Let’s face it – Ed Skrein is done with Deadpool. The final act of the movie left little doubt that his character – the chillingly detached and deliciously evil Ajax – would never again return to the fledgling franchise. But, with the first film recently released on DVD and Blu-ray, it is not surprising to find that the actor is facing the big question: Who should be the next villain to face the Merc with a Mouth in Deadpool 2? As it turns out, Skrein has been giving it some thought, and has a very well-reasoned answer: Taskmaster.
“The Taskmaster is just you know, so fun. To see Taskmaster and Wade Wilson/Deadpool together is so funny – watching them play in the Daniel Way collection they have these incredible riffs. He’s a mercenary like Wade Wilson but he’s a mercenary without morals. The only redeeming factor of Deadpool is his morals, right? Taskmaster does not have those morals so he back-stabs and stuff like that. He’s a hilarious character, and he looks so cool, you know? The skull head, the hood, and his superpower is he can copy anyone’s fighting style; can you imagine that visually? If he fought Deadpool and started whipping things around and doing all the flips, and then he fought Wolverine? It would be phenomenal – he’s an incredible character.”
He makes a good case. In the source material, Taskmaster first appeared in Avengers Vol. 1 #195 in 1980, and has since blossomed into a complex character with various allegiances – sometimes being depicted as an anti-hero, of sorts. However, he has been seen to clash with Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Daredevil and Punisher, among many others, and his specific powers and abilities make this a serious problem.
Taskmaster is able to physically and vocally mimic anyone he sees or comes into contact with, and so trains others to work for villains using the techniques he has observed in a range of superheroes. It is with Deadpool that he has become most notably associated, however, as the unpredictable nature of the Merc with a Mouth makes him a challenging individual to mimic.
At the current time, we know three things for sure about Deadpool 2. Firstly, star Ryan Reynolds, director Tim Miller and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are returning. Secondly, Ed Skrein is unlikely to be joining them. Thirdly, the sequel will feature the character of Cable – Deadpool’s colleague and sometime partner, who is the time-travelling offspring of X-Men team members Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor. Cable’s motivation is that he has seen the future, and desperately wants to make a better world. Whether Taskmaster will be chosen to face Deadpool and Cable remains to be seen – but we are bound to be hearing a lot more about this project before it finally arrives in theatres in 2017.