The savior of the Marvel Universe is here! Yes, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) team up to Deadpool and Wolverine, but the new Multiverse trailer also revealed the return of a former member of the X-Men, who we haven’t seen in almost 20 years. That’s right, the coolest Marvel return ever Deadpool 3 is perhaps the most underrated mutant of all – Pyro.
In the new Deadpool and Wolverine trailer, broadcast during the Super Bowl 2024, it was specified that this film would be the moment when the X-Men movie characters would start to be truly integrated into the MCU. Prior to 2019, when the Fox/Disney merger was finalized, the film rights for the majority of X-Men the characters were owned by 20th Century Fox, while the bulk of other Marvel characters existed in the Disney-owned Marvel Studios, better known as the MCU. Since 2017, when the seeds of this merger began, fans and experts have been speculating about what it would look like, and now it’s actually happening. Or rather, it’s happening now on a larger scale in which very important X-Men characters will be part of an MCU project, not just multiverse cameos or twisty knockoffs.
With this film, it seems that the MCU will truly tie into the canon of the X-Men early films.
The Pyros dead Pool back
In a moment from the new trailer, actor Aaron Stanford returns as Pyro, the flame-wielding mutant first introduced in The strange X-Men in 1981, and featured prominently in the film X2, played by Stanford. In X2 (2003), Pyro abandoned the “good” X-Men led by Professor X and joined Magneto. Pyro also played an important role in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), but, apart from a small Easter egg in Days of Future Past (2014), we haven’t seen Stanford’s version of Pyro since 2006.
Technically, Alexander Burton played a younger version of Pyro in a brief scene in the 2000s. X-Men, even though it was Stanford who gave the character his true and memorable debut in X2. Stanford confirmed its return with an Instagram post the same day the trailer went live.
In the trailer, Pyro is only seen for a moment, seemingly fighting Deadpool and saying, “God, I love this part!” Pyro also wears some sort of steampunk goggles that look discreetly ripped off of Quicksilver. Does he still work for Magneto? Working against Deadpool? Is this the same version of Pyro from the universe that we all know? Presumably it will still shoot flames?
Regardless of how Pyro’s involvement is explained, it appears to be more than an Easter egg. Combined with a few brief appearances from X-Force (including Shatterstar and Colossus), the inclusion of the Stanford Pyro in the trailer sends a not-so-subtle signal that this film is really for fans of the X-Men movies. On top of all that, Aaron Stanford is basically geek royalty. For four seasons, he played James Cole, the protagonist of Terry Matalas’ version of 12 monkeys on the SyFy network. Most recently he appeared in guest roles in Western world Season 4 and Picard Season 3. This is the kind of veteran sci-fi/comic book actor you want in your big crossover movie.
Bottom line: Aaron Stanford’s return as Pyro isn’t just a cool detail, it’s almost like with his inclusion, this movie is making a promise. The character of Pyro is both deep and well-known. It’s not quite on the level of putting someone like Storm of Cyclops in the trailer, but it’s damn close. Pyro may only be the first of several X-Men characters entering this film, but for now, aside from the titular Deadpool and Wolverinehe’s the best sign that this movie is going to delve deep into these comic book weeds.
Deadpool and Wolverine hits theaters on July 26.
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