Yof you checked out a new video posted by Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman earlier this week Hoping to find out how Marvel is planning to bring Wolverine back from the dead, you’ll probably have been mildly disappointed – yet strangely uplifted. If there was anything to glean from the silliness on show, it was that Logan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) will most likely be playing straight man to Reynolds’ potty-mouthed Merc with a Mouth in Deadpool 3, and that Jackman probably has the comedy chops to pull this off.
The reason fans are asking questions, after this week’s news that the duo are teaming up for Marvel, is that Jackman signed off as Wolverine in James Mangold’s starkly brutal Logan in 2017. Not only was that movie billed as the Australian actor’s final appearance as the adamantium-clawed mutant, but he actually died at the end of it having been brutally murdered by a younger clone of himself.
So what gives, exactly? Well, Reynolds and Jackman do point out in the video, before it descends into a mulch of bad 80s pop, that Logan takes place in 2029, which gives them the best part of a decade to fill in the gaps. Not a bad response, but in reality it seems unlikely that the (possibly much cheerier) take on Wolverine who emerges in the MCU is going to find himself descending into a post-apocalyptic world in which no mutants have been born in 25 years (Logan’s setup) just at the point Marvel is planning to bring the X-Men into its cinematic universe after Disney’s purchase of rights-holder 20th Century Fox.
Nor can Marvel be held responsible for the mercurial creative decisions of Fox, maker of the wildly up and down previous X-Men film series, just because the two entities are now owned by the same company. This, of course, is why Deadpool and Wolverine are able to now appear in the MCU, and why we’ve already seen other mutants such as Professor X appearing in Marvel movies such as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
And there’s the other get-out clause. After the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Loki and WandaVision, there are so many Marvel alternate realities in existence that it hardly matters if the one in which Logan is quite old and eventually gets offed by himself is somewhere out there in the multiversal ether. Fans will overlook this entirely if Reynolds and Jackman come up with a decent third Deadpool entry.
And therein lies the rub. The first Deadpool movie was fabulous, its sequel only so-so. Part three has every chance of zooming into a new stratosphere of irreverent, fourth-wall breaking excellence now that Marvel are in charge of the chimichangas. And if there is to be an R-rated corner of the superhero multiverse, that’s exactly where Jackman’s Wolverine fits: this is, after all, a superhero with a higher limb-chopping count that the average Shaw Brothers martial arts movie. It’s not impossible to imagine him turning up in a Thor or Guardians of the Galaxy flick, but you get the impression those movies might be considerably bloodier for the experience.
There’s also a nice symmetry to Reynolds and Jackman appearing once again on screen as Deadpool and Wolverine, given the last time they did so (in the dreadful 2009 effort X-Men Origins: Wolverine) turned out so appallingly. The team-up also solves another problem: who Marvel should cast as the new Wolverine, for there has never been an obvious successor to the 53-year-old Jackman. For at least one movie, and most likely several more, we can stop worrying that it might just end up being Daniel Radcliffe.