Get Ready for Deadpool & Wolverine

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Get Ready for Deadpool & Wolverine

When Deadpool hit cinemas in 2016 it was a real treat for fans of the comic books and a swift kick to the funny bone for the uninitiated. Here was a superhero movie that was irreverent, action-packed, and outrageously funny. It showed that superhero movies were not just for kids. Deadpool is returning to the big screen this month, with the release of Deadpool and Wolverine hitting cinemas on July 25th, and we take a peek at what’s in store.

 

The character of Deadpool originally hit shelves in 1990 in New Mutants #98. He wove his way through a variety of Marvel comic books before he was given his own series in 1993. He became well-known for his dark humour, foul language, and love of violence. He was also aware that he was in a comic book and had fun talking directly to the audience. When word got out of his move to the big screen there were concerns that he would be toned down to get a US PG-13 rating – the usual rating for superhero movies. These fears were unfounded, and the eventual film received a US R rating. Here it was rated R13.  

 

The movie was a long time in the making. It was first announced in 2000, and actor Ryan Reynolds was attached to the project in 2004. Some test footage was filmed, however 20th Century Fox, the studio that held the rights, wasn’t keen to proceed. Through some genius marketing that may or may not be linked to Ryan Reynolds (he claims his mother was behind the leak), the test footage was leaked online in 2012. The overwhelming fan response tipped the studio’s hand and got the film greenlit.

 

In both the comic book world and in the movies, Deadpool and Wolverine are connected. Deadpool’s first foray onto the big screen was actually in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where Wade Wilson is turned into a mutant by a government agency experiment that uses Wolverine’s healing powers. While this isn’t the origin story we see in the Deadpool movies, he still has a fixation on Wolverine, bringing him up several times in both movies and even stapling a picture of Hugh Jackman’s face to his own head at one point. While this variation in his origin story may be confusing to viewers, it is a part of the comic books that Deadpool’s origin story changes as he can’t remember his personal history due to a mental condition. In the final credits of Deadpool 2 (2018), the character sets about “cleaning up the timeline” and goes back in time to erase the events in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, much to the delight of many Deadpool fans who weren’t happy with the character’s treatment in the film.

 

Despite having similar mutant powers and working together as mercenaries in both the comic books and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Deadpool and Wolverine are opposites in a lot of ways. Deadpool is a loudmouth who says whatever comes into his mind. Wolverine on the other hand is quiet and gruff. Deadpool seems cheerful, despite all the horrible things that have happened to him, whereas Wolverine often appears downtrodden by his trauma. They also have quite different moral codes. Wolverine seems reluctant to kill but will do so when necessary. Deadpool kills gleefully but draws the line at harming children, even if it’s in the name of the greater good. Putting these characters back together is bound to cause sparks to fly, and we can’t wait!

 

Clearly, a lot of other people are interested in this collaboration too. The trailer racked up 365 million global views within 24 hours, which saw it overtake Spider-Man: No Way Home for the record of the most-viewed trailer in its first 24 hours.

 

So, what do we know about the new movie?

Deadpool & Wolverine is set 6 years after the events of Deadpool 2. In Deadpool 2 we already know that (spoilers!) Wolverine died in Logan (2017). However, the Marvel Universe never lets the past get in the way of a good story. Through time travel and the existence of the multiverse, the characters can go back in time and jump between realities, so when Deadpool needs the help of his friend Wolverine, he goes to another universe and borrows theirs.

 

This Wolverine is suffering from a failure in his own universe, where he is shunned and more morose than usual. It is with reluctance that he joins Deadpool on his mission, although he definitely enjoys some of the perks, such as battling it out with his red-clad sparring partner! Interestingly, this Wolverine is the first film version to don the yellow superhero suit that is so recognisable from the comic books and the animated series.  

 

The trailers have also sparked a lot of discussion from MCU devotees. In 2019, 20th Century Fox, along with its stable of film rights, was acquired by Disney. This meant that Deadpool, Wolverine and the X-Men became the property of Disney, joining them with other Marvel properties like Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Thor, and Loki. While this opens up cross-over potential, it also raised questions about content and ratings, as Disney is well-known for its family-friendly fare.  Deadpool & Wolverine has an R rating in place for the USA, showing that Deadpool’s attitude and language won’t be changing too much despite this move. In true Deadpool-style, there are also references to Disney, and Marvel head Kevin Feige, in the trailer.

 

Is prior knowledge required to watch Deadpool & Wolverine?

Whether you look at this new film as Deadpool 3 or Wolverine 10, it’s obviously part of an existing film series. According to the filmmakers, Deadpool & Wolverine will not require any particular homework or previous watching to enjoy as it’s designed to be entertaining all on its own. That being said, it’s probably useful to have some basic knowledge of the characters and the wider world that they belong to, such as knowing that Deadpool and Wolverine are mutants with regenerative powers, and that parallel universes exist.

 

Movies based on comic books are well-known for rewarding their die-hard fans with in-jokes or side references that will go over the heads of people without their level of background knowledge. Eagle-eyed viewers have spotted elements from the MCU showing through, including the Void and its guardian Alioth from Loki, the Time Variance Authority, and Ant-Man’s / Giant Man’s skull.

 

Characters from the previous X-Men movies are also visible in the trailers. These characters include Pyro, Lady Deathstrike, Azazel, Toad, Callisto, and Sabretooth. It was also announced in 2023 that Jennifer Garner will be starring as Elektra, another of the 20th Century Fox acquisitions, showing that this film is also embracing the characters that make up the wider Marvel universe.

 

Cassandra Nova has been confirmed as the main villain in this film. Fans of the X-Men comic books will know her as a mummudrai, a parasite inhabiting the body of Charles Xavier’s twin. Her telekinetic control over Wolverine in the trailer shows she’s going to be a force to be reckoned with.

 

Fans of the Deadpool comic books will also have spotted Dogpool and Lady Deadpool in the trailers, and be aware of the possibility of Vanessa emerging as Copycat. Another inside joke for readers of the comic books is a storefront for Liefeld’s Just Feet Orthopedic Solutions. This is in reference to Rob Liefeld, Deadpool’s co-creator, who was notoriously bad at drawing feet.

 

What’s clear from the trailers is that Deadpool & Wolverine has been made by passionate people who know their material and are keen to reward their loyal fans, while still making an action-packed film enjoyable to new converts as well. It’s walking the tried-and-true Deadpool path of irreverence, foul language and epic fight scenes, and is bound to be a thrill ride worth seeing on the big screen.

Shop the Deadpool & Wolverine range of costumes and accessories at Costume World New Zealand

 

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  • Ann Thomson