The superhero world's biggest frenemies are making a surprise reunion.
Ryan Reynolds dropped a bomb on Marvel fans Tuesday with the announcement that Deadpool 3 is hitting theaters on Sep. 6, 2024, and that Hugh Jackman is coming out of Wolverine retirement to play the adamantium-clawed mutant again in the sequel.
Reynolds made the reveal in a video he shared on social media with Jackman in the background.
"Hey, Hugh. You wanna play Wolverine one more time?" Reynolds asked his blasé compatriot.
"Yeah. Sure, Ryan," Jackman replied. Cue the Whitney Houston track "I Will Always Love You."
Hard keeping my mouth sewn shut about this one. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/OdV7JmAkEu
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) September 27, 2022
"I want to take minute to thank #StrangerThings for training me to keep my big mouth shut," Deadpool 3 director Shawn Levy tweeted. "This news has been burning a hole in my lips for weeks now."
I want to take minute to thank #StrangerThings for training me to keep my big mouth shut. This news has been burning a hole in my lips for weeks now🙃⚔️
— Shawn Levy (@ShawnLevyDirect) September 27, 2022
Reynolds first appeared as Deadpool in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which starred Jackman. Both actors have playfully joked about their involvement in that flick and how it's been universally bashed by fans, and it's become a bit of a running gag between them.
Jackman retired the Wolverine role with 2017's Logan after playing the character several times throughout the X-Men franchise. But leave it to Reynolds and their ongoing fake feud to bring him back for one more tussle with the Merc with the Mouth.
Jackman spoke about retiring the Wolverine role with EW in 2017. During a conversation he had with celebrity friend Jerry Seinfeld about how he chose to leave Seinfeld after so many years, the comic advised Jackman to leave a little in the tank. "The moment he said it, I was like, 'This is it,'" Jackman said at the time. "I'm quite indecisive, but when I get that gut feeling, it's kind of a relief to me. When I met my wife, I knew. With the kids, I knew. When I was talking to Jerry that day, I was like, 'Oh, yeah.'"
In July 2021, Jackman had posted a cryptic photo of him with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, which got fans wondering if the actor was just trolling or genuinely having conversations about Wolverine.
Everett Collection (2)
Beyond Jackman and Reynolds' friendship and fake feuding over the years, the actors share another connection: Levy.
Levy directed Jackman in 2011's Real Steel and the two reunited for EW's oral history of the film with the cast in 2021. Levy also directed Reynolds in Free Guy and The Adam Project in recent years and they had such a good time working together that they joined up for a third go with Deadpool 3. Jackman had featured in a voice cameo role in Free Guy. The guys, clearly, are always chatting with each other.
"I've had to really search my soul on this one," a sarcastic Reynolds says in the announcement video for Deadpool 3. "His first appearance in the MCU obviously needs to feel special. We need to stay true to the character, find new depth, new motivation, new meaning. Every Deadpool needs to stand out and stand apart. It's been an incredible challenge that has forced me to reach down deep inside and I… have nothing. Yeah… Just completely empty up here and terrifying. But we did have one idea."
This now means that Deadpool 3 will mark the first MCU appearance for Jackman's Wolverine in the years since Disney purchased 21st Century Fox properties and the rights to the X-Men. Fans have been wondering how the Avengers-verse will introduce mutants to the playing field and Deadpool 3 will clearly be a big step.