Ed Skrein, who played the villain Ajax in the first Deadpool film opens up about his potential return in Deadpool 3. Led by Ryan Reynolds, the Deadpool franchise centers around Wade Wilson, the “Merc with the Mouth,” a trained fighter with superhuman healing abilities as a result of an experiment that left him disfigured. Though Reynolds originally played the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, his first turn in the role was poorly received due to the film’s decision to silence the usually chatty character. After being stuck in development limbo for an extended time, largely because of the script’s unapologetic R-rating, Deadpool finally came to theaters in 2016, to critical and commercial success.
In Deadpool, the titular anti-hero goes after the research facility that left him disfigured, coming head to head with the sadistic lab assistant that contributed to the project, Francis Freeman (Ed Skrein). Also called Ajax, the Deadpool villain was responsible for both giving Wade his powers and ruining his life, which added a thrilling, personal dynamic to their battles in the film. Ajax was eventually killed by Deadpool after revealing that the cure Wade was seeking didn’t actually exist.
While speaking with ComicBookMovie.com, Skrein addressed his potential return in Deadpool 3. The Ajax actor revealed that he is eager to come back to the franchise, if possible, but added in a heartwarming fashion that he’s just grateful to have been a part of the films in the first place. See what he had to say below:
“Listen, I’ve got all the comics where he comes back with the suit, the things that fly out of them, the teeth, and the eyes, and everything. I think he ends up getting strangled by Deadpool in the bottom of a river to really die. These things are…it was a privilege to be part of number one, dude. I would be so happy to leave it as what it is. It would be the happiest thing ever to just move on and I’d be super happy to go back. It’s all love and it’s all good. They’ve got a great team between Hugh, Ryan, and Shawn. They’ve got an incredible team. I’ll be there in the first week with my popcorn and I’ll just be there as a fan. Even now, I can see all my Deadpool comics and statues next to my Ninja Turtles and Mumm-Ras. Yeah, I’ve been collecting Deadpool and X-Men and Wolverine, specifically, since I was 10 years old. I’m a fan before anything. I wasn’t even thinking about it like I would be in it. When I saw that news, I was like, ‘That’s great! That’s really great for all of us.”
How Could Ajax Return For Deadpool 3?
In his touching response, Skrein offers his own comics-accurate pitch for Ajax’s return. Despite Wade hilariously shooting Ajax in the head during Colossus’ speech about mercy near the end of Deadpool, the two arch-rivals ‘kill’ one another many times in the Marvel Comics, so there is a precedent for the character’s return. Skrein proposes that Ajax could come back donning his suit from the comics, which wasn’t present in the film. As for the circumstances of his return, due to his death at the hands of Deadpool, it would make sense for Ajax to come back seeking revenge on the anti-hero, possibly also driven by his comics motivation to hunt down and kill all surviving members of the Weapon X project. Though Skrein says that he’s open to a return, he seems uncertain about the possibility. Regardless, his glowing words about the franchise as a lifelong fan are moving.
Based on Skrein’s comments, it seems that the actor will probably not appear in Deadpool 3, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the door is closed on his character Ajax’s future return. And if Ajax’s death is confirmed to have been permanent, perhaps Skrein will join the MCU in a new capacity, given his appreciation for comic book media. The actor has previously shown an interest in playing other Marvel Comics characters on-screen, such as X-Men’s Fantomex. It’s unlikely that Marvel will be casting that particular character any time soon, but if Skrein were to earn another Marvel Cinematic Universe role, he would be following in Josh Brolin’s footsteps, who played both Deadpool 2 antagonist Cable and the MCU’s biggest bad, Thanos.