Deadpool & Wolverine Director Says "You'd Have to Live Under a Rock to Not Know" Recent MCU Movies Have Underperformed

Deadpool & Wolverine director Shawn Levy talks about the incredible pressure the film is under to get the MCU back on track.

Even Deadpool & Wolverine director Shawn Levy is willing to admit that the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn't what it once was. 

"You'd have to live under a rock not to know that the last few Marvel movies have failed to ignite the world in the way that so many did," Levy says in the latest issue of Empire Magazine. However, Levy wasn't throwing shade at the MCU so much as trying to explain the challenge (and lofty fan expectations) that Deadpool & Wolverine needs to meet: Not just delivering another successful Deadpool movie, but also rekindling hype for the MCU franchise as a whole. 

(Photo: Marvel Studios)

 "We do come along at an interesting time," Levy said. "And we are decidedly something different. Whether it is of Messianic proportions, time will tell." 

Like everything in Deadpool's world, the idea of Deadpool & Wolverine being the 'MCU's savior' is a notion that the film is having some meta fun with. In one scene, Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool outright declares himself to be "Marvel Jesus," and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige had to admit, there's a kernel of truth in that joke: "Some of the lines that Ryan and his writers and Shawn worked on have taken on more of a meaning." 

Feige found himself inundated with MCU content production as the 2020s began under the new leadership of Disney's former CEO Bob Chapek. Now that Chapek is out and Bob Iger is back at the head of the company, Disney is committing to producing less MCU content every year – something Feige is grateful for. 

It's nice to be able to rally behind one feature project this year. I'm much more comfortable being the underdog. I prefer being able to surprise and exceed expectations. So it does seem like the last year, which has not been ideal, has set us up well for that."

What Is Deadpool & Wolverine About? 


The trailer and early synopsis for Deadpool & Wolverine have teased the story of Wade Wilson (Reynolds) being detained by the TVA and sent on a mission. Wade recruits an emotionally-broken Wolverine variant from a dark timeline where the X-Men died, and their mission takes them to the multiversal wasteland the TVA has been using as a dumping ground, and where the beast Alioth (as seen in Loki) roams. Somewhere in that mix is Cassandra Nova (Emma Corin), a villain with deep ties to Charles Xavier, and a malevolent history in X-Men comics. 

There have been teases of former Fox-Marvel movie stars coming back en masse for cameos in Deadpool & Wolverine – and even mega-star Taylor Swift appearing in the film as an iconic X-Men character. Despite there being a menagerie of cameos appearances expected in Deadpool 3, Shawn Levy has promised MCU fans are not required to do any "homework" to enjoy the film: 

"I was a good student in school. I'll do my homework as an adult. But I am definitely not looking to do homework when I go to the movies," Levy told AP. "I very much made this film with certainly a healthy respect and gratitude towards the rabid fan base that has peak fluency in the mythology and lore of these characters and this world. But I didn't want to presume that. This movie is built for entertainment, with no obligation to come prepared with prior research."

Deadpool & Wolverine has a release date of July 26th – the 11th Anniversary of The Wolverine's release