On June 13, Disney announced new release dates for every Marvel film hitting theaters in 2024 and beyond. The biggest surprise was the new date for Deadpool 3, which moved up six months from November 8 to May 3, 2024. Although Deadpool wasn’t originally part of the MCU, there’s a lot riding on this movie, and if recent leaks are to be believed, Deadpool 3 could be Marvel’s best (and potentially last) chance to save The Multiverse Saga.
As we’ve noted a few times already, there have been more lows than highs for Marvel lately. Of the seven lowest-rated Marvel movies on Rotten Tomatoes, four have come out in the last three years (Eternals, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania).
All four movies are part of The Multiverse Saga, which is the overarching story that connects the titles in Phases 4, 5, and 6. Putting aside any real-life issues impacting Marvel Studios (Jonathan Majors’ domestic violence charges and projects on hold due to the writers’ strike), The Multiverse Saga has failed to live up to the high bar set by The Infinity Saga. It’s unclear where the story is going or why we should care. And that’s where Deadpool comes in.
According to Marvel leaker CanWeGetSomeToast, Deadpool 3 will introduce several variants of the title character. As with Spider-Man in No Way Home and the Spider-Verse movies, there is a Deadpool in nearly every reality/universe/timeline. We’ll meet at least a few of them as Deadpool makes his way to the MCU over the course of Deadpool 3:
In a follow-up tweet, CanWeGetSomeToast said that there would be at least one other Wolverine variant in Deadpool 3. Presumably, none of the Wolverines we meet will be the same variant that died in Logan, as Ryan Reynolds has stated he doesn’t want to undo that ending.
I’m still unsure if Marvel can salvage The Multiverse Saga, but if it can, it all starts with Deadpool 3. The key is for the MCU to stop taking itself so seriously, and no Marvel hero takes himself less seriously than the fourth-wall-breaking Deadpool.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness failed to show us the true potential of a boundless Marvel multiverse. Marvel has another chance with Deadpool 3.
It doesn’t need to be to the extent of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, with thousands of Deadpools flooding the screen, but it could build upon the exciting premise introduced in the first season of Loki more effectively than any series or movie since. Show us the universes that will suffer if Kang establishes his dynasty. Show us variants of our favorite heroes that will team up with the Avengers when the Secret Wars begin. And in the process, let Deadpool run amok and blow sh*t up, which is what we really want to see anyway.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 succeeded because it ignored the multiverse to tell a standalone story. Deadpool 3 could succeed by doing the exact opposite. If there’s a character in the Marvel canon suited to fully immerse himself in the chaos of infinite realities, it’s clearly the one that can comment on the ridiculousness of the story as it unfolds.
Marvel has plenty of work to do to get us all back on board with The Multiverse Saga. Putting its faith in Deadpool might sound like a risky move, but it’s also exactly the kind of move that Marvel needs to make to pump some life back into the MCU.