Rob Liefeld has a somewhat notorious reputation in comics. He’s created some iconic characters, none more successful than Deadpool. He’s also been the subject of criticism for his drawing style and his statements. Most notoriously, he swore to “undo” the evolution of X-Force member Shatterstar’s sexuality as an LGBT+ character. (A stance he’s since backed down from after criticism.) Lately, he’s waged a war of words in the press against Disney and Marvel Studios because he believes they are abandoning the Ryan Reynolds Deadpool franchise. In fact, the latest salvo from Rob Liefeld includes an Instagram image of Deadpool holding the body of a dead Mickey Mouse.
It’s clear that Liefeld is not the creator of the image. At least, he didn’t draw it. Rather it’s an image of Reynolds’ Deadpool in front of a giant explosion and debris. In his right hand he holds a pistol and in his left he holds Mickey Mouse’s tail, a giant, bloody bullet hole in his head. The message here is pretty clear.
Image via screenshot
Yet, that Liefeld even wanted to post this image suggests he doesn’t really have any inside information about the future of the Deadpool franchise. The notoriously secretive Marvel Studios likely hasn’t shared their plans with the character’s creator, especially one who is so willing to bite the hand that feeds.
Let’s break down what we know about Rob Liefeld, Deadpool, and his image of a dead Mickey Mouse shared on Instagram.
What Rob Liefeld Said About the Future of Deadpool at Marvel Studios.
Image via 20th Century Fox
In a series of recent interviews, the creator of Deadpool stated with certainty that nothing was happening with Deadpool in the near future. This, of course, is known because Marvel Studios announced phase 4 of the MCU at Comic-Con last year. Taking us through 2021, they announced five films. Since then we learned about two more, the sequel to Black Panther and Thor: Love and Thunder. Still, there are plenty of Marvel slots left on the schedule, though the novel coronavirus shutdown already affected those plans.
Also, it’s unclear if Deadpool will even be a part of the MCU as we know it. It is an R-rated franchise and Disney is adamant that the Marvel Cinematic Universe remain solidly PG-13. More likely, any Deadpool films will come from the rebranded Fox studio, 20th Century.
Last week, Liefeld first told iO9 that he knows “there is no movement on a Deadpool 3” for now. He also said that Disney’s denial the project is dead is tantamount to a lie. He later clarified his comments, downplaying that certainty.
As he told Screenrant:
“Regardless of whatever inside perspective I may have, what I do know is that until a movie is put on a schedule, it’s not taken seriously…. “And what people don’t like is that I have assessed the schedule for the next, give or take, five years, and I don’t see Deadpool on it. I don’t see that it can arrive earlier than that.”
We’re not sure what Liefeld means about “assessing” the schedule. However, almost all of the films that are more than a year away aren’t on a schedule. Rather the studios, i.e. Searchlight, Pixar, Marvel Studios, and others, have staked claims on specific premiere dates. What movies fill those dates won’t be clarified until later. In fact, even appearing on the schedule doesn’t mean they can’t be shuffled around.
Image via screengrab
So, it’s unclear what (if any) access he has to decision makers at Marvel Studios or Disney. Still, Rob Liefeld sharing an image of a dead Mickey Mouse on Instagram suggests that whatever relationship he has with Disney is contentious at best.
However, just because the film hasn’t been announced doesn’t mean that character concepts, the story, or other elements of pre-production aren’t underway. It will be some time before a new Deadpool movie hits theaters, but there is no reason yet for Deadpool fans to panic. In fact, back in December, we reported that Ryan Reynolds revealed pre-production work was underway for the third film.
What do you think? Do you think Rob Liefeld sharing an image of a dead Mickey Mouse is too aggressive? Or do you agree with the Deadpool creator that they should have already announced when the next film will debut? Tell us in the comments below.
Featured image by Luigi Novi via Wikimedia Commons
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.