Common logic in Hollywood follows a simple formula. When a movie is a big hit, the studio makes a sequel. Deadpool earned hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office. Deadpool 2 didn’t exactly take a long time to move into production. Deadpool 3, however, might take many years to be made. For fans of comic book films, this may seem stunning. Why would Fox put off making a sequel to one of their most successful franchises? Basically, Fox wants to create as many successful franchises as possible. The studio licensed the rights to numerous X-Men and Fantastic Four characters. Producing a multitude of films featuring these heroes and villains is Fox’s goal, a goal no different than what the Marvel Cinematic Universe did to great success.

Deadpool won’t likely be gone for long. Ryan Reynolds’ return to the role has already been set in stone. “The Merc with the Mouth” is slated to appear in the upcoming X-Force movie. Reynolds did say something quite shocking. The actor suggested Deadpool 3 might never happen. Instead, the character would move into the ensemble X-Force series.

Fox would find it difficult to fit a third Deadpool movie on its production schedule. In addition to X-Force, a new X-Men film and a New Mutants project are in the works. The often-stalled Gambit film remains active in development. Fox knows it can only release so many superhero films per year. Fox also knows a wide range of different hero properties means increased variety in box office receipts.

Still, it is surprising that a third Deadpool film would be a non-starter for the studio. The second film may exceed the box office take of the first film. The original Deadpool wasn’t a minor hit. The film pulled in hundreds of millions of dollars. Deadpool 2 may leave the first film in the proverbial dust.

It makes sense, however, for Fox to move Deadpool to X-Force. On their own, the characters who make up X-Force aren’t known enough to star in their own films. Deadpool can carry them at least at first. After two movie appearances, supporting characters just might become popular enough with fans they could star in their own movies.

Fox may be worrying about its X-Men projects though. The franchise could be losing a bit of steam thanks to inconsistent quality. If the X-Men cease to be a hot ticket at the box office, Deadpool 3 might find itself in the development pipeline quickly.