LOS ANGELES — Ryan Reynolds has confirmed what numerous executives have danced around since Disney acquired 20th Century Fox this year — "Deadpool 3" is coming, and will now be in the hands of Marvel Studios.
Appearing on a holiday edition of "Live With Kelly and Ryan," the actor told hosts Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest that his potty-mouthed superhero is returning with another sequel in the blockbuster franchise.
"We're working on it right now with the whole team," Reynolds said. "We're over at Marvel, which is the big leagues all of a sudden. It's kind of crazy."
Deadpool was one of the few characters owned outright by a studio other than Disney, but came home to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and his team in Disney's $71.3 billion Fox acquisition in March. Reynolds, who stars as the titular mercenary with lewd jokes and impressive regenerating capabilities, developed the first two films with Fox film leadership.
Emma Watts, Fox film's former president of production who had a considerable role in the first two films, will not continue to oversee the franchise, insiders familiar with the project said. She'll remain in the Reynolds business in 2020, overseeing the video game action-comedy "Free Guy" under the Fox label, in addition to pumping out Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story," the "Avatar" franchise and Ridley Scott's "The Last Duel."
"Deadpool" and "Deadpool 2" have earned an impressive $1.5 billion worldwide combined. Budgets were a reported $58 million and $110 million, respectively, before marketing costs. The film also represented an encouraging stretch of Marvel's core intellectual property, earning top dollar with an R rating.
Reynolds has loaded up on splashy commercial projects this year and his paycheck reflects as much. Netflix is paying north of $25 million for his services in "Red Notice," an art-heist action pic with Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot.