You may be wondering how a Deadpool sequel (one announced before the movie hit theaters) could be anything but great news for the X-Men movies. After all, Deadpool clearly makes use of mutants and the character seems to be familiar with the famous team. That would certainly represent a greater chance for crossover potential right….well, no. Not exactly.
You see, the Deadpool franchise will, according to Tech Insider, take place in an alternate universe. Kind of like what happened with X-Men Origins: Wolverine…except not, because that movie was supposed to explain Logan’s amnesia, discussed in the very first X-Men movie. I’m going to go on a limb and say that the X-Men franchise wouldn’t have been left to teeter on the edge of disaster if it weren’t for a persistent hard-on for a bloodless, too-tall, non-animalistic PG-13 version of Wolverine (and we’ll get back to that).
That means that Deadpool movies will be able to side-step whatever future disasters await the X-Men franchise — and believe me, they’re coming.
The weakness of the X-Men films is an unforgivable indifference towards the source material. When Fox let go and let God, Deadpool materialized as a miraculously authentic creation — perhaps truer to the comics than even anything Marvel Studios has put out so far. But hey, that’s what happens when you hold hands with Disney, the most family-friendly franchise in the known universe.
Anyway, aside from Deadpool, Fox has blown it over and over and over again when it comes to getting the characters right and then treating anyone who isn’t Wolverine with any kind of respect. Even the character Deadpool was sidelined by an inexplicable plot in a throwaway spin-off — until leaked test footage saved it.
However with Deadpool, there might be a way out…for a version of the X-Men universe disassociated with the X-Men films. That’s because Deadpool will be handled by people who know and love the characters and want to show them in their most bada** light.
In a world where comic book movies are no longer guaranteed blockbusters (looking at you, Fantastic Four reboot!), which do you think will be most appealing: Well-developed characters that mesh well with the universe they’re in or Jennifer Lawrence phoning it in while surrounded by plot holes in a universe created by people who wrote themselves into a corner?
If the Deadpool sequel begins to lay the groundwork for the New Mutants and X-Force and if the people behind those movies can create an interlinking movie universe that makes sense, it will render the future of the X-Men franchise somewhat meaningless. Why risk flying completely off the rails (again) when characters can be re-introduced — like the once more Russian Colossus? It’s a free-and-clear way of rebooting EVERYTHING while providing newer and truer versions of everyone.
Should that be attempted, and should fans be highly receptive, I do think it might spell the end of the Bryan Singer based universe of the X-Men.
Although that might seem like terrible news, that might be the tool that Fox needs to get a one-up on both DC/Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios/Disney.
If an R-rated comic book movie becomes a blockbuster hit, it will forever shatter the idea that a movie must be “kid-friendly” to do well. It will mean going directly after the target audience — which is actually old enough to see those rated-R movies. You know what else might get butts in seats? The promise of a short scrappy, violent, psychopathic and highly damaged Wolverine. Or he creation of truly terrifying and murderous villains who don’t simply die off (or get turned into heroes and anti-heroes). In other words, the kinds of things that Marvel has struggled with on the big screen.
Deadpool might inadvertently mean the end, but in clever hands, it could spin Fox toward its own golden age of comic book movies.
[Images via screen grab from 20th Century Fox/YouTube]