Dwayne Johnson Heading for Disney’s Marvel Universe: Report

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Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson) looking up angrily

Credit: DC Studios

How would Disney introduce The Rock to the MCU?

Kevin Feige with the Avengers: Age of Ultron cast
Credit: Inside the Magic

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At Super Bowl LVIII, Marvel Studios made a notable announcement, revealing a major update: the long-anticipated third installment of the Deadpool film series, previously known as Deadpool 3, would now be titled Deadpool & Wolverine. Directed by Shawn Levy, acclaimed for his work on Deadpool 2, this newest entry in the Deadpool franchise will become part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), following The Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, now known as 20th Century Studios.

High Res version of a BTS photo of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in Deadpool 3
Credit: Ryan Reynolds, Instagram

Ryan Reynolds (Free Guy), renowned for bringing Deadpool/Wade Wilson (self-dubbed “Marvel Jesus”) to life, teamed up with his “frenemy” Hugh Jackman, who famously portrayed Wolverine/Logan in the Fox X-Men Universe. Together, they first announced that the Deadpool franchise would continue, smoothly transitioning into Disney’s MCU under the guidance of Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.

Ryan Reynolds Deadpool making a heart with the Marvel Studios logo behind him.
Credit: Inside the Magic

Related: Every ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ Cameo We Know So Far

As the Fox X-Men Universe merges into the expansive MCU during its Multiverse Saga phase, Marvel faces the task of integrating the mutant-centric X-Men universe into the storyline of the third Deadpool film.

With Deadpool & Wolverine set to pit the two leads against multiple Multiversal variants of themselves — it stands to reason that Marvel’s true “Multiverse of Madness” will come in the form of wacky X-Men variants and crazy cameos.

Will Dwayne Johnson Join the MCU?

Dwayne Johnson as John Hartley in Red Notice
Credit: Netflix

It’s no doubt that Dwayne Johnson, AKA The Rock, is someone of a The Walt Disney Company favorite. Having starred in various Disney roles, both animated and in real life, the wrestler has lent his voice to the Disney character and demigod Maui in the animated film Moana (2016).

In Race to Witch Mountain (2009), Johnson portrayed Jack Bruno, a Las Vegas cab driver entangled in an extraordinary adventure with two siblings possessing supernatural abilities. The Game Plan (2007) saw Johnson in the lead role of Joe Kingman, a successful football quarterback who discovers he has a daughter. Most recently, Johnson starred as Frank Wolff, a daring riverboat captain, in Jungle Cruise (2021) alongside Emily Blunt, inspired by the beloved Disney theme park attraction.

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam
Credit: Warner Bros.

With the live-action Moana remake also set to occur within the Disney umbrella, it seems only inevitable that Johnson will join the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point.

Now, Hollywood and Marvel insider Alex Perez of Comic Circus is teasing Dwayne Johnson to potentially appear in Deadpool & Wolverine. Perez is known for being a largely accurate source when it comes to reporting Marvel Studios scoops, making this new tease especially interesting.

Responding to Marvel fan @Sharko78 on X/Twitter, Perez cryptically seems to approve of the fan’s observation that Dwayne Johnson has “canonically fought alongside Iron Man, Thor and Storm” in the Marvel Comics:

Alex Perez: (GIF of Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) saying “There’s no one on this planet that can stop me.”

(quoted) @Sharko78: In Marvel comics, Dwayne Johnson canonically fought alongside Iron Man, Thor and Storm. And has already seen Dr. Doom 👀🔥

This exciting tease could definitely be hinting at a funny cameo akin to fellow WWE wrestler John Cena in director Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie. There are quite a few exciting cameo appearances rumored to join the upcoming Deadpool movie.

In Barbie, Cena played “Kenmaid”, a merman Ken, who appeared seemingly out of nowhere as part of a comedic cameo alongside pop singer Dua Lipa (as Mermaid Barbie). Could Johnson join Deadpool & Wolverine in a similar throwaway gag? Or could he be playing someone a little more key to the Marvel universe?

With the MCU expanding into Avengers 5 (previously Avengers: The Kang Dynasty) and Avengers 6 AKA Avengers: Secret Wars following the new, “grounded” and “street-level” story planned by Kevin Feige, a planned cinematic event of epic proportions in Secret Wars will seemingly draw the current Multiverse Saga to a close. It is absolutely possible that whoever Johnson may play in Deadpool & Wolverine might make their way into Avengers: Secret Wars, as well.

With James Gunn effectively writing Johnson’s Black Adam out of the new DC Universe (DCU), perhaps Johnson’s superhero-ing days aren’t yet over.

Who do you think Dwayne Johnson could play in Deadpool & Wolverine, or the larger MCU? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

More on Deadpool & Wolverine

The speculated lineup of X-Men characters rumored to appear in Deadpool & Wolverine includes Halle Berry potentially reprising her role as Ororo Munroe/Storm, Famke Janssen returning as Dr. Jean Grey, James Marsden revisiting his character Scott Summers/Cyclops, and the beloved Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic portrayal of Professor Charles Xavier/Professor X, alongside Ian McKellen returning as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto.

Moreover, there is a chance that the new Marvel film will feature the younger iterations of Professor Xavier, Magneto, and Mystique from the Fox X-Men franchise, portrayed by James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence, respectively.

Returning actors include Morena Baccarin as Vanessa, Rob Delaney as Peter, Leslie Uggams as Blind Al, Karan Soni as Dopinder, and Matthew Macfadyen as Paradox. The film also sees the return of Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Stefan Kapičić as Colossus, Shioli Kutsuna as Yukio, Randal Reeder as Buck, and Lewis Tan as Shatterstar. Aaron Stanford returns as Pyro, and Jennifer Garner as Elektra Natchios. Additionally, Dogpool, Sabretooth, Toad, and repurposed footage of Chris Hemsworth as Thor appear in the film.

Additional rumors hint at the involvement of Channing Tatum and Jennifer Garner, notable for her role as Elektra in Ben Affleck’s Daredevil (2003). Reports suggest that scenes have been filmed for the upcoming Deadpool installment. Furthermore, Emma Corrin is slated to portray a variant of “Professor X”—Charles Xavier’s sinister twin, Cassandra Nova, from Marvel Comics.

These revelations only scratch the surface of anticipated cameos and roles in Deadpool & Wolverine. Speculation also swirls around Taylor Swift’s potential casting as either Dazzler or Lady Deadpool, and potentially Daniel Radcliffe as a younger variant of the iconic Wolverine, as the convergence of the X-Men and MCU cinematic realms opens up limitless possibilities leading into Captain America: Brave New World, Avengers 5, and Avengers: Secret Wars.

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