When it was announced back in March that Free Guy and The Adam Project director Shawn Levy would reteam with Ryan Reynolds for Deadpool 3—a “gee, what a surprise” moment if there ever was one—there was another, less splashy but still significant piece of news attached. As revealed by THR, screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were jumping on board the Merc with a Mouth’s threequel as well. Reese and Wernick co-wrote the first two Deadpool movies (and were attached to the first film throughout most of its decade-long development), as well as pictures like Zombieland and its sequel. They’ve also penned the upcoming Netflix thriller, Spiderhead, starring Chris Hemsworth.
Deadpool 3, however, marks a change for the longtime writing team: the original Deadpool and its follow-up were made at 20th Century Fox when that was still a standalone studio, and the pair only had access to the (still considerable) catalog of Marvel characters owned by Fox at the time, which encompassed the X-Men stable, the Fantastic Four, and a few others.
Disney’s purchase of Fox brought all the Marvel characters under one roof, meaning that Deadpool would now go about his freaky business within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For their part, Reese and Wernick are more than pleased to be there too, as they confirmed to Den of Geek earlier this week.
“It’s a thrill,” Reese says when asked about their new Marvel home. “It’s an absolute thrill to have the band back together, to have a new backdrop in the MCU with new characters, new villains, that kind of thing. You know, it’s never a marriage we necessarily saw coming—Fox and Disney, that was an external thing [separate] from our storytelling process. But we’re absolutely finding the serendipity and the gold in that situation, or we’re trying to.”
Both Reese and Wernick excitedly exclaim “Oh yeah!” when asked if they are finding things to make fun of in the MCU, much as they gently ribbed the X-Men, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, Reynolds’ disastrous stint in the DC world as Green Lantern, and lots of other pop culture icons in the first two Deadpool movies. But Wernick also states confidently, “Deadpool is gonna be Deadpool,” when asked about writing for the frequently raunchy, off-color character within the family-friendly confines of the Mouse House.
“Don’t worry about that,” adds Reese. “They’ve been very supportive with regard to that. Now when it comes to a particular joke, if we cross a line, maybe we’ll hear at some point, ‘Maybe not that joke.’ But I think they’ve been incredibly supportive of what we’re doing, because obviously we were doing it separate from them for a long time, and I think they’ve seen the success and they’ve had their own even greater success. So hopefully it’ll be a marriage made in heaven. But we’ve definitely got their support, and that’s a great thing to feel.”
Story and cast info for Deadpool 3 remain a secret of course, and the writers also declined to state whether they started their script from scratch or are using elements from an earlier draft by Bob’s Burgers writers Wendy Molyneaux and Lizzie Molyneaux-Loeglin that was commissioned in 2020. “We have an answer,” says Reese, “But we’re really not supposed to divulge any plot details.”
Reese, who says that the pair are working in a “secret vault under an ocean somewhere” on the Deadpool 3 script, also laughs when asked if their recent collaboration with Hemsworth on Spiderhead might lead to the actor pressing them for Thor to face off with Wade Wilson. “Oh man, if he did, we certainly couldn’t talk about it,” Reese says. “[But] it’d be super cool.“
Reese and Wernick’s Spiderhead premieres on Netflix on June 17. We’ll have more of our conversation with the pair on that film closer to its release.