On May 18, Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) returns to theaters in a very big way, as we won't just be seeing the formation of X-Force but also the arrival of the time-traveling mutant Cable (Josh Brolin). Marketing for the sequel kicked into high gear last Thanksgiving and since then it's just been an onslaught of teasers, parodies, and bizarre giveaways that have perfectly encapsulated the R-rated nature of the Merc with a Mouth.
None of this would have been possible had the first film not become the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. It paved the way for Logan and what is sure to be an even raunchier follow-up to Deadpool's real cinematic debut; we're not counting X-Men Origins: Wolverine... no one should ever count X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Like any sequel, Deadpool 2 (directed by David Leitch) will be bigger, more ambitious, and introduce a whole roster of new characters, particularly mutants who will be working in tandem with Wade Wilson to defeat Cable, who wants to get his hands (one of them robotic) on a powerful mutant kid — but we're getting ahead of ourselves.
Here is everything we know (so far) about Deadpool 2's characters, plot, and set-ups for the future.
Obviously, we can't talk about the Deadpool sequel without talking about its titular character. Since the end of the last movie, he's reconnected with his girlfriend and soon-to-be-wife Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). The two live together, but based on the trailers, it looks like Wade's mercenary activities in samurai bathhouses and strip clubs keep him extremely busy. He has to make up excuses about why he's late all the time, such as "rounding up all the gluten in the world."
Still, Vanessa doesn't seem too phased by his punctuality problems and is just happy to have him back after thinking he was dead. With his origin story out of the way, Deadpool now has free reign over everything and you can bet he'll chew up every scene he's in. Moreover, Vanessa encourages Wade to protect the young mutant known as Russell (Julian Dennison), who may or may not be Rusty Collins.
First introduced in 1986, Rusty Collins has the ability to summon and manipulate fire, once holding the hero name "Firefist." He was arrested when his power manifestation led to the burning of a woman but he escaped and became a member of X-Factor.
And then there's Cable, the grizzled temporally-displaced mutant played by none other than Thanos actor Josh Brolin. The character's real name is Nathan Summers and he's got quite the complicated backstory. In Marvel's comics, his birth was orchestrated by the villain Nathaniel Essex, aka Mister Sinister (alluded to in the post-credits scene of X-Men: Apocalypse and in the plot of Logan), who created Cable's mother, Madeline Pryor, a clone of Jean Grey.
Pryor seduced Cyclops (Scott Summers) while posing as Jean and thus Nathan was born. Later on in Marvel's comics, Sinister tried to use the child as a way to enact revenge on his former master, En Sabah Nur (Apocalypse), but Nur infected Nathan with a deadly Techno-Organic virus. He was then taken to the 38th century, where it was hoped that a cure for the affliction could be found. While no cure was discovered, Nathan's incredible telekinetic abilities allow him to keep the virus at bay. Moreover, he grows up in a war-torn future, which gives him access to incredibly advanced technology, weapons, and biological enhancements like his robotic arm and eye.
In Deadpool 2, Cable travels back in time for Russell. Why Summers wants the kid is anyone's guess, but it might have something to do with changing something in the future. Does Russell grow up to be some sort of supervillain who will enslave the Earth? Does he hold the key to curing the Techno-Organic virus?
To fight Cable, Deadpool puts together a special team of mutants known as X-Force, which was originally founded by Cable in the comics. According to the Merc, they need to be "tough, morally flexible, forward-thinking, gender-neutral, and young enough to carry their own franchise for 10-12 years."
Members of the team include:
Domino (Zazie Beetz), aka Neena Thurman, a mutant/mercenary with the ability to manipulate probability, otherwise known as luck. “She’s lucky. It serves you kind of in all ways,” Beetz said. “You’re just kind of in a way better at everything. Everything just works better. She can warp probability in her favor, and only for her, for no one else around her. So kind of a selfish power.”
Bedlam (Terry Crews) has the power to emit an electromagnetic pulse from his body, stopping any and all machines. When his powers were heightened in the comics, he was able to change a person's brain chemistry.
Shatterstar (Lewis Tan) is a mutant who was genetically engineered in another dimension and therefore has a heightened, well, everything: stamina, strength, healing, endurance, reflexes, and intelligence.
Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård) has probably got the strangest power of them all. He can spew forth acidic vomit, which can then melt through the toughest and thickest piece of steel within seconds. In the comics, he wears a protective mouthpiece and you can get the quickest glimpse of it in the trailer before they all jump out of the plane. Zeitgeist's powers first manifested while he was making out with a girl on the beach... needless to say, it did not end well, although she did survive.
And then there's Peter (Rob Delaney), the only non-mutant in the group. He saw the recruitment ad and decided to sign up. There is a theory that his character could be Peter Wisdom, a British secret agent and also a mutant, who can shoot sharp, hot blades of energy from his fingertips.
Shiori Kutsuna plays another mutant who can pass massive currents of electricity through objects, but at the current time, there is no info on her character and she is noticeably absent from Peter's introductory photos of X-Force. It is likely that she's in league with the movie's villain, Black Tom Cassidy (Jack Kasy).
Born in Dublin, Cassidy (created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum in 1976) was the cousin of Banshee and had the ability to bond with and project energy through plant life. Unbenknownst to Banshee, Tom raised his daughter Siryn and made her a part of a criminal gang. Often an enemy of the X-Men and Deadpool, Cassidy was also known for his criminal partnership with Juggernaut before Juggernaut turned good.
Three of Wade's closest friends, cab driver Dopinder (Karan Soni), former roommate Blind Al (Leslie Uggams), and bartender Weasel (T.J. Miller) will all return for the sequel along with the X-Men Colossus (Stefan Kapičić) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand).
Eddie Marsen (Sherlock Holmes) will be joining the cast, but like Kutsuna, nothing is known about him. Oh, and Celine Dion made an original music video for the movie, so we're counting her as part of the cast as well.
Deadpool 2's marketing campaign has been pretty great at keeping spoilers under wraps. The wackiness and general insanity of the character have led to Bob Ross and Norman Rockwell parodies, frozen dinner ads, free tattoos at Brazilian Comic Con, mini gummy hands, and coloring book pages, but no concrete reveals about the story, other than what we got in the trailers.
Bare bones plot description: Deadpool is working as a mercenary, chopping off people's heads and the like. Russell's mutant powers manifest themselves. Cable shows up from the future to get him. Deadpool tries to protect Russell and butts heads with Cable. Deadpool sets up X-Force to fight Cable and protect Russell. Where Cassidy fits in is anyone's guess, but, like we said, 20th Century Fox has been good at keeping major aspects of the plot a secret.
There are two locations in the trailer, however, that seem like they'll play big parts in the overall narrative. The first is a prison-like place where Deadpool and Russell are wearing yellow prisoner jumpsuits. This could be a maximum security mutant prison where Russell is taken after his powers manifest themselves. Wanting to save him, Deadpool may get himself arrested and placed in the same place, but before he can do anything else, Cable shows up to cause trouble.
The second noticeable location is the X-Mansion. In the last movie, we only saw the exterior, the kitchen, some of the basement, and the lobby of Charles Xavier's school (all devoid of other mutants) when Deadpool comes to recruit Colussus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead to fight Ajax (Ed Skrein), aka Francis. Since the sequel had a bigger budget, we'll get to go inside the school, based on the fact that we see Wade taking the professor's wheelchair for some kind of joyride.
Back in 2016, Deadpool made fourth-wall-breaking references to the different actors who have portrayed Charles Xavier as well as the fact that we only see two X-Men throughout the entire movie. Deadpool 2 can change all that and if Patrick Stewart shows up for a secret cameo, our lives will be utterly complete.
A few honorable mentions of other important locales are the insane asylum-looking place, that Bond-esque mountain headquarters (which explodes), and, lastly, the funeral where Deadpool pops out of a coffin to shoot a bunch of mourners.
It's hard to imagine that Deadpool and Cable will remain enemies for long. After all, the two are basically friends in the comics, as Wade is always helping out the X-Force, which, if you'll recall, was actually founded by Cable. The fact that we haven't seen the villain in any of the trailers yet seems to indicate that Cable is simply a red herring and he'll have to team up with Deadpool and the X-Force when Black Tom Cassidy rears his possibly ugly head.
"There is [more world-building]. In terms of a big comic book movie, maybe not massive world-building," said director David Leitch. "We're not going to outer space, and we're not going to Wakanda and discovering a world like that, but we are sort of expanding the universe of contacts and people he may be spending time with in the future, and different incarnations of the universe."
SET-UPS FOR THE FUTURE
Ryan Reynolds is unsure of whether or not there will be a third Deadpool movie.
“I feel like the character, in order for him to function properly within his own universe, you need to take everything away from him. I don’t think that you can keep doing that," the actor told Entertainment Weekly.
This statement doesn't necessarily mean the end of the franchise since Deadpool 2 sets up the X-Force standalone movie from director Drew Goddard, writer of the first Cloverfield. According to the X-Force IMDb page, Deadpool, Domino, and Cable will all be a part of the project, which could see Cable taking control of the team and bringing them to his future-dwelling home.
"I think because we needed to expand the world, in terms of where we were going to be, obviously on the day and date, but also because Deadpool's got to go somewhere — so yeah, he's part of the X-Men lore," Leitch said. "We did find some natural tie-ins, and I think it's really going to be fun," said Leitch.
So, it's not the death of Deadpool, merely an evolution of the property. But with the Disney-Fox deal about to close, the future of the character is uncertain. Disney president Bob Iger has said that he wants to include the Merc in the MCU, alongside the Fantastic Four and X-Men. How they'd do that and whether or not they'd keep Deadpool R-rated is totally up in the air right now.
"I think it'll be exciting for fans," added the director when asked about what other Marvel characters he'd like to see Wade interact with. "What I like about Deadpool is I think that the more you can put Deadpool in a box, the more he wants to push outside of it. Pairing him with people that you think would confine him, it's a challenge to be irreverent, and it's a challenge to keep the same sort of subversive nature. I think there's something interesting about that. I don't know. Who would he pair with? Captain America, that'd be pretty funny. I don't know. There are definitely some people. I mean, I'm a fan of that sort of whole Marvel universe. I think you could just throw a dart at a board and put Deadpool next to them, and it would be funny."
One thing is completely for sure: T.J. Miller will not be a part of the X-Force spinoff.