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IT'S A SECRET to exactly no one that the post-Endgame era, for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has been a rocky one. Which makes it a perfect time for the return of one of the only characters (not forgetting Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk!) who can remark and acknowledge that on the big-screen. That's right—Ryan Reynolds is returning as Wade Wilson/Deadpool, the foul-mouthed, fourth-wall-breaking anti-hero, just in time to try to save the MCU from perhaps the most troubling adversary it's ever faced: irrelevance.
Marvel Studios premiered the first teaser for the third Deadpool adventure starring Reynolds, and first to be integrated into the ever-expansive MCU, simultaneously with Super Bowl LVIII. And while there was plenty of the typical excitement to come along with a Deadpool film—snarky, R-rated, self-referential jokes, cool gun-fu-style action—it was the appearance of some new and returning characters that really sparked interest.
While the title and much of the early hype around the film is centered on the return of Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, the first teaser instead puts a lot of emphasis on a new TVA agent (called Paradox, according to the teaser's closed captioning) played by Succession Emmy winner Matthew Macfadyen and some quicker snippets of several old friends (largely from past Deadpool films).
One character who gets a line in the trailer, however, comes a bit out of left field. Aaron Stanford's Pyro, a mutant who sided with Magneto (Ian McKellen) in 2003's X2 and 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, shows up for a quick line. Which gets everyone wondering two things: Huh??? and also Who else?
Let's dive into both of those vital questions.
Is Pyro in Deadpool & Wolverine?
We didn't know until the trailer that debuted during the Super Bowl, but now it's confirmed: Yes, Pyro—as played by Aaron Stanford—is appearing in Deadpool & Wolverine.
The character is appearing in live-action for the first time in 18 years (last time being the aggressively subpar X-Men: The Last Stand), and while we don't know what his role is or how substantial it will be, it does appear that he's got a new costume and will figure, somehow, into the action. "God, I love this part!" he yells during the back end of the teaser, almost grimacing as the words come through his teeth.
Pyro is a character who has seen his side of things get foiled by Wolverine and the X-Men time and time again; could this be a reaction to perhaps the bloodiest Logan rampage we've seen in years?
Who is Pyro, again, anyway?
There are two versions of Pyro that we should be aware of: Pyro from the FOX X-Men films, and Pyro from the Marvel comics.
As already stated a couple times above, Pyro has featured in two of the X-Men films produced by FOX (X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand), and both times was depicted in a similar fashion. He's a character foil to Bobby Drake/Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), both in terms of powers (he controls fire; Iceman, well, controls ice) and temperament (Bobby is kind, a love interest to Anna Paquin's Rogue, while Pyro is a dick), and also tends to side with the aggressive borderline villainy of Magneto (I refuse to ever characterize Magneto, a holocaust survivor, as a full-on villain, however).
On the Marvel Comics side, Pyro—real name St. John Allerdyce—was introduced by writer Chris Claremont in January 1981's Uncanny X-Men #141 as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, led by Magneto. He notably was an antagonist in the comics version of the Days of Future Past storyline, where he and the Brotherhood attempted to assassinate Senator Robert Kelly in an attempt to stop a future where the mutants are wiped out by Sentinels (you may recall that in the film version of this storyline, Pyro doesn't figure in, Kelly is replaced by Peter Dinklage's Bolivar Trask, and the Brotherhood are largely replaced by Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique).
Pyro has remained a consistent part of the X-Men comics world in the 40+ years since his introduction, including recently playing a key role in the Marauders series during the Krakoa/Dawn of X comics era.
What other X-Men characters could be returning in Deadpool & Wolverine?
We already knew that Hugh Jackman would be returning as Wolverine, and we now that Pyro is unexpectedly returning as well. This comes after The Marvels credits scene also revealed that Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) is in some dimension with Beast (Kelsey Grammer).
While we don't know if Deadpool & Wolverine and whatever is going on in The Marvels's credits scene are connected, we do know for sure that the MCU is now making a concerted effort to bring back actors and characters from FOX's X-Men films. Keep in mind that we also got a brief look at an alternate universe version of Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
It feels like just about any X-Men character from the past could be in play; the meta-nature of the film—with Macfadyen's character inviting Wade to join the MCU—seems to set up all sorts of in-universe jokes and happenings. In the teaser, we even see a crashed version of the 20th Century Fox logo while Wade reloads a gun.
Halle Berry as Storm? Sure! Patrick Stewart as Professor X again? Why not. Perhaps the biggest question is whether or not we'll see only the older generation of X-Men characters—the Aaron Stanfords, the Patrick Stewarts, the Halle Berrys, hell, the Anna Paquins—or if we'll get to see the return of some of the prequel film cast as well. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are some of the most in-demand talents in the entire industry, and they were also exceptionally cast as the young versions of Professor X and Magneto.
It may be a longshot for them to turn up in Deadpool & Wolverine—but, damn, it would be fun.
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