Deadpool 3 has a lot on its shoulders if Kevin Feige wants to keep his job. Since 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has had a rollercoaster of box office hits… and flops. From the Avengers: Endgame grossing $2,797,800,564 worldwide, to The Marvels grossing only 1.5% globally; it seems like the audience just never knows what they’re going to get when it comes to the MCU. 

So why exactly are they counting on Deadpool 3 to save the MCU? In recent years, Marvel releases have faced criticism for formulaic storytelling and lack of innovation. The oversaturation of content, including numerous Disney+ series, has led to franchise fatigue among viewers. When Hugh Jackman was announced as a major character in Deadpool 3, contrary to his on-again, off-again relationship with his decades-long character, fans were suddenly a little more optimistic. We have to wonder though, is this really “the jolt” that will bring some life back into Marvel? 

Why Disney is Counting on Deadpool 3 to Save the MCU

A still of Wolverine from Deadpool 3 with a shocked expression of Deadpool pasted over it. There are three lightning bolts coming out of Deadpool's head to show he is surprised by Wolverine.

Even before Wolverine wasn’t tasked with carrying the load of Deadpool 3, fan reactions showed a mix of excitement and cautious optimism, with many hoping that the irreverent humor and unique style of Deadpool would inject much-needed energy into the MCU. Matthew Vaughn, director of action-packed blockbusters like Kick-Ass, X-Men First Class, and Kingsman, recently went on the record stating “The few snippets that I know about ‘Deadpool vs. Wolverine’ — or ‘Wolverine vs. Deadpool’…are unbelievable. That’s going to be the jolt…the Marvel universe is about to have a jolt of them and it’s going to bring that body back to life.”

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But if one thing is evident from the last 8 years of MCU movies, it’s that the ship is starting to sail. Marvel’s strategy of tying movies into an ever-expanding web of interconnected stories has started to feel more like a chore than a thrilling adventure. The MCU’s formula, once its strength, is now seen as repetitive and uninspired. Over-reliance on CGI, lack of compelling character development, and an overload of new characters without sufficient backstory have left fans disillusioned. It feels like they almost copy and pasted what had worked into ChatGPT and hit enter, producing outputs that were, unfortunately, tragic.

The Realistic Expectation MCU Needs to Understand

A line graph indicating the ratings of Marvel movies from 2016 to 2023. Critics ratings are in navy while audience ratings are in yellow. Behind the graph is an image of Deadpool with a weapon to his head slightly hidden by a red background

Over the last few years, MCU fans have made one thing clear: their expectations for new Marvel content are not nearly as high as they used to be. The automatic success that the MCU once enjoyed is now dead. While there will undoubtedly continue to be hit films, the mere fact that something is an MCU film no longer guarantees its success. The general audience is no longer as invested; these films have become equated to the Sony Spider-verse and DC films, where success is evaluated project by project. While there are positive sentiments and anticipation for the film, the overall feeling among fans is one of uneasiness and concern. This film may be good, and it may even be a hit, but the question lingers- is Deadpool 3 enough to save the MCU?

Our guess is, no. But that doesn’t mean Deadpool 3’s impact on the MCU will cause it to plummet into obscurity across the multiverse.. However, things realistically just aren’t going back to how they were at Marvel’s peak. Disney and Marvel have made it clear they’re producing these movies for one reason and one reason only – money, money, money, moneyyyy. And while fans will continue to show their support, the MCU is never going to regain the same level of success and pop culture phenomenon it once had if it continues to prioritize profit over fan satisfaction.

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