Snickt snickt! That’s the sound of Marvel Jesus coming your way. The arrival of the highly anticipated threequel, Deadpool and Wolverine, is just around the corner. But this movie isn’t just a sequel to Deadpool and Deadpool 2. It’s also following up on all the 20th Century Fox mutant movies. Plus, there’s some Loki mixed in for good measure.

Intimidated? Don’t be, because Geek Girl Authority is here to be your Mobius. Here’s everything to remember before Deadpool and Wolverine.

Deadpool

While Deadpool came after many mutant movies, we’ll start with him (since his name comes first—remember that, Cable (Josh Brolin). Deadpool was a movie that almost wasn’t made. While special test footage was crafted to win over Fox executives, the movie wasn’t greenlit. 

However, someone behind the scenes wasn’t content with this outcome. After San Diego Comic-Con 2014, the Deadpool test footage was leaked. While lots of exciting projects had been announced at SDCC ’14, the Deadpool footage took the cake. Using a motion capture performance by Ryan Reynolds, the realistically animated clip showed the potential of the Merc with the foul Mouth in action. Deadpool was subsequently greenlit. Furthermore, the test footage was so well executed that it was recreated almost exactly in the live-action movie.

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In 2016, the live-action Deadpool arrived in theaters. Featuring bloody violence, lewd jokes and meta humor, Deadpool proved that an R-rated Marvel movie could be a success (even when the protagonist wasn’t Blade). Deadpool provided an origin story for Wade Wilson and a supporting cast. This includes his lady love, Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin), and eager cab driver buddy, Dopinder (Karan Soni).

He’s joined by mutants Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and Colossus (Stefan Kapičić). And who could forget his roommate, Blind Al (Leslie Uggams)?

Wade with Blind Al in Deadpool and Wolverine. They're at some kind of party at Wade's apartment.

Curiously, the climactic battle of Deadpool takes place in front of what appears to be a downed S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. And while Deadpool was made by Fox, that isn’t the only MCU Easter egg in the movie. In act one, Wade has pizza delivered from Feige’s Finest, an allusion to the MCU’s Head Boss in Charge, Kevin Feige. Deadpool’s been playing the long con all along!

Deadpool 2

Deadpool suited up, possibly standing in the TVA.df

In the early scenes of 2018’s Deadpool 2, Vanessa is murdered. This is sort of ironic, considering how much of this movie is based on the Deadpool Marvel Comics by Gail Simone. You may recognize Simone’s name, as she coined the term “fridging.” Vanessa’s death provides the catalyst for Wade’s journey in the movie.

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Over the course of the sequel, several additional characters are introduced. We meet the mutant Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna), tech genius girlfriend to NTW. Additional mutant characters include mercenary Domino (Zazie Beetz) and Rusty Collins (Julian Dennison), AKA “Firefist.” And, of course, the time-traveling mutant Cable enters the mix, as well; check out X-Men ’97 if you want more on a variant of this guy. 

Furthermore, this movie features Wade’s misguided attempt to establish the X-Force. To this end, he recruits mutants Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan) and Vanisher (Brad Pitt) as well as human Peter (Rob Delaney). However, all four of these characters die gruesome deaths during the X-Force’s inaugural mission.

At the end of the movie, Yukio and NTW help Deadpool repair Cable’s time machine. This allows him to alter the timeline, restoring Vanessa, Peter and possibly others to life. In addition, he scrubs 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine and 2011’s Green Lantern from the timeline.

X-Men

Logan in Deadpool and Wolverine. He's wearing his yellow X-Men suit and looking Logan-y.

Meanwhile, the X-Men film franchise might fairly be credited with helping usher in the current superhero movie renaissance. In 2000, the first live-action X-Men movie arrived. This movie not only introduced Logan (Hugh Jackman), but it also introduced other enduring mutant interpretations, like Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). Perhaps the most iconic mutant, Wolverine played an integral role in all three movies in this X-Men trilogy, including 2003’s X2 and 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand.

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However, the critical and box office success of the X-Men trilogy meant more mutant movies were inevitable. Thanks to his aforementioned iconic status, many of these starred Wolverine himself. They included the infamous X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which strayed far from Marvel Comics canon (especially in its interpretation of Deadpool). However, other spin-offs were better received, like 2013’s The Wolverine.

Meanwhile, onscreen X-Men continuity got a reboot with 2011’s X-Men: First Class. The X-continuities were merged with 2014’s excellent X-Men: Days of Future Past. However, the follow-up to that movie, 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, was less well-received. All three of these movies included Wolverine, although First Class and Apocalypse were merely cameo appearances. 

Wolverine got a big send-off in 2017’s Logan. In this movie, set in the near future, an aging Wolverine completes his final mission. This is centered on the rescue of his clone, X-23 (Dafne Keen). Accompanying him on the endeavor is an elderly Xavier. Meanwhile, the Fox era of the X-Men got a send-off in 2019’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix, with 2020’s New Mutants serving as something of an aftershock.

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In the Meantime…

With Fox having been acquired by Disney, Deadpool’s fate hung in the balance. But Reynolds wasted no time in courting the company. No sooner was Disney’s acquisition of Fox completed than Reynolds posted an image online that featured Deadpool wearing Mickey Ears and arriving via school bus 19 at Disneyland.

From there, Deadpool continued to edge his way closer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This included a promotional video for the 2021 Reynolds vehicle Free Guy featuring Deadpool and MCU character Korg (Taika Waititi), which you can watch right here.

Meanwhile, superstar Jackman continued to enjoy plenty of cinematic success. However, he also honed his comedic chops with multiple scene-stealing guest-starring roles. This included a musical appearance on The Simpsons in 2022’s excellent season 33 finale, “Poorhouse Rock.” And he also appeared for a memorable and depraved turn in the 2023 Rick and Morty season 7 premiere, “How Poopy Got His Poop Back.”

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It’s also worth noting that, in Deadpool and Deadpool 2, Wade has something of a Wolverine fixation. Throughout both movies, there are many references to both Wolverine and Jackman. This even included a music box commemorating Wolverine’s demise from Logan, which appeared in Deadpool 2. Sadly, no official version of this music box is currently available for purchase.

Revenge of Miss Minutes

Wade rides through The Void in a car driven by Logan in Deadpool and Wolverine.

But there’s also an MCU series that will prove integral to Deadpool and Wolverine (judging by what we see in the first teaser trailer). This is Loki, especially in season 1. Loki season 1 introduces the Time Variance Authority (TVA). The TVA is responsible for maintaining the Sacred Timeline. When a “variant” breaks from this preordained timeline, they are apprehended by the TVA. Judging from the teaser, the catalyst for Deadpool and Wolverine is the TVA’s apprehension of Wade, probably due to these actions in the final scenes of Deadpool 2.

As seen in Loki, a variant apprehended by the TVA will be placed on trial. If they are found guilty, they may be sent to the Void. The Void was first introduced in Loki season 1’s penultimate episode, “Journey Into Mystery.” Because of the nature of the Void, it is filled with the remains of innumerable timelines. This includes some surviving variants, real-world allusions and Marvel Easter eggs.

However, these remnants are consumed by Alioth, a ravenous sentient cloud. Thanks to Loki season 1, we know it is possible (but difficult) to escape the Void.

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However, as also seen in Loki season 1, the TVA is not above recruiting variants plucked from their timeline. This can be done knowingly or without the variant’s consent (thanks to mind manipulation).

Another detail worth noting: as revealed by the more recent trailer for the movie, the variant of Logan we see in Deadpool and Wolverine has failed to save his world. This suggests he is distinct from previous onscreen interpretations of Logan, who have historically been pretty good at the whole “world-saving” thing.

Deadpool and Wolverine

Logan and Wade walk through the Void in Deadpool and Wolverine.

Will you check out Deadpool and Wolverine when it arrives in theaters on July 26, 2024? Be sure to let us know any theories you’ve developed for the highly-anticipated sequel in the comment section.

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Most of the movies and shows discussed in this article are currently available to stream on Disney+. Photos courtesy of 20th Century Studios/Marvel Studios. © 2024 20th Century Studios / © and ™ 2024 MARVEL.

This article was originally published on April 25, 2024. 

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