The Super Bowl happened yesterday, and with it came movie trailers (and other stuff, but this post is about trailers). One of the biggest game-day trailers was for Deadpool 3, now officially titled Deadpool & Wolverine. It’s no secret Hugh Jackman is returning as Wolverine for this film, though the trailer elects to use him sparingly, only showing him from the back and in silhouette. It’s a smart move, because Deadpool & Wolverine has enough up its sleeve to fill a first-look trailer without Wolverine.
The trailer opens at a birthday party for Wade Wilson which includes characters from the previous films: Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), Peter (Rob Delaney), Negasonic Teenage Warhead and her girlfriend Yukio (Brianna Hildebrand and Shioli Kutsuna), Blind Al (Leslie Uggams), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Dopinder (Karan Soni), and Colossus. Given that several of those characters died in Deadpool 2—though Peter and Vanessa were saved via time travel—this appears to be an alternate universe.
That is confirmed when agents from the Time Variance Authority, previously depicted in Loki, show up to prune Wade. So, as rumored for actual years now, Deadpool 3 is a time-wimey multiverse tale, which sees Wade recruited to some cause of the TVA’s. Matthew MacFadyen stars as TVA agent Paradox, and Wade declares himself “Marvel Jesus”, here to save the MCU.
There will be plenty of meta jokes and references, but it’s not an understatement to say that the MCU needs Deadpool to hit refresh after the last few years. Undoubtedly, this will be the device that pushes the X-Men into the MCU—mutants have already been introduced via Kamala Khan—but more importantly, if the movie is even remotely good, it can get audiences back on the MCU train. The last couple of years, particularly, have been rough, but Marvel is just one good movie away from bouncing back, and as the only feature film Marvel is releasing this year, the pressure is on Deadpool & Wolverine to deliver.
It looks promising. The trailer shows off Wade’s fourth-wall breaking humor, action, teases Wolverine, there’s a bald person sitting down, and a reference to Secret Wars. The bald person is obviously meant to look like Professor X and given the multiversal nature of this movie I fully expect to see both Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy, but this is probably Cassandra Nova, a sort of nega-version of the professor. Emma Corrin was cast to play an unspecified villain, that’s probably them in the bald cap.
As for Secret Wars, that’s currently the presumed finale of Phases 4 and 5, though the Jonathan Majors mess has cast it into some chaos, as Marvel either has to recast Kang or use a different villain to uphold the storyline. In the comics, Doctor Doom is the big bad, so it’s an easy shift to make him the main villain, especially as Fantastic 4 is slated for next year. Though I hope they don’t make Deadpool & Wolverine do too much heavy lifting for the MCU. The Deadpool films have largely worked, narratively and comically, as outside perspectives on Marvel and superheroes, and historically, Marvel saddling a given movie with too much franchise exposition has never worked out.
But I am lowkey hopeful Deadpool & Wolverine has the goods. This is a solid trailer, the TVA being involved in interesting, I like the potential of a comic-straight man pairing like Ryan Reynolds and Matthew MacFadyen. I hope Paradox is involved in the story beyond introducing Wade to the multiverse, I like the idea of Wade and Paradox doing a spin on the Loki-Mobius dynamic from Loki. The “Marvel Jesus” line is a little on the nose given how much Marvel actually does need Deadpool as a boost, but it’s not Ryan Reynolds’ fault the MCU is a mess. He actually CAN save the MCU.