The Deadpool movies pretty much stand apart from the mainline X-Men franchise, but Deadpool 2 did feature Professor X and his mutant students in a brief cameo. It looks like X-Men: Dark Phoenix is going to return the favor, too, as a new character introduced in the upcoming film was first mentioned in an easter egg in this May’s R-rated sequel.
Early on in D2, the Merc with a Mouth takes out a gang in Asia. Just before undertaking the job though, he looks at the bank card which has a name in Chinese written on it. This translates into English as Red Lotus, which we took to be a reference to the obscure comics character of the same name. Now, it seems that this was setting up his upcoming role in Dark Phoenix.
In a new photo from the film (seen below), a seated Magneto is shown with a gang of mutants who might be his new Brotherhood. Once you drag your eyes away from the familiar faces of Beast, Storm and Nightcrawler, you’ll see Kota Eberhardt as Selene and Andrew Stehlin as the aforementioned Red Lotus.
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It makes sense that the character’s being depicted as a member of the Brotherhood, too, as he started out that way in the comics, turning to the dark side when his grandfather was murdered. However, he did later switch to the X-Men, so that’s a possibility in the movie as well.
ComicBook.com has also suggested a way that the Red Lotus easter egg in D2 could be explained alongside his appearance in Dark Phoenix. In the comics, he’s the heir to a Chinese triad. So, maybe by the present day he’s taken over this triad and hires Deadpool to take out the competition for him. It’s a neat theory that works if you really want to make sense of the ridiculously knotted X-Men timeline.
Dark Phoenix arrives in theaters on February 14th, and only then will we see if there are any further connections to the Merc’s recent sequel.