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Rob Liefeld Has Harsh Words For Marvel About No Deadpool 3

With the dust finally clearing from Disney's 2019 acquisition of Fox, fans have been eagerly awaiting news of the plan for repatriating the X-Men franchise to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The inevitable mass-reintegration effort implicates not only the flagship franchise concerning the team from Professor X's School for Gifted Youngsters, but also spin-offs — chief among them, Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool franchise, which has been dangling in limbo since the release of 2018's Deadpool 2. There's been a mix of anticipation and impatience for Disney and Marvel to announce their plans for the popular R-rated film series, but unfortunately, Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld has some uninspiring news on that front.

According to Liefeld, it could be years before all the stars align for a potential Deadpool 3. Speaking with ComicBook.com for the site's Talking Shop series, Liefeld blamed Marvel for leaving the character hanging after the commercial success of Deadpool 2, one of the highest-grossing R-rated movies in history. 

"I blame Marvel... blame Marvel that [Deadpool 3] hasn't happened yet," Liefeld stated. "They are the reason it isn't happening. Whatever conundrum or it didn't fit into your master plan, just commission it. Okay, commission it." He added, "If Ryan is making Deadpool 3 right now, that's because Marvel hasn't allowed it to be yet, and that's all I'm saying. So, do I have a lot of faith in that system? Dude, I have no idea. [...] I'm not giving you the answers you want. I'm like, 'Yeah, yeah. Look if it happens, terrific.'"

Can Deadpool and his raunchiness even fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Based on Liefeld's comments, it sounds like the Deadpool franchise has struggled to find a neat place within the MCU. Unlike at Fox, where the films only had to fit loosely within the much smaller narrative scope of the X-Men franchise, Deadpool now has to carve out space for itself within a massive storytelling enterprise more than two decades and 23 films in the making. The property and the character alike also must align with Disney and Marvel's family-friendly vibe. Though most Marvel movies have been rated PG-13 rather than PG, as is standard for Disney flicks, there's hardly anything in any of the nearly two dozen MCU films that would be deemed inappropriate for a child to see. For many, that's part of the appeal of Marvel films, and it's a big reason for the franchise's massive, continued financial success. The Deadpool movies, on the other hand, aren't kid-friendly — because Deadpool as a character is fundamentally foul-mouthed, suggestive, and purposefully over-the-top with his violent antics.

There's been much worry about whether Disney and Marvel would have to change to accommodate Deadpool, or if the Merc with a Mouth would have to clean up his act if he wanted to be a part of the MCU and round out his trilogy. Bob Iger, the then-CEO of The Walt Disney Company, stated in February 2019 shortly before Disney's acquisition of Fox was completed that any future Deadpool movie wouldn't be toned down and would still be R-rated even with the Disney-Marvel stamp on it. 

"We will continue in that business," said Iger (via Variety). However, though he noted that there's "certainly popularity" with R-rated comic book movies like Deadpool and Deadpool 2, Iger also said that Disney and Marvel would take additional steps to ensure that they are "carefully branding [R-rated films] ... so we're not in any way confusing the consumer."

Now that Iger has stepped down as CEO and Bob Chapek has taken his place, it's difficult to say if the promises Iger made still apply. In any case, it's clear that Liefeld doesn't think Marvel is prioritizing his character.

According to Rob Liefeld, Marvel has 'zero' plans for Deadpool 3

Liefeld doubled down on his remarks to ComicBook.com in a separate interview with Inverse. Asked about the future of both Deadpool 3 and the planned X-Force film, he candidly stated, "I don't know. Here's what people don't want to hear, but thank God I'm a realist. I feel like Deadpool, the movies, they've set sail." 

He continued, admitting that he isn't impressed with Marvel or MCU mastermind Kevin Feige at the moment: "We got two brilliant movies, and we live in a culture that always looks forward because all they're ever selling us is 'next, next, next.' [...] It's the fever. For me, as the fever calms down, people just need to calm down and realize that Deadpool 1 and 2 were released within two years of each other, 2016 and 2018, and I just can't... I'm not really that crazy about Marvel's plan right now."

That plan, as Liefeld went on to note, involved most of the Original Six Avengers either retiring or dying in Avengers: Endgame to provide a clearer slate to introduce to the silver screen characters who haven't yet appeared in films. Marvel also ventured to give one of its fallen heroes, Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, her own solo film. Liefeld threw shade at Marvel's conclusion to Phase 3 and its plans for Phase 4 while speaking with Inverse — and even mentioned Spider-Man actor Tom Holland's brief exit from the MCU following contract disputes with Sony Pictures as evidence of Marvel's shortcomings.

"It's the first time I go, 'Hey, Feige, did you even have a plan? Your plan was Eternals and Shang-Chi? That was your plan? And Black Widow?'" said Liefeld. "So they close the door, Chris Evans says goodbye, Robert Downey Jr. says goodbye, Black Widow falls off a cliff [and] says goodbye, they almost lose Tom Holland to Sony... but you're geniuses, Marvel, you're geniuses."

Liefeld then shared that even if Deadpool 3 went into production right this very moment, it "would come out in four years," so there's no use in getting excited about it. Why would it take so long to make? Because, according to Liefeld, Marvel isn't thinking about the Deadpool franchise at all right now. "You know what they have planned with Deadpool right now? You know what they have planned? They've got [a] goose egg — zero, zero!" Liefeld said. From there, he advised all Deadpool fans to enjoy the previous two movies and simply do what he does: keep "living in the past."

Disney and Marvel should still make Deadpool 3

Even after all this considered, it's almost unthinkable that Disney and Marvel Studios would let the Deadpool property molder on the shelf indefinitely. Fox's first two Deadpool films were some of the most successful in the history of the X-Men on screen, and any effort to bring Reynolds' popular portrayal of the character into the MCU would undoubtedly be met with ample excitement within the fanbase. 

Aside from Reynolds, the Deadpool franchise comes with a ton of legacy talent that it would be a shame to jettison. Who wouldn't want to see an encore performance from Zazie Beetz as Domino, or Josh Brolin as Cable? It would be a real missed opportunity if Disney and Marvel Studios decided to forgo a third Deadpool film — or, worse yet, attempt to start the franchise over from scratch with new actors and a more family-friendly tone. Deadpool without Ryan Reynolds' quippy performance, lots of profanity, and non-stop violent fun just wouldn't be Deadpool. Disney and Marvel brass know when they have a good thing in their hands, and shouldn't be so foolish as to let it slip away.

For now, we can only hope Disney and Marvel come to their senses soon and give us an official announcement about Deadpool 3.