There’d been rumours that Juggernaut was going to make his long-awaited return to the X-Men franchise in Deadpool 2 for a while and sure enough, the big guy appears in the form of an enormous CGI creation that’s much closer to the comics character than Vinnie Jones’ interpretation from X-Men: The Last Stand.
It turns out Deadpool’s a massive fan of Cain Marko, too, as he refers to him as his “favourite Marvel character” at one stage. He also lists off numerous X-Men comic issues when encountering him for the first time. When about to face him again later on in the film, Wade even comments that “nothing can stop the Juggernaut,” referencing the title of an iconic two-part comic story which saw Spider-Man battle the X-Men villain (see The Amazing Spider-Man #229-230).
Overall, it was great seeing the beloved character back on the big screen, but it did leave fans with one question: who was playing the big guy? Well, as it turns out, it was actually a combination of Ryan Reynolds and director David Leitch.
Speaking to Cinema Blend in a recent interview, the latter explained:
The spoiler is Juggernaut is sort of a combination of Ryan and myself. And it only became, and this is a spoiler spoiler. It only came out of just the necessity of change, and you’re getting into the post-process, and we’re like, ‘Okay, now we need a face animator actor.’ And I’m in the editing room, and Ryan’s writing alts, and we’re like, ‘I’ll just go do it.’ And then the animators are going to change it anyway.
Continuing on, he told the outlet that Reynolds worked on both the performance capture and provided the voice.
Ryan did some performance capture for certain dialogue bits. And then he provided the voice, which we altered, which allowed us to, when we we’re in post, we’re doing some alts for Deadpool. It’d be like, ‘Okay, let’s just switch into Juggernaut mode, try this.’ As opposed to ‘Let’s bring in somebody, wait for them, call time,’ all this. It was a tight unit. Ryan’s got another franchise!
Finally, when asked why they brought back the character in the first place, Leitch said that they simply wanted to make up for mistakes of the past.
We did think that Juggernaut had not been treated as well as he could have been in previous movies, and we wanted to rectify that… we worried a little bit about too much backstory, like with Cable in particular. We were like, ‘Let’s make him a man of mystery. The whole Nathan Summers clone, techno-virus, all that stuff, we just thought we were going to overload our audience. But we did sneak in the bit about Professor Xavier.
Though Juggernaut didn’t have a huge role in Deadpool 2, audiences no doubt appreciated seeing him given another chance to make an impact in theaters after the horrid portrayal Vinnie Jones gave us in The Last Stand. It sounds like we could run into him again, too, as Leitch mentioned that he looks forward to Fox bringing the character back – if they so choose. For now, though, we’re just happy that he finally got his cinematic redemption.