It’s pretty clear that Deadpool director Tim Miller is a big old comics geek. (You don’t pluck Negasonic Teenage Warhead from the dusty longboxes of history without a fairly deep reference pool in your back pocket.) And like any good comics nerd, Miller apparently loves a good crossover, telling reporters at a release day event for the film’s Blu-ray that he’s been lobbying for Marvel’s ambassador of cross-company collaboration, Spider-Man, to appear in one of his films.
According to ComicBook.com, Miller said he’s been trying to “build bridges” between Marvel and 20th Century Fox, which owns the rights to the wider X-Men franchise that Deadpool is a part of. His producer on the movie, Simon Kinberg, chimed in, saying, “With all of the deals that have recently started happening, we asked if they could get visitation rights to Sony‘s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. I would love to see it. Both of us are close with [Marvel’s] Kevin [Feige], we respect and love Kevin. If it were even remotely possible, we will find a way, ’cause we’d love to see it.”
Those bridges would be built over some pretty rocky territory, though. Fox and Marvel have long been rumored to be waging a bitter rivalry with each other, up to and including allegations that the comic company intentionally damaged or canceled existing books (like Fantastic Four, which was ended last year ahead of Josh Trank’s high-profile flop) in order to avoid providing free advertising for their rival. And while Fox’s relationship with Sony—which still owns the rights to Spidey—probably isn’t as rough, Peter Parker’s entrance into the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe means a Deadpool and Spider-Man crossover would tie all three studios’ properties together into one big spiderweb of interconnected continuity.
Which is a shame, because mixing Marvel’s two red-clad quipsters with black-and-white spots for eyes has produced some pretty fun interactions in the past. There’s the classic Deadpool #11, where the Merc-With-A-Mouth gets thrown back in time to a classic Spider-Man story from the 1960s (producing a pretty iconic comic book cover in the process.) More recently, meanwhile, Marvel launched a new book with this exact pairing, presumably on the theory that combining two of the company’s most rabidly popular characters might be good for business. It’ll be interesting to see if that same powerful financial logic will end up burying the Fox-Marvel hatchet and bringing Miller’s dream of collaboration to life, and how Ryan Reynolds’ foul-mouthed semi-psychopath would end up interacting with Tom Holland’s fresh-faced, high-school age webslinger if it does.