Fans are eagerly awaiting the release of the third installment of the Deadpool film franchise. Not only will this be the Merc with the Mouth’s official debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it’s also shaping up to be a fun multiversal adventure that will bring back some familiar faces.

With news of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Jennifer Garner’s Elektra making appearances, there is speculation as to what other non-MCU Marvel film characters will show up. Fans are eager to learn more about the film and the returning characters. The question is: which of these characters deserve a spot in Deadpool 3’s story?

RELATED: Jennifer Garner & 9 Other Marvel Alumni Who Deserve a Second Chance

10 Howard The Duck

Howard the Duck (1986)

Howard the Duck from the 1986 Feature Film

In 1986, Howard the Duck became the first feature-length theatrical film based on a Marvel Comics publication (not including the Captain America serial from 1944). Despite featuring such stars as Tim Robbins and Lea Thompson and having George Lucas as an executive producer, the movie was a critical and commercial failure. However, it has also amassed a cult following since its release.

The MCU has already introduced its own version of Howard the Duck, but the 1986 film version of the character deserves a spot in Deadpool 3 due to its legacy. Even though the movie was not a major success, it was the first of its kind and even Deadpool himself could appreciate that.

9 Blade

Blade (1998)

Blade gets surrounded by vampires in Blade

1998’s Blade is a hyper-violent action-horror film that deviated from the lighthearted tone of other movies during that time (such as Batman & Robin). It is often credited for reviving the superhero genre after it hit a slump in the 90s. Many fans consider it the predecessor to the modern-day Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Although the MCU currently has its own version of Blade set to debut in the near-future, the original Daywalker deserves to return in Deadpool 3. Wesley Snipes and Ryan Reynolds butted heads the last time they were co-stars in Blade:Trinity, but after two decades, it is time for them to bury the hatchet and to reunite on the big screen.

RELATED: 10 MCU Characters Who Should Get to Kill Deadpool

8 Spider-Man

Spider-Man (2002)

Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man shooting webs in an alley

The early 2000s saw a boom in superhero films, and one of the top hitters at the box office was 2002’s Spider-Man. Since its release, there have been numerous sequels and reboots.Yet, there are fans who still hold onto Sam Raimi’s original trilogy as the supreme adaptation of Marvel’s favorite web-slinger.

Tobey Maguire returned to the role of Spider-Man in 2021’s commercially successful Spider-Man: No Way Home, which means he is no stranger to the MCU. Maguire has shown his willingness to don the red and blue spandex once again, and Deadpool 3 would be the perfect vehicle for him to make his return.

7 The Hulk

Hulk (2003) & The Incredible Hulk (2008)

2003 Hulk and 2008 Incredible Hulk

Like with Spider-Man, the Hulk has gone through several film renditions over the years, and he has an interesting connection to the MCU. The 2003 Hulk film starring Eric Bana is not considered part of the MCU canon, while 2008’s The Incredible Hulk starring Edward Norton is within the continuity. However, Norton was recast with Mark Ruffalo after only one film appearance.

Even though Norton is the same version of the Hulk as Ruffalo, there is still confusion among viewers regarding continuity. Bringing both of these past Hulks into Deadpool 3 could allow the Merc to use his fourth-wall-breaking abilities to clear the air once and for all, while also setting the stage for numerous Hulk-verse jokes.

RELATED: Every Pre-MCU Marvel Character Rumored or Confirmed for Deadpool 3

6 The Punisher

The Punisher (1989)

Dolph Lundgren in Punisher (1989)

Prior to his introduction in the MCU, the Punisher made several live-action appearances, most notably in the 2004 and 2008 films. What many people don’t know is that the Punisher’s first live-action appearance was actually in a 1989 direct-to-video movie starring Dolph Lundgren.

The Punisher and Deadpool have had some great encounters in the comics over the years, which could translate well into live-action. Deadpool would easily be able to mock Lundgren’s version of Punisher for being forgotten, followed by Punished doing what he does best. Having Dolph Lundgren reprise his role would only provide more comedy fodder and make for some entertaining banter.

5 Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider (2007)

Ghost Rider from the 2007 Feature Film

2007’s Ghost Rider was considered a fair adaptation of Marvel’s legendary character. For many, the highlight of the film was Nicolas Cage’s performance as the Spirit of Vengeance. Known for his eccentric acting style, Cage portrayed Ghost Rider in a vastly different style compared to his comic counterpart, making it one of his more memorable roles.

While seeing Ghost Rider and Deadpool interact in live-action would be a treat, the bigger draw of their confrontation would be Nicolas Cage himself talking to Deadpool. Cage has embraced his status as a meme and has proven that he has an excellent sense of humor, so he would be right at home in Deadpool 3.

RELATED: 10 Most Violent Deadpool Comics, Ranked

4 The Human Torch

Fantastic Four (2005)

The Human Torch from the 2005 Fantastic Four Film

Chris Evans has played several comic characters over the years (most notably Captain America), but his first experience in the genre was in 2005’s Fantastic Four. Despite the film’s less-than-stellar reviews, Evans received praise for his portrayal of the Human Torch. He reprised the role once more in 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer before retiring the blue jumpsuit.

Steve Rogers’s tenure in the MCU ended with 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, which means we may not see Evans don the Captain America costume again anytime soon. That doesn’t mean, however, that he’s done with the MCU for good. Deadpool 3 could be the perfect setting for him to make a return, but as his former Marvel character.

3 Iron Man

Iron Man (2008)

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in Iron Man 2

In 2008, Iron Man officially kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has since become the icon of the superhero movie genre. It only makes sense that Deadpool meets the figurehead of the MCU upon his debut in the universe.

Tony Stark died during the events of Avengers: Endgame, but as evidenced by the return of Wolverine despite his own death in Logan, it may not even matter. In a universe that features time travel, multiple universes, and magic, it wouldn’t be too difficult to revive Tony Stark. It would be special to see Reynolds and Downey Jr. have banter with the Merc with the Mouth and Iron Man.

RELATED: 10 Teams Deadpool Has Joined in the Comics

2 Hannibal King

Blade: Trinity (2004)

Blade: Trinity's Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds) standing shirtless in a room with a beat up face.

Before he portrayed Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds took on another Marvel character role in 2004’s Blade: Trinity, playing the part of vampire-hunter Hannibal King. Much like Deadpool, King was a talented fighter with a knack for constant jokes and quips, much to the annoyance of his partner Blade.

In the first two Deadpool movies, Reynolds took numerous shots at his previous roles in Green Lantern and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but there was never any mention of Hannibal King. Deadpool 3 could grant him the chance to confront his younger self from his first foray into the superhero genre.

1 James “Rhodey” Rhodes

Iron Man (2008)

Terrence Howard as Rhodes in the first Iron Man film

One of the biggest draws of 2008’s Iron Man was the star power of Terrence Howard, playing the titular character’s best friend, James Rhodes. However, between the first and second Iron Man films, the role was recast with Don Cheadle, who continues to portray the character to this day.

Howard has indicated in past interviews that he parted with the MCU on less-than-favorable terms, but Deadpool 3 could give him a proper send-off. It could also grant him the chance to don the War Machine armor since he never had the opportunity in the original Iron Man film.

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