Deadpool & Wolverine: Shawn Levy Signed Up After Regretting Saying No To The Wolverine – Exclusive

Deadpool & Wolverine

by Chris Hewitt |
Published on

The brand-new issue of Empire – featuring a world-exclusive first look at Deadpool & Wolverine, the summer’s most anticipated blockbuster – is now on sale, folks. And you’ve no doubt already rushed out to your nearest good or evil newsagent, picked up a copy, and pored over every glorious word from Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, Shawn Levy, Kevin Feige, and their chums. (And if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Permission? Permission granted!)

But what you won’t have read is how Levy became involved in the project. You might imagine that Levy was asked to come on board as director, producer, and co-writer by his good friend Reynolds, whom he had directed in Free Guy and The Adam Project. And you wouldn’t be entirely wide of the mark on that. “On the set of The Adam Project, Ryan asked me if I would consider doing Deadpool 3,” says Levy. “And I remember him saying, ‘I know you’re gonna say no, but I’m really going to try and talk you into it.’ And my response was, ‘I’m not gonna fucking say no, are you kidding? It’s a hard and immediate yes, sir!’”

At that time, Deadpool 3 didn’t have Wolverine, and specifically Hugh Jackman, in it. But when Jackman – who had last played the character in 2017’s Logan – decided that he wanted to wield those adamantium claws one more time (to find out how and why, read the… oh, you know what we’re going to say), Levy saw it not only as a chance to reunite with his Real Steel star, but also to make amends for a past decision. “When we were making Real Steel, Hugh was looking to do The Wolverine, and he asked me if I wanted to do it,” reveals Levy. “And like a moron, I said, ‘No’. Because I was thinking at that time, ‘Well, it’s your fifth time playing the character, I’m doing original films et cetera’. And I regretted it deeply for years. And so, when the opportunity came around again, thank God I was older and wiser enough to jump at the opportunity.”

Levy is very clear about what he sees as the appeal in putting these two particular mutant heroes together on screen. “These are wildly different characters,” he says. “You have the Merc With The Mouth, and you have a guy who doesn’t even like words very much. That is not a recipe for a love story, that’s a recipe for conflict. And there’s something delicious about that conflict.” As Deadpool and Wolverine say themselves in the film’s trailer: let’s fuckin’ go.

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. Order a copy online here. Deadpool & Wolverine comes to UK cinemas from 25 July.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us