**Warning, spoilers for Logan ahead**
It is a rare occurrence that a superhero movie could be classified as a genuine masterpiece, but Logan is without a doubt in that category. The gritty R-rated motion picture debuted this week to universal acclaim, showcasing an installment that breaks the mold for the genre and manages to achieve the seldom feat of closing the chapter of an icon.
Perhaps it has been the diet that audience members have been fed for the best part of a decade, but much of the talk and speculation surrounding the film centers around the presence of a certain Deadpool. The Merc with the Mouth has lived up to his name with Ryan Reynolds telling anyone that would listen how much a mooted Wolverine vs. Deadpool title would appeal to him.
Combining two characters and two movies that would set records for Marvel and 20th Century Fox is an appetizing prospect for all concerned. The filmmakers and stars could write their own cheques. Even the idea of marketing and creating merchandise opportunities would have the moneymen in a nonstop tailspin.
The reality though is a different scenario. From the scheduling conflicts to the endless movie and television spinoffs, sequel issues, crossovers with tone and storylines, and the admission from Hugh Jackman that his time with the claws is over, the movie is never ever going to happen.
Director James Mangold told the press that a post-credit sequence featuring Deadpool was a poor idea, ill-befitting of a movie that is more suited to a thriller Western than a superhero flick. If that were too much of a stretch to pull off, then a 2-hour plus extravaganza simply wouldn’t pay off. Surfing and fine dining are both terrific experiences in their own right but put them together and you have one giant mess.
Here are the 15 reasons why a Wolverine-Deadpool crossover is impossible.
15. Studio Haggling
Superhero movies are not entities that can be created and enjoyed with the spirit in which they were made, letting moviegoers run away with their imaginations to get lost in a world of tight shorts, lightning beams, and CGI monsters. No, for thinking that you would be mistaken. These are intellectual properties, meaning that they are vehicles of commercial operation to drive and promote brand recognition and most importantly – revenue. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige offered an insight last year into the politics that has beset the issue at hand, describing the possibility of an X-Men and Avengers crossover as an “impossibility.” Although Deadpool doesn’t affect this particular dynamic, it touches on the incredible haggling and backhanded dealings that go in with these types of negotiations. Even with these titles falling under the Marvel banner, Deadpool was assisted by TSG Entertainment while Logan was produced in part by the little known Hutch Parker Entertainment. This is the tip of the iceberg as the vested parties and factions would be warring over rights for months.
14. Avengers MCU
They might be two ends of the same spectrum, but the upcoming schedule for Marvel with the Avengers makes their studio executives incredibly busy. Fortunately, Walt Disney is helping the load having acquired rights to the MCU, but the workload is still substantial. Starting off with Iron Man in 2008, the series has spawned no less than 13 sequels until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 puts that to 14. Captain America: Civil War started what is known as Phase Three in 2016, a period in the franchise that will see Doctor Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel open for Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel and a yet-to-be-titled Avengers flick. Exhausted yet? All of these titles will span only two years to make all in sundry running around furiously to stay on schedule. To have further appetite to plan a third Deadpool installment that will resurrect Wolverine is just something that won’t be on their radar and with this much moviemaking on their plate, could you blame them?
13. X-Men: Supernova TV Series
Screenwriter and producer Simon Kinberg will be joining forces with X-Men director Bryan Singer to help create a new television series in 2018, believed to be titled X-Men: Supernova, although this particular detail is yet to be confirmed. The world of Charles Xavier and his school of mutants spans generations, a multitude of characters and timelines, meaning that the motion picture realm is too limiting to what is set to take place. Such a bold project will take away precious time and resources from a mooted crossover, as Kinberg, Singer and the rest of the backroom staff try and build upon a credible cast and narrative that will hold up over a period of seasons as opposed to installments. How this will pan out, whether in the mold of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. where the focus is on bit-part players or more akin to The Defenders which spans Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist is to be discovered. For all we know the show could recast Wolverine and/or Deadpool and venture off in a completely different direction.
12. Deadpool 2 Dramas
It’s brilliant that Deadpool provided Ryan Reynolds with the confidence and enthusiasm to look beyond his own sequel to a third movie, but the 40-year old has already endured a number of setbacks as he tries to make the second one. Deadpool 2 was thrown into chaos last year when inaugural director Tim Miller jumped ship after citing “creative differences,” a moment that had many fans sit up and take notice. Speculation soon followed that it was the casting of the character Cable that was to blame, with Miller said to favorite Bloodline star Kyle Chandler for the part while Reynolds objected. Performers ranging from David Harbour to Pierce Brosnan and Russell Crowe have been mentioned in the interim, as new filmmaker David Leitch attempts to balance the demands of a historic R-rated picture that surpassed all expectations. Reynolds admitted to the press that his concept of the Merc with the Mouth was rejected out of hand for years before it made it’s way onto the screen and adding these latest dramas, who knows what roadblocks would be put in the way of Wolverine vs. Deadpool.
11. New Mutants
When it was announced earlier in the year that Marvel was embarking on a fresh new X-Men project, a title that came to many comic book fans minds was New Mutants. Departing from the regular names and faces we’ve come to know and love since 2000 via the likes of Wolverine, Magneto, Rogue, Cyclops and Charles Xavier/Professor X, this series includes characters like Sunspot, Magik, Mirage, Cannonball and Danielle Moonstar. Perhaps we were given a glimpse of these heroes in the concluding chapter of Logan, with X-23 meeting up with her childhood friends in North Dakota? Whatever the case maybe for Marvel and 20th Century Fox, New Mutants offers the studio a chance to branch out with X-Men and build on it with new identities that can essentially start from scratch. But rather than starting off cold, the brand recognition and lineage to the old movies means there will be an audience waiting for them.
The Deadpool inner sanctum is a special club only reserved for the handful of filmmakers that actually know what they’re doing and trust each other’s work. This team currently comprises of three individuals until it expands out as they continue. The first piece is Ryan Reynolds, the star and driver of the project for many years. Then the other two are screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, two scribes who enjoy a chat or two to the media. This trio has been hard at it for Deadpool 2 until it was revealed that the Canadian-raised Hollywood heartthrob will use his penmanship to help craft an X-Force movie. This is a narrative that can be the catalyst for Deadpool 3, seeing the likes of Cable and Domino (for which Scandal star Kerry Washington is an early frontrunner) reprise their roles. X-Force debuted in the 1991 edition of New Mutants and such a grand picture will take a lot of Reynolds’ spare time.
The on again, off again mayhem that has been Channing Tatum’s Gambit has been struggling to get off the ground for years and is seemingly stuck in neutral and going nowhere fast. But producer Simon Kinberg told LRM that the movie is indeed going ahead for a 2018 shoot, a fact that will drag more time and resources away from key Marvel people.
“Channing is – in the best possible way – as committed and rigorous about getting the character right as Ryan was with Deadpool and as Hugh was with Logan on this movie,” said the producer. “So it’s been about finding a filmmaker and someone who can capture that voice and hand it off to Channing.
But he’s been a really critical part of the process, and we’re hoping that the movie – probably given his schedule – will be ready to go this year and probably shoot next year.” That’s a lot of “probably,” but we’ll take it at face value.
8. Hugh Jackman Has Said So (Quit)
In the event that our word for it is not good enough at TheRichest, then take it from Hugh Jackman himself. Speaking with Fandango ahead of the premiere of Logan last month, the Aussie pulled the plug on any potential crossover or return of the character in any shape or form.
“That’s probably bad timing because I love Ryan Reynolds and I love Deadpool, but I knew I was out and I couldn’t have made this movie if I was questioning if I was out,” he remarked. “I was a pain in the ass for a lot of people with this movie because it mattered so much to me. Even when we started writing this, and even when I asked James Mangold (director) to come on board, I said ‘Dude, I don’t know if I’m gonna make it.’ Unless it’s exactly what I want, I prefer to not do it. I couldn’t live with it. So this is it.”
7. X-23 Future
12-year old Dafne Keen is the future of the X-Men franchise. Logan proved that much as the talented Spanish-English child actress was so good, she even threatened to steal the show from Hugh Jackman’s career defining performance. Her character Laura Kinney/X-23 would be among the final group of mutants in the USA where she was fleeing towards the Canadian border for salvation at the end of the film. Keen’s coming of age role was so jaw-dropping that director James Mangold and star Patrick Stewart argued that future movies in the series should indeed be based on her character. If this is the case, then the desire to bring out Jackman again and start the crossover process would run contrary to what they have begun here. The audience can have its cake and eat it too, but to do this it would mean seeing Reynolds go down one R-rated path as Keen and co. branch out to be the next generation of face the franchise.
6. Timeline Conundrum
Without venturing into Back to the Future territory where timelines become intertwined and overlapped, the actual mechanics of bringing the pair together again makes for a tough sell. For starters, Logan has been in existence for over 200 years to the point where he has been a mainstay in the franchise from the X-Men: First Class generation of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s to modern day and beyond. The latest picture is set in the year 2029, a time when mutants are on the cusp of extinction and Wolverine’s final act is to save the young and gifted. Understanding his journey from beginning to end with a few gaps in between, the logistics are hard to fathom. Deadpool, on the other hand, is virtually set in modern times but much like we see in the series Better Call Saul, a program that is shot years after its predecessor Breaking Bad, the actors continue to look aged beyond what they should. It’s a small detail, yet with Jackman at 48 and Reynolds at 40, any crossover would need to hurry before the stars grow any more gray hairs.
5. Lack of Believable Story
How would they play off each other? Would they be sidekicks in an ensemble or take each other head on? The comics suggest the latter as there are copies and fan fiction portraying the pair squaring off in a killer Marvel battle. One man has adamantium claws and berserker rage while the foul-mouthed man in red has the ability to play mind games, regenerate quickly and essentially operates as an immortal to the point where only his head removed from his body will do any lasting damage. But what does any of this have to do with a crossover? The contrast of the pair is so deep and complex that a narrative showcasing the duo is beyond any comprehension, even in a world where mutants actually exist. Convincing the world that these two are at war or see value in linking up seems beyond all comprehension when you factor in Howlett’s temper problems.
4. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
The movie that is sure to kill any suggestion ever again from a studio that wants something to versus something else. DC’s horrendous Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice made the obvious mistake of attempting to shoehorn too much too quickly into one picture, resulting in a convoluted mishmash of subplots, cameos, and storylines that don’t make sense even months after watching them. Maintaining a 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes illustrates how poorly conceived and executed the idea was, particularly for director Zack Snyder. His Carte blanche approach to the franchise caused DC and Warner Brothers to furiously backtrack on giving their filmmakers autonomy, a factor that has projects like The Flash, Cyborg and The Batman in utter chaos. Marvel would best see this case study as an example of what not to do. The temptation is large and sure as hell the studio would make a ton of money from the production, but common sense has to prevail in this situation if they desire to keep their reputation and legacy intact.
3. X-Men Origins
The absolute unmitigated disaster that was 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine somehow survived to the point where we have Logan in 2017, a movie that makes its predecessor appear amateur and unprofessional. Reynolds spoke of his experience playing Wade Wilson in this ruined version of the character, seeing the Merc with the Mouth have his mouth taped up and suddenly have shooting beams come out of his eyes. None of that had anything to do with the comics and such was the degree of the antagonism experienced by the actor, he went over to DC and compounded the error by starring in Green Lantern. Any other performer would have ended their superhero career following one flop, but to have two and still have the sustaining power to make Deadpool is a credit to the guy. All of this makes the scenario of the crossover a non-starter because the characters did duel, Wolverine won and Deadpool was decapitated. While the actors and studio wished they could go all Matrix on us and wipe our memories of it, it happened and they have to live with the consequences.
2. Tone Contrast
One character constantly breaks the fourth wall with regular winks and nods to the camera reminding you that you’re watching a movie. The other in Wolverine is the complete antithesis of Deadpool, playing the role straight down the middle to the point where the Australian deserves an Oscar nomination for his raw portrayal. Attempting to crossover a dark comedy with fart jokes, pop cultural references and brushes with the camera simply wouldn’t compute with James Howlett, a man beset by grief, doubt and a lack of humor. In some circles, they could be viewed as the rudest version of The Odd Couple possible, yet pulling that off is a task that no filmmaker could perfect. Would it be a comedy, a drama, a thriller, a combination? Marvel’s greatest asset is creating different worlds that interlock and overlap with each other, giving the studio the license to choose when to pull the trigger on a crossover. A Wolverine-Deadpool concept is not one of those.
1. Logan Is Dead
This is the single biggest issue facing the entire concept as Logan acted as the emotional closing chapter of the clawed superhero once and for all. Saving the young X-23 and the next generation of mutants from his evil clone X-24, James Howlett ended years of pain, heartache and emotional struggle to sacrifice himself for the good of others. Comic book fans know that the death of Wolverine was always going to come but weren’t quite convinced how, when or by whom. Having been impaled on a sharp tree branch and buried in the wilderness somewhere in North Dakota, any attempt to revive or return Logan would undo everything that Mangold and Jackman managed to create in this rollercoaster ride. At some point fans need to say thank you, remember the good times of a journey that lasted 17 years on the big screen and even longer in print form, and move on ready for a new character with a fresh story to tell. The hardest thing is saying goodbye, but that was what Logan was – a farewell. Anything extra would be the ultimate anticlimax.