence in Deadpool & Wolverine and seems to suggest that Reynolds’ on-screen alter-ego wasn’t exaggerating when he said in the first Deadpool 3 teaser, “Your little cinematic universe is about to change forever. I’m the messiah. I am… Marvel Jesus.”

At the time it seemed like a gag since Deadpool remains (thankfully) the only superhero aware he’s in a superhero movie and uses that knowledge to constantly break the fourth wall. This also means Deadpool has an opportunity to make fun of the odd scenario he finds himself in: Due to his popularity, he will become a foul-mouthed R-rated character from a defunct studio (20th Century Fox) who’s been awkwardly shoehorned into Disney’s MCU. Hence a lot of jokes at both Disney and 20th Century’s expense. This is expected to include a slew of relatively obscure 2000s superhero movie cameos in addition to Jackman slipping on Wolverine’s claws again.

Jokes aside, Deadpool & Wolverine will also make good on an idea teased in various MCU movies, including the aforementioned Doctor Strange 2 and last year’s The Marvels: the version of the X-Men created by 20th Century Fox’s slate of films in the 2000s and 2010s is going to be crossing over with the MCU proper. While it is being done to comedic effect in Deadpool 3, the rumor has long been that the upcoming Avengers 5 and Avengers 6 would actually make good on the promise of multiverse madness with various cameos coming back. Consider, for example, the last time Marvel had a hit north of $1 billion was when Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield returned to play Spider-Man for a few scenes in 2021. Now imagine the box office possibilities if you exponentially increase that dopamine hit in a PG-13 all-audience movie.

Waldron also has already had a lot of experience in dabbling with the multiverse in Loki, a series which introduced concepts like the TVA, a would-be multiversal police force that will also play a role in Deadpool & Wolverine.

Should Levy and Marvel agree to partner again on the next Avengers movie, it might even seem plausible that Deadpool could become the very center of the MCU. His film is now the one that will introduce the idea of the Fox era X-Men crossing over with the MCU, and all by way of concepts introduced in Loki and other Marvel TV shows that the majority of MCU fans have not watched. Levy is also clearly fond of working with Reynolds, whom he also directed in The Adam Project before Marvel came calling. One could argue the Russos centered Captain America in the later Avengers movies after helming the two Cap sequels (one of which was also essentially an Avengers movie). Perhaps if Levy follows in their footsteps, it will be Wade’s turn to say, “Avengers, assemble”?