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Why Hugh Jackman Won't Break The Fourth Wall In Deadpool & Wolverine

There's a lot riding on "Deadpool & Wolverine," with some people believing it could make or break the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only is it an R-rated movie in an otherwise family-friendly franchise, but it's a big-budget production where the main character constantly breaks the fourth wall. Deadpool's (Ryan Reynolds) antics could easily undermine any intended dramatic tension, but, fortunately, there are rules in place to ensure the meta jokes don't become too unwieldy, as Hugh Jackman learned the hard way.

Reynolds, Jackman, and "Deadpool 3" director Shawn Levy spoke with Vanity Fair about the forthcoming blockbuster. One of the things they explained was that while Wade Wilson is a silly guy, there are important rules for ensuring everyone else can be taken seriously. "You would diminish stakes in the film if everyone — or even anyone else — was also aware of the fourth wall or any kind of meta aspect," Reynolds said. "If everyone did that, then you would no longer invest in that character as much." Jackman followed up by saying he suggested Wolverine break the fourth wall, but the idea was ultimately shut down.

Fortunately, Jackman was a good sport who understood retaining what makes Wade Wilson a special character. "Ryan beautifully describes Deadpool's brain as a half-baked omelet," he stated. "And so, whatever he's doing — talking to a camera, to Wolverine — it's just another layer of annoying crap that I've got to put up with. Who knows what the hell he is doing? But it's just another excuse to punch him in the face." Wolverine may not be aware he's in a movie, but based on what he does in the "Deadpool & Wolverine" trailer, he'll certainly do plenty of punching to make up for it.

Wolverine is the soul of Deadpool 3

"Deadpool & Wolverine" is Hugh Jackman's return to a character who was killed off in 2017's "Logan." Of course, how Wolverine is alive for "Deadpool 3" probably isn't the mystery viewers may think it is, as Jackman's likely playing a variant of his hero. But like the previous version of the X-Man, this one is still clearly haunted by something in his past, and "Deadpool 3" won't be solely jokes at his expense. There's a real dramatic core to the film, and that's probably another big reason why Wolverine breaking the fourth wall just wouldn't work.

How could the audience take Wolverine's turmoil seriously if Jackman cracked a joke about how he's only back because he got paid a ton of money? Shawn Levy explained elsewhere in the Vanity Fair piece that Jackman truly brought it for his big return. "Hugh's performance gives the movie a gravitas and a raw, soulful quality that is unbelievable, and I can't say much more without spoiling it," Levy said. Of course, it's also bound to lead to even more comedy, as Ryan Reynolds' wacky Deadpool treats Wolverine as the straight man in their comedy duo.

Wolverine should get ample screen time alongside the Merc with a Mouth, considering he's name-checked in the film's title. Plus, it's not like Hugh Jackman's Wolverine was ever a barrel of laughs in the first place, so he doesn't really need to make jokes this time around, lest audiences believe he's acting out of character. Fans are apparently ecstatic to see Jackman back with the claws, as "Deadpool & Wolverine" is already tracking to bring in over $200 million in its opening weekend. That's enough money to make even Wolverine smile.