Following the success of 2016's Deadpool, screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick say that 20th Century Fox are open for future X-Men movies to be less about "characters and timelines" (which sounds a lot like 'continuity') and more about "tone." In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the longtime screenwriting duo say that March's Logan carries this new concept, and hopes it will be able to continue through the Deadpool sequel, the X-Force movie, and other "future" films.
"I think sometimes the movies get a little overstuffed trying to set up future movies and it almost feels burdensome or obligatory, where you are weaving in four or five different plots that really aren't in service of the current movie, but are to set up audience anticipation or logic for what's coming. We really are trying our best to avoid that. There is something to the movie that is just worried about itself for the moment," said Reese.
Reese frames the DC films, Marvel Studios films, and even the previous 20th Century Fox X-Men films as each having a specific overarching tone, but that Deadpool broke that mold.
"The different universes tend to have different tones, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a very specific, genius tone that was set in Iron Man and has lived well beyond that into the other movies. DC tends to have its own tone, which is this dark, gritty tone. The X-Men have their own tone, which is kind of somewhere in between. Not too funny, not too light. But not quite as dark as the DC stuff. And I think what we stumbled into was a new tone, and I haven't seen Logan, so it's tough to say if they have it, but I think we hope to have our own universe that is defined less by characters and timelines and things like that and more by tone," Reese continued. "The hope is Deadpool 2 and X-Force and future movies all be this new, consistent, sillier tone. More self-aware tone. And edgier and rated-R tone. We want to be establishing the universe but also focusing on each individual movie and not worrying too much about building a larger threat to the world or a larger plot machination."
While Wernick says that Deadpool continues to exist within 20th Century Fox's overall X-Men cinematic universe, he's also "going to continue to break those rules."
"He interacts with that world but he is in the present. We don't deal with the '60s or the '70s or the future. It's here and now. More than anything, I think he's going to have his fun with what they do in the other franchise. But fortunately, we don't have to play by those same rules," said Wernick. "Deadpool is a movie that did break all the rules. And I think we're going to continue to break those rules. That involves knowing that he's in a movie, talking to the audience, breaking that fourth wall, a characteristic that they established so brilliantly in the comics way back when. So yeah, I do think that timelines are something that we can make fun of and don't have to be slave to."
When asked about the media scrutiny they and others involved with the Deadpool sequel are now under, Reese said that they have learned to use non-specific terms to avoid getting in trouble with 20th Century Fox.
"We've learned to use cliché's," said Reese. "'The sequel has interesting stuff in it hopefully' so we don't get ourselves into trouble."
When asked if anything currently going on will be referenced or joked about in the Deadpool sequel, Reese said that a truthful answer from him would "become a headline," but balks at revealing anything.
"We definitely have some new things we are making fun of this time out, but I guess I'm going to have to say, 'We're taking it one day at a time.'"
No release date for the planned Deadpool sequel has been given by 20th Century Fox.