ByAlisha Grauso, writer at
Editor-at-large here at Movie Pilot. Nerd out with me on Twitter, comrades: @alishagrauso
Alisha Grauso

Deadpool has been all over the internet lately, and Marvel is doing something really cool with everyone's favorite 4th wall breaking, batshit crazy mercenary to celebrate their 75th anniversary in October. The comic book publisher has gotten together some of its best artists to recreate some of Marvel's iconic covers...with Deadpool photobombing all of them. The results are hilarious and pretty freaking awesome:

Don't get me wrong, all of this is great, but it got me thinking...

Could this possibly be more proof there's a groundswell building for a [Deadpool](movie:38663) movie? It was only a month ago that the leaked Deadpool test footage hit the internet, and just a few days later, a picture of Ryan Reynolds mocapping the Merc with a Mouth popped up, as well.

And now Marvel chooses to honor their 75th anniversary by featuring Deadpool. They could have picked any of the hundreds of characters from their pantheon, and they chose Wade Wilson. Why? It could simply be that he seemed like the obvious choice to do something fun.

But my crazy, Deadpool-demanding brain still wonders.

"But Alisha," you're already opening your mouth to argue, "Marvel doesn't own the movie rights to Deadpool. Fox does! God, don't you know ANYTHING?"

Just cool your jets for a sec, comrades. Deep breaths. We'll get through this. You know and I know that Fox has the rights to the X-Men universe (and that includes Deadpool, Silver Surfer, and Fantastic Four), Sony has Spider-Man's world on lockdown and is looking to expand, and Marvel has everything else, so the only way a Deadpool movie will get made is if Fox finally greenlights it, right?

Bro we've been trying since X-Men Origins Wolverine
Bro we've been trying since X-Men Origins Wolverine

But what if that weren't the case?

I did a little digging around and pulled up this article from HitFix from last year. Buried in the roundtable discussion was this comment from writer Gregory Ellwood:

Count on it. Word is the studio could lose the rights to the popular Marvel character in a few years if they don't use him.

Now, this is obviously hearsay, but the interesting thing was that he seemed so certain of it. The answer was in regard to the question of whether or not an [X-Force Movie](movie:1040632) would finally see Deadpool back in theaters. A year ago, Ellwood seemed confident that Deadpool would be a part of that X-Force team, if only so that Fox didn't lose the rights to the character.

But fast-forward a year later and we now know that an X-Force movie isn't happening any time soon, as Fox declared [X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267) is the next film in its X-Men franchise. Apocalypse isn't hitting theaters until 2016, meaning an X-Force movie wouldn't be seeing the light of theaters until at least 2018, if at all.

Let's assume Ellwood was right about the status of Fox's ownership of Deadpool. Many fans have been confounded by the complete lack of forward progress on a Deadpool movie. We know there's a script. We know Fox is balking at putting an R-rating on it. We know that Ryan Reynolds is still down to play Wade. There have recently been rumors that part of the hold-up with the movie getting made is that Fox is waiting to see whether or not Warner Bros. is going with the John Stewart version of Green Lantern for its [Justice League](movie:401267) movie, or the Hal Jordan version. If it's the former, Reynolds is in the clear to start filming a Deadpool movie. If the latter, Reynolds is contractually beholden to reprise his Green Lantern role if Warner Bros. wishes it, meaning he'd likely be tied up for the foreseeable future, essentially killing the Deadpool project for good.

We feel you, DP. We feel you so hard.
We feel you, DP. We feel you so hard.

Granted, it's possible that we might see Deadpool make an appearance in the next X-Men movie, but it's not exactly plausible. [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](movie:203942) was the largest superhero ensemble movie ever, and it was quite a bit of work to juggle all the mutants present and past without them being completely wasted on screen. Adding a character as volatile and larger-than-life as Deadpool would completely upset that balance, like trying to shove a square peg in a round hole. It just doesn't make sense. Logically, we won't be seeing Deadpool appearing in the X-Men universe again any time soon. But neither does Fox seem to be at all inclined to move forward on a standalone movie.

Could it be that Fox hasn't yet found a way to fit Deadpool into their X-Men universe and so they've quietly given up on a movie, choosing instead to let the rights revert back to Marvel? Is this why Marvel is showcasing its Merc With a Mouth for its 75th anniversary, to prep fans for the Deadpool movie rights returning to the Marvel fold and build more hype?

Marvel just crushed it with a movie that included a talking raccoon and a sentient tree, so they're obviously on board with getting down with the weird. [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073) was a property that virtually no one outside of Marvel's hardcore comic book fandom was aware of, with unknown characters, and, well...we all know how that turned out. They're clearly okay with taking risks, as Guardians proved. Compared to that, giving an R-rated Deadpool script the go-ahead seems to be the least risky project Marvel has greenlit in recent years, particularly when it's clear that fans are dying to see Deadpool done right.

Dance. Die. So easy to confuse the two.
Dance. Die. So easy to confuse the two.

Of course, all of this could just be me wanting a Deadpool movie so much I'm seeing connections where there aren't any, a confirmation bias of the geeky sort. Still, don't you find it strange that despite all the pieces being in place and huge fan demand, Fox is still adamantly refusing to give [Deadpool](movie:38663) the go-ahead? Don't you find it odd that there's been so much Deadpool material "accidentally" leaking on the internet lately? Isn't it uncharacteristic of them that Fox, who immediately blitzed entertainment sites with take-down requests the minute a Comic-Con picture of The Thing from [The Fantastic Four](movie:34667) hit the internet, would let actual test footage hang around so long? Or that Marvel, out of all its characters, chose to showcase Wade Wilson, a movie property belonging to another studio, for its diamond anniversary celebration?

It's entirely possible this is just wish fulfillment. But I wouldn't be surprised if we got a definitive answer about the future of Deadpool one way or the other, relatively soon.

What do you think? Is my theory plausible? Made of stuff and nonsense? Have a theory of your own? Share it with me in the comments.


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