If you've been following the rumor mill for upcoming comic book movies (a crazy thought, I know I know) then you are no doubt aware that one of the biggest rumors floating around at the moment is that [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267) and Wolverine 3 will be the last movies taking place within the current X-Men universe that started with Brian Singer's film in 2000, and has since led to 5 subsequent sequels, and two spin-off series.
But is Deadpool technically a spin off movie series? Or is it possible that the Deadpool movie actually takes place in a newly rebooted X-Men universe, and taken even further... is there any possibility that this new universe isn't as new as we'd think? Could it in fact be one and the same as the revered MCU?
Let's look at the evidence, starting with reasons we have to believe that Fox is thinking about ending it's current X-Men timeline.
Ok, so I am sure many of you are already shaking your heads and scoffing at the idea of the MCU growing to include spiderma... oops, I mean the X-Men (What is this, 2014? See what I did there?) Some sight the ongoing feud that has fox execs so steamed at Marvel and vice versa, except not. As early into the MCU's success as 2012 X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner had this to say in an interview with Crave Online, about the idea of an Avengers/X Men crossover.
"I would love it. I would love it. I personally have close ties to Marvel because of Kevin Feige, because Kevin worked for me. But to take our characters and mingle them in the way that they were written, yeah, absolutely."
Truth be told almost everyone involved with either franchise who has ever been questioned about the prospect has been enthusiastic in their support. Now I, like many, would find the idea of trying to unify these two established worlds into a single continuity to be insurmountable at best, impossible probably being the better word. If the events of the X-Men movies had taken place within the MCU there is no way the producers could justify none of it coming up for the first 20 or so movies. And let's not forget that the X-Men franchise is close to collapsing under the weight of its own inconsistencies and plot holes, so trying to merge it with the even more established MCU would be a nightmare. But that would not be the case with a reboot.
Now, about that continuity strain I mentioned... You'd have to be in a fairly vegetative state to not have noticed the growing plot holes, literally eating the X-Men movies alive. Now... one probably could argue that paradox inducing continuity errors, and and impossible to reconcile storyline conflicts is all part a valiant effort from the producers to remain as true to the X Men source material as possible.
But it's probably more likely that they were just a bunch of "whoopsies" and "who gives a shits?" Which can only go on for so long.
How did Wolverine get his adamantium back between The Wolverine and Days of Future Past? How did Prof. Xavier get his body back after Last Stand? Wasn't there a mutant cure or something? Wasn't that diamond girl some throw away sister? Didn't that angry little white guy used to be a pouty black man?
It goes on and on. With this unparalleled continuity mess on their hands the execs at fox must be thinking about a future series of films that have freed themselves from the trappings of their predecessors, and that now is unquestionably the best time to move on that. Why is it the best time you might ask?
Because we are saying good bye to Mr. Jackman. Yup, it's no secret that Hugh Jackman is ready to hang up the claws and that his upcoming Wolverine 3 project (rumored to follow the Old Man Logan storyline) will be his last. Now if there is a more perfect time to reboot a series than when it's far and away most popular character switches up from his equally famous actor, I couldn't tell you what it is.
Recasting is jarring as hell. No getting around that. I'm willing to bet it can be done, but I can't think of a single example where the star/hero of the movie has been replaced in a sequel, and the movie still worked. So even if it can be done, it is incredibly difficult. So not only would rebooting become easier from that standpoint, but this would also provide a clean break, to really make it easily understandable to the general audience that the movie is not a continuation of the previous series.
Alright, maybe I have convinced you that the idea of Fox rebooting the X-Men universe is pretty popular. If not for the outrageous, and well deserved success of Deapool. Wooing audiences and critics alike, raking in tons of cash, at the very least guaranteeing a slew of sequels, possibly even changing the way we make super hero movies. So you might be thinking, "How could they reboot the X-Men universe if they are going to continue making Deadpool movies?" Well the answer, as should be obvious to anyone who read the title of this article is that DEADPOOL ALREADY TAKES PLACE IN THE REBOOTED X-MEN UNIVERSE. *que gasp*
That's right, I think there is more than enough reason to believe that Deadpool does not take place within the continuity of the previous X-Men movies, but in fact is our first glimpse into the future reboot coming after X-Men Apocalypse. So why don't we do a quick breakdown.
1. Every reference to the X-Men was incredibly vague, only really letting us know they exist, and dropping a few specific names, all of characters who without a doubt will be featured in any X-Men reboot that may happen from now until the end of time. Prof. X gets name dropped, because of course he does. Ditto for Wolverine.
2. When we do actually see the X-Men, we again get to see only the vaguest of details that would not be specific to almost any iterations of them. They live in a mansion, the mansion is a school, they have a plane.
3. The uniforms! Can we take a moment to just sit back and react to the hands down best cinematic X-Men universe uniforms? Not only were they comic book perfect, but they were unlike anything we've seen in the previous X-Men movies.
4. Now, assuming Deapool takes place in the current X-Men continuity, there is one continuity error that is so simultaneously glaring and glorious that the hardcore persnicketies must not have known what to do with themselves after seeing the movie. And that continuity error's name is Colossus.
Colossus in Deadpool was perfect, as perfectly matched to his comic book counterpart as he was irreconcilably conflicted with the character's cinematic portrayal up to this point. There is absolutely no way anyone can try to argue that the Colossus we see in Deadpool is the same Colossus we've seen in X2, X3, and DoFP. I'm sorry, time travel madness may account for the accent, and some of the personality differences... But the physical discrepancies? The completely different manifestation of the concept of metal skin? The hair? No way around those. These cannot be the same character.
This leads down one of only two possible roads. Fox can either completely ignore the continuity snaffu, and it's numerous siblings, or they can just say, "Nope! Not a continuity error! This is a new Colossus in a new cinematic universe." But really, how "new" would this universe be? Because believe it or not, there is evidence, though slight, that Deadpool not only takes place in a rebooted X-verse, but that that new X-verse is actually the already well established Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Now, let's get the first bit, which you've almost certainly seen before out of the way first. The Helicarrier. I mean, let's be honest, that is a helicarrier, no two ways about it. Don't believe me? Check the concept art...
Ok, so beyond that we really only have one more in movie clue that either Deadpool is somehow connected to the MCU movies, or Fox just blatantly broke the law and used a character they were not allowed to. Deadpool's mercenary friend Bob. Who Deadpool comic fans know without a doubt is the beloved Bob Agent of Hydra.
Bob is a modern Deadpool mainstay who joined Hydra for the health insurance to get his girlfriend off his back. Now as we all know Hydra is 100% in the marvel camp in terms of character rights, and Bob's backstory and character are firmly planted within them, as the helicarrier is within SHIELD. I am not sure Disney would let something like this slip if there was not something in it for them.
Those are the only two in movie clues but there is still more to go on. Take a look at these two very recent headlines.
I don't think I need to spell out the implications of these two articles. Hell even most of you who only read the titles get the idea. Both of these things, an Avengers/X-Men or Deadpool/Spider-Man crossover, mean the same thing. The X-Men and Marvel universes are one and the same, which for reasons already discussed would be impossible outside of a reboot. The idea that people behind the scenes on these projects are open to it speaks volumes about what could happen in the future. Fiege himself has said they always have plans for how to incorporate characters they currently can't use, as seen in this article from slashfilm.
Now, the final bit we have hinting at the idea of the X-Men and Deadpool coming into the MCU is admittedly very weak. The offhand remark about Sam Jackson in the post credits scene. I know, I know... but it is a reference to the MCU, so I thought it deserved at least a mention.
So what do you guys think? Have I stumbled upon something here? Do the arguments make sense? Are you at least convinced that Deadpool takes place in a rebooted X-verse? Or am I just a raving fool? Let me know in the comments!