Deadpool MCU Raft

Fox’s Marvel universe and Disney’s Marvel universe are two completely places. They have to be, for legal reasons — Fox has the rights to basically anything involving mutants, and Disney has just about everything else. So the storylines don’t intersect, the characters don’t meet, and as far as either franchise is concerned the other one simply doesn’t exist. But leave it to Deadpool to try and bend the rules with a sneaky reference.

Apparently one of the Deadpool deleted scenes involves The Raft, an offshore prison designed to hold superpowered people. The location was first introduced in the comics about ten years ago, but you might also remember it from Captain America: Civil War just a few months ago. 

According to ComicBookMovie.com, a Deadpool deleted scene shows the villain Ajax (played by Ed Skrein) being escorted to the entryway of a prison facility clearly labeled as “The Raft.” He’s eventually led to land and uncuffed, suggesting Ajax was in prison before the events of Deadpool. But for our purposes, “The Raft” sign is the interesting part. It’s unclear why the scene was cut, or whether Marvel’s decision to use the same location in Civil War had anything to do with it.

Cinema Blend describes the Deadpool version of the Raft as looking like Alcatraz, while the MCU version is a giant facility submerged in the Atlantic Ocean. In Civil War, the Raft appears after the climactic airport showdown between Team Cap and Team Iron Man. Falcon, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and Ant-Man are all captured after the battle and detained at the Raft, to Iron Man’s unease.

The Raft isn’t Deadpool‘s only unofficial nod to the MCU. The final showdown takes place around a downed craft that looks kinda like a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, though director Tim Miller has taken pains to emphasize that this is “clearly not the Helicarrier,” no way, no sir, definitely not. “It could have been anything but a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier,” he said. “Because that would be outside of the purview of the Fox/Marvel arrangement.”

Slightly more explicit is the inclusion in Deadpool of a character named Bob, played by Rob Hayter. He’s clearly a reference to the Marvel character Bob, Agent of Hydra, but the “Hydra” part of his name was left out for legal reasons. “That’s why he’s just called Bob,” explained writer Paul Wernick. “The hardcore fans will go, ‘Oh my God, is that Hydra Bob?’ but the lawyers at Marvel won’t go, ‘Wait, that’s Hydra Bob, they don’t have the rights to it.’”

None of this is to say Deadpool “secretly” takes place in the Marvel cinematic universe — because, again, it legally cannot. Canonically speaking, these remain completely separate and unrelated entities. But given that so much of Deadpool’s charm comes from his fourth-wall-breaking irreverence, a not-quite-completely-legal reference to that other Marvel franchise seems just about right.

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