Sequels don’t really come more hotly anticipated than Deadpool 2. The first film – released in 2016 – was a giant box office hit, in the context of R-rated movies, and has gone on to be a surprise fixture in the current awards season. Fans responded enthusiastically to the passion and specificity of the portrayal of the Marvel comic book character, who was originally conceived for the very purpose of shaking things up in the realm of superheroes.
One of the things that made Deadpool so much fun was the fact that the filmmakers – led by actor and producer Ryan Reynolds, and director Tim Miller – set themselves an impressive goal, and met it in vigorous fashion, scoring a big win. But, before the final reel of the film reached its end, they had set themselves an even trickier one, by promising that the inevitable sequel would provide the introduction of Cable – a character well-known to fans of the Deadpool comic books.
The writers of both Deadpool and Deadpool 2 – Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese – recently spoke to Collider and addressed the issue of Cable and the challenges they’re facing in bringing him to the big screen. Wernick explained that, like Deadpool, it all hinges on the voice.
“It’s intimidating because we have to find his voice, and we don’t have an actor yet so we don’t know who we’re writing for. Most screenwriting happens without cast in place, but sequels it’s a little bit different and it’s likely that part will get cast, and we’ll get to continue writing it and honing it for that actor, which I think is a good thing. There’s been so many diverse people that have been brought up as possibilities for Cable, and who have not been brought up but we’re considering. And that, much like with Ryan [Reynolds], that decision will greatly impact his cadences, his rhythms. And we’ll certainly make him like he is in the comics, and we’ll certainly be faithful, but I do think that voice will inform us quite a bit.”
There has been much discussion in the media about the casting of Cable, with many fans having their own opinions about who the perfect actor would be, and persistent rumours suggesting that the issue was a contributing factor in the departure of director Tim Miller. It’s clear from the comments of Paul Wernick, however, that the role of Cable is still very much open and, as such, the validity of those rumours have quite a bit of doubt cast of them – not least because they’ve also been denied by both Miller and Reynolds.
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The other obstacle is the origin of Cable. In terms of comic book characters, Cable’s backstory is much more complex than most. He’s a mutant and a time traveller, with some cloning connections thrown in for good measure. His link with Deadpool comes from the fact that the two existing characters were brought together in a joint comic book title – Cable & Deadpool – which ran for 50 issues, from 2004 to 2008.
So, how can the complex character of Cable be integrated into the cinematic depiction of Deadpool, in a way that does him justice in the eyes of comic book fans while making him accessible to new viewers? The answer, from Paul Wernick, is to find the core of the character and go with that.
“So with Cable, he’s got such a convoluted past, and such a convoluted origin story that I think we’re going to try to leave that, not mysterious, but there are a lot of twists and turns, cloning and all this stuff where you go, “Oh my God. How do we get that across in a two hour movie?” I think we’re going to distill him down to his essence. It will be authentic and faithful, but it’s not going to include the 18,000 details if you were going to read a Wikipedia page about Cable you’d roll your eyes.”
And there we have it, from those that know. Deadpool 2 is being written now and will feature Cable. The role has not yet been cast, but Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese are approaching it in much the same way that they approached the title character – finding his voice, and remaining true to his essence. With all that to look forward to, March 2nd, 2018 has never felt further away.