It looks like the dead pool is growing, as the ever-expanding cast of Shawn Levy’s Deadpool 3 could be adding some major names from the singed remnants of Fox’s X-Men franchise. As we wait patiently for the X-Men to arrive in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s more than just Hugh Jackman’s return as Wolverine that can unite the various eras of marvelous mutants.
Once upon a time, Charles Xavier’s gifted youngsters were everywhere, with planned movies for everyone from Gambit to Multiple Man, as well as a proposed trilogy of New Mutants movies. Following the disappointment of the troubled Dark Phoenix, and with Disney buying 20th Century Fox, things were streamlined, with Deadpool 3 being the lone survivor of Mickey Mouse wiping out mutantkind.
Is Halle Berry Teasing Storm in Deadpool 3?
Even Fox couldn’t decide what to do with Deadpool, as Ryan Reynolds’ Merc with a Mouth was trapped between Bryan Singer’s ‘classic’ X-Men of the 00’s and Matthew Vaughn’s First Class generation. Now, the potential return of Halle Berry as Ororo Munroe/Storm could be a final hurrah for the golden days of X-Men movies. Berry shared a cryptic post on Twitter, sporting a short crop of white hair that looks suspiciously like her portrayal of Storm – albeit with a modernized twist.
Berry first portrayed the stoic senior member of the team in 2000’s X-Men and returned for the next two sequels. Even though Berry said she was unhappy with how her character was handled and once threatened to quit unless she had a bigger part, she appeared in 2014’s Days of Future Past that crossed over Singer and Vaughn’s iterations of the X-Men. With an all-star cast that put Jackman at its core, it’s no surprise that many hold it as the best X-Men outing (yet).
Even though sceptics think Berry’s odd caption about “patience” is a nod to her role as Patience Phillips in the notoriously panned Catwoman, no one’s buying that we’re getting a sequel to that. Berry clearly has an affinity with Storm (famously playing her while pregnant for Days of the Future Past), telling Vanity Fair in 2021, “If we could find a version that would make sense, or a storyline that would make sense, I would absolutely do that.” If Levy can lure back Jackman, then surely no one is off the table?
Deadpool 3 Could Bring Back the Legacy X-Men
Even before Deadpool 2 featured Wade Wilson going back in time to kill the bizarre X-Men Origins: Wolverine version of the character, Deadpool’s placement in X-Men continuity was a confusing one. Jackman making a brief cameo in First Class and the James McAvoy team popping up in Deadpool 2 suggest DP belongs in Vaughn’s continuity, but it’s unclear how he’ll be amalgamated into the mainline MCU continuity of Earth-616. Thankfully, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania just blew the doors off the Multiverse, with Owen Wilson’s Mobius M. Mobius and the TVA now said to be on Deadpool’s tracks in the upcoming threequel.
There’s technically room for everyone, as Jackman told French news outlet Le Parisien (via ComicBookMovie) how Deadpool 3 is “even a dual role.” Although it could’ve been misconstrued, many have taken this to mean we’ll see multiple versions of the Clawed Canadian, which can explain how he’s been played by Jackman in both eras and set up some a-list cameos. If this is the case, anyone from the past 23 years of X-Men movies could return.
There’s been a recent flurry of candidates from the old guard, with Kelsey Grammer joking to MovieWeb he’d boycott Disneyland if he’s not allowed to play Beast in the MCU. Two series staples are also on board, after James Marsden told The Wrap he misses playing Cyclops “dearly”, and after years of saying no, Famke Janssen admitted to CinePOP she’d be willing to squeeze into the spandex once again as Jean Grey. That’s all well and good, but nothing compared to Patrick Stewart claiming to ComicBook.com that he and Ian McKellen (Magneto) have been “told to standby” for Levy’s movie.
This all fits neatly with the March 2023 issue of Empire Magazine. Giving away more than he should, Jackman explained Logan director James Mangold was cool with him playing Wolverine again because Deadpool 3 is set before the events of the noir Western. We know Logan fits into the ‘00 continuity because of Stewart playing Professor X, which logically places Deadpool 3 somewhere after the “happy” Days of Future Past ending that retconned the deaths of Scott and Jean from X-Men: The Last Stand.
X-Men in the MCU
As for what the future holds, it’s hard to see the legacy actors sticking around beyond Deadpool 3. Their trilogy had wrapped before Iron Man had even hit cinemas, and with all eyes on the likes of Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) and Namor (Tenoch Huerta) as the MCU’s mutants, it’s increasingly likely the X-Men will be going with a whole new class when they eventually arrive on the scene. Then again, seeing Berry and co. in Deadpool 3 could cue them for the presumed smorgasbord of returnees in 2026’s Secret Wars.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Illuminati scene was a highlight, with Stewart’s Xavier potential serving as a testing ground to see whether there’s an appetite to bring back more of the original gang. Whether the MCU will stick with the Dark Phoenix cast or start afresh, the eventual recast of Wolverine is sure to be one of the franchise’s hottest tickets. Some expect the final scene of Deadpool 3 to give us someone like Taron Egerton or Zac Efron as the new Wolverine who’ll be the MCU’s mainstay. That’s all fanciful theorising from fans, whereas the return of the legacy X-Men makes a lot more sense to wave off these characters…at least for now.
Not that Deadpool 3 needs much hype thanks to being the first R-rated MCU movie AND seeing Jackman’s long-rumored return, but imagine an cast list that boasts Berry, Stewart, McKellen, Janssen, Marsden, Grammer, Anna Paquin (Rogue), and more for a trip down memory lane. Even though Berry’s involvement is far from confirmed, if we don’t hear Storm say, “Do you know what happens when a toad gets hit by lightning?” in Deadpool 3, we’ll be demanding a refund.