After countless miles of ink and pixels dedicated to speculation ever since the Fox-Disney merger, it’s official: Deadpool 3 is a go at Marvel Studios with Ryan Reynolds reprising his role. Deadline broke the news.

Interestingly, Ryan Reynolds has tapped the Molyneux sisters, Wendy and Lizzie Molyneux (Bob’s Burgers, The Great North), to pen the script. This means writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who wrote the first two movies, are out, though it’s not clear why they parted ways. Reynolds has had quite a bit of creative control over the franchise since the first film, and he’d reportedly been quietly meeting with a handful of writers over the past month to hear their pitches for the next installment in the franchise. When he heard the Molyneuxs’ vision for the story, it apparently fit perfectly for where he saw it going.

It also appears as though director David Leitch, who helmed the sequel, will not be returning. It’s not for a creative clash or lack of meshing visions, but simply that he’s booked straight through 2021. Depending on when the movie goes into production, it’s certainly possible he could return once his schedule has opened back up, but considering he wasn’t part of the writer’s search, it seems Marvel isn’t waiting on him to get the ball rolling. If the project adds a director in the next few months, we can expect it to go into production next year.

For those wondering: Sources have also indicated the third movie will have an R rating just like the first two, an interesting development. This will be the first Deadpool movie in which Reynolds and Marvel Studios will be working closely together, and Deadpool’s foul-mouthed, adult humor does not at all mesh with the all-ages vibe of Marvel. Does this mean Deadpool will remain under the 20th Century Studios banner? Does it mean Marvel is open to the idea of taking greater liberties with the movies under its own banner? It’s impossible to say as there are still a number of details being sorted out. We can likely expect to see Josh Brolin, who has had a longtime relationship with Marvel playing Thanos, to reprise his role of Cable in the third Deadpool movie, however.

Still, this is incredibly exciting news. The creative pairing of Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Feige is one that could potentially be game-changing. Feige helped overhaul the Spider-Man franchise into something new and fresh, and, considering his excitement at what they’re daring to do with WandaVision, it’s been clear he’s been eager to try different things with Marvel character IP. And Reynolds has been the captain steering the Deadpool ship since before the first movie was even released. As one of the most collaborative and inventive actors in Hollywood, the opportunity for him to join the MCU proper could lead to some incredibly dynamic relationships both on- and off-screen. It’s entirely possible that Deadpool 3 will be the guinea pig that helps Marvel figure out how to make more adult-oriented, R-rated movies while still staying true to the Marvel ethos.

Maximum effort!

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