In Deadpool 2, Deadpool says to Cable that he is Batman sarcastically. As Batman is a property of Warner Bros., why didn't they sue 21st Century Fox for using that phrase on copyright terms?

For example in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Wanda Maximinoff isn't addressed as the child of Magneto (A Marvel character owned by 21st Century Fox) or as a Mutant due to copyright conflicts.

And in Deadpool 1 a Green Lantern card was shown in the bridge fight slow-mo scene. Green Lantern in full costume was shown. How did WB/DC allow this?

  • 1
    It was a joke. Companies often let jokes go. He wasn't really claiming to be Batman. Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 15:14
  • 3
    I suspect if they were going to be claiming against any kind of jokes, it would be the repeated references to Green Lantern rather than the line mentioning Batman...
    – Dave
    Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 18:33
  • 2
    Batman is also a real word, a term for a British Officers personal servant, although no longer in use.
    – Sarriesfan
    Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 21:35
  • I believe in cricket, it is also an official position to play :)
    – m1gp0z
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 20:53
  • Maybe this question belongs on law.stackexchange.com
    – Raj
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 16:09

1 Answer 1


It was a joke, and companies often allow jokes or other "fair use" references to their intellectual property.

What would be the purpose of a lawsuit? What kind of outcome would they want? I'm not a lawyer but I guess they might seek financial recompense or to ban the showing of Deadpool with that reference in it.

The level of loss to Warner Bros reputation or their future earnings from their ownership of the Batman franchise seems negligible if anything at all. Indeed in a strange way getting a reference in Deadpool could be argued as a compliment. It would therefore be hard to justify any figure for financial damages.

Embarking upon a lawsuit also has negative side effects. The fanbase of the DC and Marvel film universes are often the same people so aggressively pursuing every possible legal infraction would result in significant negative publicity. It isn't going to be worth it.

This situation is significantly different to the licensing of the X-Men/Mutant characters to 21st Century Fox. This is a situation where a legal agreement has been signed by the two companies, where Marvel have agreed to not use Mutant characters in their film properties. Hence references to Magneto or Mutants is specifically barred. Using them would undermine 21st Century Fox's Intellectual Property that they paid for.

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