Deadpool & Wolverine is generating incredible excitement with its teaser and first full trailer, but early marketing has made it clear that the anticipated MCU movie is repeating a narrative technique from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness that divided audiences in 2022. Not only is the Merc with a Mouth’s third feature film exciting by virtue of the franchise’s past quality, but it’s also the first time a non-MCU superhero franchise has gotten a sequel from Marvel Studios. It’s not a terribly unexpected development given the popularity of Reynold’s Wade Wilson, but the movie is taking some risks.

Deadpool & Wolverine: A Repeated Story Structure

Deadpool & Wolverine’s story sees the titular heroes franchise-hop explained in-universe as the TVA recruits Wade. It’s a clever connection to the wider MCU, but it’s repeating the Doctor Strange sequel’s decision to tell a story that treats non-cinematic MCU content as required viewing. While the move may have been a misstep for the Sorcerer Supreme’s big-screen story, Deadpool & Wolverine does seem poised to learn from the past and take a similar approach with some narrative improvements.

Deadpool & Wolverine Is Repeating Doctor Strange 2’s Disney+ Show Ties

Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness kept its villain a secret throughout its pre-release trailers and marketing materials, saving the big reveal that Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch, had been fully corrupted by the Darkhold and become a horrifyingly powerful mystic threat to the multiverse. There’s little doubt that a fallen hero makes for a compelling antagonist, but some viewers who skipped out on Disney+’s WandaVision were, understandably, a bit confused. It was the first time a Disney+ series had majorly impacted the MCU movies.

WandaVision follows up on Wanda’s incredible grief following the loss of Vision and introduces her magically created children, Billy and Tommy. It also introduces the Darkhold and explains why she’s susceptible to corruption. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness briefly touches on this, but the change from Avenger to horrifying villain comes off as incredibly rushed without WandaVision.

It’s clear that Deadpool & Wolverine is following suit. In the two trailers released so far, it’s clear that the TVA is the catalyst to Wade and Logan’s multiversal adventure. While the organization, which monitors the various timelines of the multiverse, will be familiar to anyone who’s watched Loki seasons 1 and 2, Deadpool & Wolverine will be their big-screen debut. Even though Loki is arguably the MCU’s best streaming series, it’s a risk to assume most general audiences have seen it, meaning Deadpool & Wolverine must ensure the TVA makes sense without additional context.

How Other MCU Movies Have Followed Up On Disney+ Series

| Every MCU Disney+ Series So Far |

Seasons Major Movie Connections?
WandaVision 1
The Falcon And The Winter Soldier 1
Loki 2
What If…? 2
Hawkeye 1
Moon Knight 1
Ms. Marvel 1
She-Hulk: Attorney At Law 1
Secret Invasion 1
Echo 1

So far, there’s been little consistency in whether or not MCU TV series on Disney+ are required viewing or not. WandaVision stands out as the most directly relevant to the movies so far, while a few others introduce characters or plot threads followed up with on the big screen to a lesser degree. Given some general audience’s lack of interest in watching every piece of Marvel Studios content, it can be confusing to know which shows are “necessary” to understand the movies.

The best approach so far seems to be light tie-ins that enhance the movies without being required viewing. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier seems to be a great example. It gives welcome characterization to Sam as he struggles with the burden of being Captain America, but given Sam ends Endgame with the shield and has it again at the end of his series, viewers who skip it likely won’t be confused come Captain America: Brave New World.

Ms. Marvel stands as a bit of an outlier in that it very directly leads into The Marvels, but the latter easily summarized the core elements of what’s important. What the bangles are and who Kamala is make more sense having seen the show, but the basic idea that there’s a young hero who idolizes Carol Danvers and has come into possession of a powerful artifact isn’t as complex as, say, Wanda’s complex struggles with grief. In fact, WandaVision also explains the origin of Monica Rambeau’s powers, which The Marvels mostly glosses over.

Given its importance to both Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and The Marvels , WandaVision is currently the most “essential” MCU series for movie fans. That may or may not change when Deadpool & Wolverine ‘s story is revealed in full this July.

Why Deadpool & Wolverine’s Disney+ Connections Are Less Of A Gamble

Simply put, the existence of a “multiverse police” like the TVA is one that simply doesn’t need a full explanation. While Loki seasons 1 and 2 are fantastic television and likely to add to the Deadpool & Wolverine viewing experience, the organization’s inclusion doesn’t in and of itself create any strange retcons or story gaps like Wanda’s turn in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Turning a beloved Avenger to the dark side and killing them off necessitates context and risks alienating viewers who don’t have it.

While Deadpool & Wolverine plot specifics are still largely under wraps, it seems unlikely that Loki will be essential prior viewing. The former God of Mischief will likely have an important role to play in the future of the MCU, but it seems unlikely that Loki’s new role as the isolated protector of the multiverse will be significantly advanced here (if at all). Tone matters, too, and it’s easier to hand wave additions like the TVA in a comedy known for non-sequiturs than a more “serious” story like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.