ByRicky Derisz, writer at
Staff Writer at MP. "Holy cow, Rick! I didn't know hanging out with you was making me smarter!" Twitter: @RDerisz.
Ricky Derisz

UPDATE (November 18, 5:52 p.m.): It's official! THR has reported director David Leitch has been confirmed as the director for and is officially in the works, though Fox is reportedly looking for a separate director to helm the latter. Could Deadpool 3 secretly be the X-Force movie?

Change is inevitable. In the fast-paced environment of the film industry, said change occurs at lightening pace. In the business of blockbusters, studios need to have their fingers firmly placed on the pulse. In the business of superheroes, said pulse palpitates at 1,000 beats a minute, leaving no time for failure.

Although Fox arguably initiated the modern superhero movie at the turn of the millennium with X-Men, they have been leapfrogged by Marvel Studios multi-billion dollar shared universe, the . As disappointing as it is, the X-Men aren't the force they used to be, especially compared to the likes of Iron Man, Captain America or Thor.

But there is hope. In a dynamic industry, needs to change its strategy, and it appears that this year's surprise profanity-making, dick-joke-telling R-rated antihero, , has given them just the opportunity to do so. Such is the studio's confidence in the Merc with a Mouth, The Hollywood Reporter claim that, although the ink is still damp on the sequel's script, Deadpool 3 is already in the works.

And, not only does Ryan Reynolds look set to return for a third feature, the star will be joined by the all-singing, all-dancing collaboration of the morally questionable and definitely R-rated team — the X-Force. Fox's conviction in the antihero — despite uncertainty following Tim Miller's surprise exit — suggests they are preparing to make Deadpool and chums the cornerstone of a revamped and slightly more adult X-Verse.

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The X-Men Are Dead, Long Live The X-Force

The X-Force could be the future [Credit: 20th Century Fox]
The X-Force could be the future [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

Is this a knee-jerk reaction to Deadpool's box office success? Or a shrewd move? The answer is: Both. The success of Wade Wilson made further expansion of his world a no-brainer. But the expansion of the as a force (too easy) to be reckoned with is a decision that could place Fox's Marvel adaptations back at the top.

Now is a decisive moment for the X-Men franchise, with the contracts of big stars coming to an end, and arguably the studio's biggest attraction, Hugh Jackman's , hanging up his adamantium infused claws following next year's Logan. While it would be naive to write off the X-Men completely, it's the perfect time to take things in a different direction, rather than a reboot or recast.

The X-Force is the perfect option. 's Deadpool has the delivery and charm to —without drawing unnecessary comparisons — match Tony Stark. Add in a well-casted and chemistry-filled partnership with Cable as the foundation, and the building blocks are already firmly in place.

Deadpool introduced a new, CGI heavy Colossus. As well as , Deadpool 2 will introduce X-Force member Domino. Logan will introduce Wolverine's eventual replacement, X-23. X-Men: Apocalypse added Psylocke (Olivia Munn being criminally underused), Storm, Cyclops, Nightcrawler and Archangel. That's not to mention the inclusion of Mister Sinister, fighting for the bad guys.

Building The Foundation Of An Antihero Universe

A number of the X-Force have already been introduced [20th Century Fox]
A number of the X-Force have already been introduced [20th Century Fox]

If Fox invests in this idea, gets the right people on board on both sides of the camera, and allows for the right character development, there's every reason the X-Force could put mutants back to the top of their game. The beauty, though, is should that happen, they could stand happily by the side of the MCU without direct competition. Imagine Marvel comic adaptations shoulder to shoulder, adapted from the same comic book page but on completely different pages.

How? Well, an unflinching and R-rated X-Force franchise would offer something distinct from both the MCU and the DCEU. To match the MCU's prime steak in the all you can eat buffet of superheroes, Fox's could be transformed from a leafy salad to the appetising and sickly dessert you just can't say no to.

Deadpool shook up the film industry with its success earlier this year. If Fox play their cards right, they'll not only capitalize on Wade Wilson's success, but build an empire around him. Add in a collection of antiheroes who offer something striking, bold and unique, and the mutant's could be in for an x-cellent future.


Should Fox prioritize X-Force over X-Men?

(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)


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