Deadpool is a bonafide smash hit at the box office, breaking all kinds of records and pulling in over $135 million. And like other superhero movies as of late, the comic book adventure is full of Easter eggs for fans. But Marvel Studios and Disney may not like one of the more easily identifiable nods to the MCU. Apparently, screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick decided to use a Marvel-owned character without their permission.
How did they get away with it? They slightly altered the name of the character, and stripped him of his back story. But the two writers confirm this is the same man seen in the Marvel comics, upon which Deadpool is based. He is introduced during the big end fight scene as Wade Wilson's old colleague Bob. For some, the moment won't amount to much. But for long-time Deadpool readers, they will recognize this character as Wade's frequent companion and adversary Bob, an Agent of Hydra.
Marvel Studios, who has used Hydra in both their recent movies and TV shows, owns the rights to use Hydra Bob, not 20th Century Fox. Meaning the makers of Deadpool did not have the legal rights to utilize this character in the story. It was a small technicality that didn't stop the team from bringing Bob along on this adventure anyway. Paul Wernick explains how they got away with using the fan-favorite character.
"That's why he's just called Bob. 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.' We did take some liberties. Fox has a list of characters that they own and that we can use, and Simon Kinberg, who is a producer on the project, is the keeper of the X universe. So he was a great source for us in knowing what we can use, how it's going to play into the larger story, and overall arching stories of the X universe. So between Simon and legal, they kind of guided us to what we can and can't do or have access to, and then it was up to us to see how we were going to use those characters creatively, once we knew we really did have the rights."
In Deadpool, Bob is introduced as a henchman for Ajax. He has a special forces background in the movie, but there is no mention of Hydra. The character was created for Marvel Comics in 2007 by Fabian Nicieza and Reilly Brown. One of the similarities between Marvel's Bob and 20th Century Fox's Bob is that they are both married. But this is not the same instance as Fox and Marvel both owning Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, as Bob is not a Mutant.
There are other Easter Eggs to the Marvel universe hidden in Deadpool. Jeremy the Pizza Delivery Boy works for the Pizzeria Feige's Famous Pizza, a nod to Marvel boss Kevin Feige. Some claim that the third act actually takes place on a decommissioned Helicarrier. And the end credit sequence has Ryan Reynolds showing up in uniform similar to Nick Fury's, poking fun at Samuel L. Jackson's post credit scene in 2008's Iron Man. What do you think about these Marvel nods, and Fox using a character it clearly doesn't own?