Will Ryan Reynolds’ Break Delay Deadpool 3 Further?

Deadpool 3 will have to wait until Ryan Reynolds gets some family time under his belt.

Ryan Reynolds is taking a break. Speaking with THR, Reynolds revealed that he is “trying to create a little bit more space for my family and time with them” after recently completing work on a holiday season film called Spirited with Will Ferrell for Apple TV+ (Reynolds is married to actress Blake Lively, with whom he has three daughters).

Reynolds has had a busy 2021, and will have shown up in no less than four movies by the time the year comes to an end. In addition to Spirited, he starred earlier this year in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, the surprise summer smash Free Guy, and will also be seen in Netflix’s upcoming action comedy Red Notice alongside Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot.

So it’s hardly shocking that the dude wants to stay home for a while, adding that he’ll be overseeing some of his other business concerns and will “probably be away from film, or at least shooting films, till the end of the summer.” But of course that does raise one question around these parts: where does that leave Deadpool 3?

The Merc with a Mouth’s third film has been in development, more or less, since Deadpool 2 cleaned up at the box office in 2018, although its path to the screen took an unexpected turn when Disney completed its acquisition of 20th Century Fox — which owned the Deadpool franchise — in 2019.

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At first the question was whether the R-rated Deadpool saga could fit inside Disney’s squarely PG-13 Marvel Cinematic Universe. But both then-Disney chairman Bob Iger and Marvel Studios overlord Kevin Feige confirmed that they wouldn’t be sanding the edges off Wade Wilson and would let him keep his R status.

No director has been named for the movie yet, but writers Lizzie Molyneux-Loeglin and Wendy Molyneux (Bob’s Burgers) were hired to pen the script after meeting with both Reynolds and the Marvel brain trust. When we asked Free Guy director Shawn Levy if he’d be interested in taking the directing gig, he avoided a direct response but called it an “enticing thought.”

With Reynolds taking his break, the Molyneux siblings tapping away at the script, and Marvel itself having a full plate at the moment, Deadpool 3 remains undated but Feige has hinted that filming could start later in 2022 — which would hopefully line up with the end of Reynold’s hiatus — with a late 2023 or early 2024 release likely if all goes well.

Whether co-stars like Josh Brolin (Cable) and Zazie Beetz (Domino) will return to the franchise remains unknown, as does the question of when or if Deadpool will interact with the rest of the MCU or bring other X-Men into that canon for the first time. But it now seems fairly certain that none of these mysteries will get an answer until at least a year from now.

In the meantime, you can still see Reynolds in Free Guy now, and soon enough in Red Notice and Spirited. We’ll just have to wait until his wife and kids get tired of him hanging around the house for him to put on the red and black mask again…