LFG: 12 things you need to know about Deadpool & Wolverine

You can’t keep the Merc with a Mouth down—or contained in his own fourth-wall-smashing superhero cinematic universe, apparently. Even though it’s been over five years since we last saw Ryan Reynolds in the nasty prosthetics and red suit of anti-hero Deadpool, his latest irreverent adventure offers plenty of reasons to tune in, including forays into the lore of the MCU proper and the return of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.

Scroll for everything we know about the familiar faces and fresh weirdos that make up the cast, how the film was affected by Hollywood strikes, and that phenomenally popular Super Bowl trailer. L. F. G.

1. Superhero cinematic universes will collide: welcome to the MCU, Deadpool

Ever since Disney acquired media conglomerate 21st Century Fox in 2017, there’s been rumours that Fox’s character Deadpool could join the House of Mouse’s comparatively squeaky-clean Marvel Cinematic Universe. (You might have noticed a huge, derelict 20th Century Fox logo in the trailer above: a rude lil memorial.) Most Marvel movies are rated PG-13, whereas the first two Deadpool films were both rated R within the US: will Wade Wilson’s foul mouth and penchant for ultraviolence gel well when he crashes into the MCU?

Disney CEO Bob Iger has said that the move isn’t unmanageable, “as long as we let the audiences know what’s coming.” In short: don’t bring your superhero-obsessed kids to this one unless you want them to learn some new four-letter words.

2. Hugh Jackman is back as Wolverine, pounding 8,000 calorie meals to get in X-traordinary shape

The last time we saw Huge JackedMan’s Wolverine, it was in the downbeat, funereal Logan, bidding farewell to an aged and lonely version of the character. Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman have said that they were careful to not interfere with that celebrated film’s timeline, with Deadpool 3 instead featuring an alternate version of the X-Men hero—in a snazzy, comic book-accurate yellow and blue suit, to boot. Even Logan director James Mangold gave the new variant his stamp of approval, apparently “relieved” that his film wouldn’t be interfered with.

And to get back in his classic, sinewy Wolverine shape, Jackman has been pounding 8k calories each day: he’s posted about his gruelling diet on Insta, saying “apologies chickens…start running now because I’m coming for you.”

3. The plot’s an R-Rated combo of buddy comedies like Midnight Run and Planes Trains and Automobiles

Wade seems pretty happy and chill in the Deadpool & Wolverine trailers…until he’s dragged into the MCU’s continuity for a classic fish-out-of-water plot, his insanity causing chaos in a more plainly heroic world. Hugh Jackman has described Logan’s reaction to Deadpool as simple frustration, saying he’d “hate” the sassy anti-hero and “want to punch him in the face”. This of course brings to mind great buddy comedies from bygone days, in which one wild card and one straight man have to learn to work together to achieve a common goal. Here’s hoping they’re besties by the time the credits roll.

4. Succession’s Matthew Macfadyen plays a Time Variance Authority agent

We got introduced to time-and-space gatekeepers the TVA in Marvel’s Loki series, in which Owen Wilson played agent Mobius. British star Macfadyen is Paradox, a “variant” or alternate universe version of Mobius who’s sure to find Deadpool more than he can handle. Whether Paradox is more or less punchable than Macfadyen’s Emmy-nominated turn as Succession‘s Tom Wambsgans remains to be seen.

5. Emma Corrin is bald baddie Cassandra Nova: Professor Xavier’s twin sister

Another British actor known for TV excellence, another mysterious new Deadpool character. The Crown‘s Emma Corrin joined the cast of Deadpool & Wolverine in February 2023, going bald in a rare villainous role as Charles’ evil twin Cassandra Nova. In the same month, original Xavier Patrick Stewart was approached to potentially revisit his iconic superhero leader for the film—but we’re unsure whether he’ll appear for a cameo or not. Whether she’s seen with her goody-two-shoes big bro or not, Cassandra is already a formidable foe in the movie’s trailer, using telekinesis to drag Wolverine around by his metal talons.

6. Ryan Reynold’s bestie and Free Guy director Shawn Levy takes over the franchise

Each of the films in the Deadpool franchise has been helmed by a different dude: original director Tim Miller apparently had creative differences with star Reynolds, and the second film was made with John Wick director David Leitch in charge. This time around, Reynolds isn’t taking any great risks, collaborating again with his The Adam Project and Free Guy director Shawn Levy. The pair clearly share a pretty common comedic sensibility, and Levy’s also a fellow Canadian much like Reynolds.

7. Wade’s mates Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Peter, and Vanessa return

The oddballs we met in previous Deadpool movies are seen hanging out in Wade’s apartment in some happier scene of the new film’s trailer: his fiancee Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), buddies Blind Al (Leslie Uggams) and Dopinder (Karan Soni), and fairly useless X-Force member Peter (Rob Delaney). Other X-Force mates include the steel-skinned Colossus (Stefan Kapičić), Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), and her GF Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna). Sneaky pics from the film’s set also reveal that X-Men Toad, Pyro, Sabretooth, and more will also appear.

8. Filming was suspended in July 2023 due to the SAG-AFTRA strike

After 35 days of filming, Deadpool & Wolverine was forced to take a production break in mid-July 2023, due to the turbulent Hollywood writers and actors strikes. Director Levy and star Reynolds were able to use the pause to edit the existing footage, and to begin work on visual effects.

9. Noughties flashback: Jennifer Garner returns as Elektra

Remember 2005’s Elektra, which necromanced the slain sai-wielding heroine after her pretty disrespectful appearance the Ben Affleck Daredevil movie? No? That’s okay, because Jennifer Garner is getting another crack at the role in Deadpool & Wolverine, and things can basically only go up from here. Elektra Natchios’ solo adventure was a massive dud, but now she and Deadpool can bitch at each other about their matching red super-suits.

10. The film’s Super Bowl trailer is the most watched trailer of all time within 24 hours

Breaking a record formerly held by Spider-Man: No Way Home, Deadpool & Wolverine‘s latest trailer became the most-watched of all time within a 24-hour period, after it exploded onto screens during February’s Super Bowl. The irreverent, explosion-filled trailer was watched a tremendous 365 million times in just one day, probably helped by its position in the most-watched telecast of all time.

11. An insane rumour suggests that Taylor Swift will appear in the film as Dazzler

Okay, we know we sound like insane Swiftie fanfic writers…but this bit of celeb gossip is less crazy than it sounds. Swift is a good pal of Reynolds’ wife Blake Lively, and X-Men heroine Dazzler has the very pop-star-friendly ability to manipulate sound into beams of light energy.

Levy only gently shut down this harebrained casting idea, saying: “I’m going across the board ‘no comment’ because that’s a double whammy. That’s Taylor-related. And it’s MCU-related. I’m no dummy. You’re going to have to wait and see.” We can definitely expect some unexpected cameos…but the question of Swift’s involvement in Deadpool & Wolverine is still a blank space, baby.

12. Canine actor Peggy plays Dogpool. That is all.

Now that the MCU has opened up the can of worms that is multiverse storytelling, we can witness countless version of heroes like Spider-Man and Deadpool…meaning yeah, there’s totally a dog version of the Merc with a Mouth. Reynolds shouted out the esteemed performer Peggy in the tweet below, pointing out that her unique features will cause trouble for Disney’s “plushy merch department”.

That loveable mug makes complete sense as a canine analogue to Wade Wilson, whose face was irreparably damaged by the same experimental cancer treatment that gave him his healing powers. Her proudly rebellious tongue is extremely in character, too. Great work, Peggy.