Kevin Feige Passed On Ryan Reynolds’ First Deadpool 3 Pitch: ‘I Wasn’t Sure How To Incorporate Him’

Deadpool & Wolverine

by Ben Travis |
Published on

For a while there, Deadpool’s future looked uncertain. Despite his two mega-smash movies under 20th Century Fox, the Disney-Fox takeover brought up all kinds of questions about what would happen next. Was there a place for him in Kevin Feige’s MCU? Could he still be deeply R-rated under the ownership of Disney? How would he fit with plans to bring mutants into the world that Iron Man built? Thankfully, the answer became clear: Deadpool does whatever Deadpool wants. And so, we have his impending MCU arrival in Deadpool & Wolverine, teaming Ryan Reynolds’ motormouthed Wade Wilson up with Hugh Jackman’s gruff Logan for a Marvel movie like you’ve never seen before.

Not that the version arriving in cinemas this summer is entirely in line with Reynolds’ first plan for the project. As he tells Empire in the world-exclusive Deadpool & Wolverine issue, he first envisioned a “Rashomon story about Wolverine and Deadpool and something that they got into together, but told from three completely different perspectives,” he explains. “It was a way to make a large-scale movie in a very small way.” It was a pitch that Feige turned down – mainly because he was still figuring out the big-picture side of things. “The truth is, I wasn’t even sure how to incorporate Deadpool yet,” the Marvel boss admits. “I was very much thinking about how to bring mutants and the X-Men into [the MCU], and I thought it needed to be more than just playing the hits. But the truth is, Ryan is an idea machine. So he may have pitched that to me, but he also pitched 25 other thoughts and ideas.”

In their collaborative quest to find the best Deadpool (and Wolverine) story possible, Reynolds and Feige explored all kinds of avenues. “I went back to the drawing board, and I wrote up about 18 different treatments,” Reynolds recalls. “Some of them almost like a Sundance film, a budget of under $10 million, sort of using the IP in a way that they previously hadn’t used, and I pitched bigger movies, and I pitched things in-between.” Before too long, they found their way to the version hitting multiplexes in mere weeks time. “We definitely spun our wheels a little bit trying to find the reason for this movie to be,” says executive producer Wendy Jacobson. “Once Hugh raised his hand, two months later we were prepping. It was honestly one of the fastest turnarounds I've ever seen.” Who knows – maybe this one’s more of a Yojimbo take.

Empire Summer 2024 cover – Deadpool & Wolverine

Read Empire’s full Deadpool & Wolverine cover feature – speaking to Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, director Shawn Levy, Marvel boss Kevin Feige and more – in the Summer 2024 issue, on sale Thursday 9 May. Pre-order a copy online here. Deadpool & Wolverine comes to UK cinemas from 25 July.

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