In a move perhaps more devastating to the prospects of the film than either its existence within the Marvel Cinematic Universe or its rumored connection to the Disney Plus Loki series, the upcoming Deadpool 3 has reportedly tapped notorious Marvel television and comic book scribe Zeb Wells to help pen the Merc With A Mouth’s next live-action outing.
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As per a March 29th exclusive from Deadline, Wells will be joining the previously announced screenwriting duo of Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese – whose filmography includes stints writing both previous Deadpool films, G.I. Joe Retaliation, and Zombieland – in carving out the popular anti-hero’s franchise future.
Additionally, both Karan Soni and Leslie Uggams have joined the cast, reprising their roles from the previous films as Dopinder and Blind Al, respectively.
This new screenwriting trio will be writing a new treatment of the film unrelated to the one previously developed by Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin, two sisters whose most notable credits are roughly thirty episodes of Bob’s Burgers.
And while their replacement by at least two writers (Wernick and Reese) who have shown to possess at least some understanding of how to craft an enjoyable film is a welcome development for Deadpool 3, Wells’ resume doesn’t exactly inspire optimism for the final product.
Beginning his career as an occasional fill-in writer for various Spider-Man related titles throughout the early 2000s, the latter half of the millenium’s first decade would see Wells eventually graduate to providing full-fledged writing duties on such titles as Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways, Amazing Spider-Man, and the third volume of New Warriors.
Then, around 2008, Wells would find even further career success when he was added to the production team for the Cartoon Network stop-motion-animation series Robot Chicken, which he served on as a writer, director, and voice actor up until 2016, at which time he left to produce his own stop-motion parody series SuperMansion.
And while many may appraise Wells’ early career output as anywhere from ‘fine’ to ‘somewhat enjoyable’, recent years have seen his creative energies seemingly evaporate.
Returning to the larger Hollywood fold in 2019 following the end of SuperMansion, Wells would be tapped by Marvel to write both the seventh episode of their widely-panned She-Hulk: Attorney at Law series – wherein Jen attends the Abomination’s self-help retreat in an attempt to distract her from the fact that her crush is not texting her back – as well as co-write the upcoming The Marvels – which production rumors currently suggest is in complete shambles due to its constant need for rewrites.
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But it is within the realm of comics that Wells has committed the most egregious of his recent creative offenses.
In 2021, Wells was assigned as the writer for the core Amazing Spider-Man title and proceeded to kick off the web-slinger’s ‘Beyond’ storyline by bringing fan-favorite hero and the Scarlet Spider himself, Ben Reilly, back into the heroic spotlight, having him temporarily return to the mantle of Spider-Man proper while Peter was indisposed.
However, in typical Marvel fashion, Wells would end his first proper run on ASM by not only wrecking Ben’s life in order to return things to the status quo, but by absolutely bastardizing his character for cheap drama and turning him into yet another villain whose entire identity can be summed up as ‘generic evil Spider-Man’.
Once Wells was done with him, Ben no longer represented the answer to the question ‘What if Peter was able to let go of his guilt and find genuine happiness as both a man and a superhero?’ and instead stood as the perfect representation of just how little Marvel’s current writers care for respecting the characters put under their charge.
Further, Wells is also the writer responsible for the abysmal arc taking place in the current volume of Amazing Spider-Man.
Therein Wells is not only retreading such tired and played out concepts as a ‘corporate sponsored Spider-Man’ and a ‘heroic Norman Osborn’, but he has also eye-rollingly broken-up Peter and Mary-Jane for the umpteenth time, this time by the hands of one of his own original villains.
Suffice to say, Wells’ addition to the Deadpool 3 writing team is ultimately less optimistic than it is exceedingly worrying.
At current, Deadpool 3 is set to bodyslide into theaters on November 8th, 2024.
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