Now that Deadpool 3 has been confirmed to be set in the MCU, it’s opened the floodgates for a plethora of meta references from the animation giant’s back catalogue of classics. Following this, Ryan Reynolds has stated on Instagram that Wade Wilson’s first order of business will be to hunt down whoever killed Bambi’s mom.
Being emotionally traumatized by Bambi is a rite of passage for children all over the world, partly because the movie is rightly recognized as an iconic masterpiece, and partly because it’s as safe an introduction to the concept of death as most parents can show to their kids.
The film was referenced in Deadpool 2, of course, when Wade’s narration argued that his second big screen outing should be considered a family flick despite beginning with a vicious murder, arguing that such an event also takes place in the 80-year-old classic, along with The Lion King and, um, Saw 7. Granted, the death of Bambi’s mother happens towards the end of the movie rather than the start, but it’s still a funny joke and also provides a parallel, seeing as Wade kills everyone responsible for Vanessa’s death.
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As for how it would play out, it’s easy to imagine a shot of the Merc trekking though the Pacific Northwest and coming across an isolated cabin, outside of which sits an elderly hunter beside a prominently displayed deer skin. Without a word, he puts a bullet through the man’s head, then turns to the camera to state “Bambi’s mom has been avenged,” and walks off whistling jauntily to himself.
Since Ryan Reynolds has more than a little creative control over how the antihero is depicted on screen, it’s not outwith the realm of possibility that he wasn’t just making a joke and that he’ll make good on the promise as a throwaway gag. Of course, Deadpool 3 won’t be released for some time yet (or even filmed), but if there is a reference to an event eight decades in the past, it’ll feel like the longest callback ever.