Deadpool 2 x-force

‘Deadpool 2’ finally arrives in theaters this Friday, but if you’ve been following the aftermath of the first film’s unexpected success, you know that the sequel is only the beginning of the studio’s plans for the Merc with a Mouth. In the wake of that success, Fox established a plan to use the ‘Deadpool’ sequel as an ‘Avengers’-style build up toward their long-gestating X-Force movie, which will present a mutant team best described as a more militant alternative to the X-Men. Though while some version of X-Force will be introduced in ‘Deadpool 2’, the team’s solo movie is still ahead of us.

But while ‘X-Force’ likely won’t be in theaters for some time yet, we do have a few updates, courtesy of ‘Deadpool’ star Ryan Reynolds. Speaking to Collider, Reynolds confirmed that while ‘X-Force’ does not yet have a firm start date for production, nor even a finished script, they are halfway there, having found a storyline that “everyone’s happy with”. This also means that while both ‘Deadpool’ films have carried R-ratings (a rarity for mainstream superhero movies and, in the case of the original film, a first for the ‘X-Men’ franchise), the creative team has not yet settled on a target rating for ‘X-Force’, though an R remains very much on the table:

“It’s all story first. I don’t think anybody’s thinking about the rating. I mean, my sort of wild guess would be that it would be an R-rated movie, but again, right now we’re just assembling the troops to figure out what story we would tell. And it’s a ways away from shooting still, and I don’t even have an idea as to the exact date. But yeah, we’ll see. Story first though.”

Additionally, Reynolds is unambiguous in his excitement to work with Drew Goddard, who is attached to write and direct ‘X-Force’ (and is best known for serving in the same capacity on 2012’s ‘Cabin in the Woods’). With regard to Goddard, Reynolds shared both his own enthusiasm for the collaboration and a sense of what sets Deadpool’s role in ‘X-Force’ apart from what fans will have already seen in his solo films:

“I just wanna work with Drew. I mean, I love him and he has such an interesting take on where he wants to take that world. I see it being a real ensemble on a  lot of levels just because I think it’s interesting for Deadpool to kinda function in the way he does in his own universe. You always get to sort of find some way to position him as the underdog or take everything away from him, but for him to funtion in an ensemble is a lot of fun. I think there’s a real opportunity to not burden the narrative by shattering Wade’s life, so then at the beginning of our movie you get to have him just be part of the team, which is obviously a very challenging prospect for someone like Wade Wilson. So I’m really excited about that. I’m excited about a couple new characters that we’re talking about. And I’m really excited to work with Drew. He’s just amazing.”

Of course, the biggest question mark hanging over ‘X-Force’ isn’t the story or the script. It’s Disney’s pending purchase of Fox’s film and television assets. If that deal goes through, it would bring the X-Men rights back under Marvel’s roof for the first time in decades. The logical assumption – and one that fans and commentators alike have essentially treated as a given – is that this would see the ‘X-Men’ film series rebooted and the characters re-introduced as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But while this may very well prove to be the case down the road, Reynolds makes clear that the impression he’s been given is one of business as usual.

“I also like to think, and again, I don’t know anything, I’m not an executive over there, but I like to think that the acquisition of Fox, whether be it Comcast, Disney, or Myspace for fuck’s sakes, I like to think that whoever buys Fox is buying it to keep intact, and to allow it to be its own entity. I mean, it’s a valuable asset, it’s under a totally different set of rules and leadership. So, I don’t know, I would assume that it’s just gonna be business as usual, but fuck if I know.”

Directed by David Leitch, ‘Deadpool 2’ will see Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Leslie Uggams, Stafan Kapicic, and Brianna Hildebrand reprise their roles from the original alongside newcomers Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz and Jack Kesy. The film is due to arrive in theaters on May 18, 2018.