That’s right, folks. Another article on the incredibly confusing X-Men universe. If you’ve been following all of Fox’s Marvel films, you may have noticed how incredibly lackadaisical they are about the whole continuity thing. While the first few movies line up pretty straightforwardly, once we get into X-Men Origins: Wolverine territory, everything becomes a big fat mess. Rather than try to actually mentally justify the disparities, it’s almost better just to assume that each movie takes place in a slightly different parallel universe. Deadpool himself said it best: “these timelines are so confusing.”
And speaking of timelines, we also can’t help but wonder in what reality the Deadpool movie — along with its upcoming sequel — takes place. Is it in the present after the timeline change in X-Men: Days of Future past? Can we ever expect Deadpool to legitimately cross over with the X-Men? This whole thing is made even more confusing by the character’s constant fourth wall-breaking. So what is it?
Speaking with THR, one of Deadpool’s writers, Paul Wernick cleared the whole ordeal up.
“What's nice is Deadpool exists in his own universe. He's part of the larger X-Men universe, but in a way he isn't. He interacts with that world but he is in the present. We don't deal with the '60s or the '70s or the future. It's here and now. More than anything, I think he's going to have his fun with what they do in the other franchise. But fortunately, we don't have to play by those same rules. Deadpool is a movie that did break all the rules. And I think we're going to continue to break those rules. That involves knowing that he's in a movie, talking to the audience, breaking that fourth wall, a characteristic that they established so brilliantly in the comics way back when. So yeah, I do think that timelines are something that we can make fun of and don't have to be slave to.”
While Wernick’s statement was meant to clarify Deadpool’s own place in the XCU, it’s hard not to get a little more confused by it. However, the general takeaway here seems to be that Deadpool can be in the universe when he feels like it, and in his own universe when he feels like it. In a way, the character exists beyond classification, and we wouldn’t be surprised if he starts breaking down walls between these universes in the future.
The other Deadpool writer, Rhett Reese continue on with Wernick’s point, explaining how the other universes are classified, and how theirs is sort of different:
“The different universes tend to have different tones, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a very specific, genius tone that was set in Iron Man and has lived well beyond that into the other movies. DC tends to have its own tone, which is this dark, gritty tone.
"The X-Men have their own tone, which is kind of somewhere in between. Not too funny, not too light. But not quite as dark as the DC stuff. And I think what we stumbled into was a new tone, and I haven't seen Logan, so it's tough to say if they have it, but I think we hope to have our own universe that is defined less by characters and timelines and things like that and more by tone. The hope is Deadpool 2 and X-Force and future movies all be this new, consistent, sillier tone. More self-aware tone. And edgier and rated-R tone. We want to be establishing the universe but also focusing on each individual movie and not worrying too much about building a larger threat to the world or a larger plot machination.”
Indeed Deadpool is a character who works best on a smaller level. That’s what made the original film so special, and while the stakes will undoubtedly get larger, we can hope that they retain that core intimacy that made the first one so great.
What do you think of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick’s comments about Deadpool’s place in the XCU? Does it make it any more or less confusing? Let us know in the comments down below!
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