Few could have predicted the success of Deadpool, the 2016 movie based on Marvel Comics’ irreverent, mouthy mercenary. After spending five years in limbo, Deadpool managed to turn some early positive buzz into the biggest opening weekend of all time for an R-rated film. It eventually became the highest-grossing film in the studio’s X-Men franchise and the second-highest-grossing R-rated movie ever. While the film’s initial success was a surprise, the studio’s subsequent announcement of a sequel was all but a given.
Set to be directed by John Wick co-director David Leitch, the still-untitled Deadpoolsequel will bring back Ryan Reynolds as iconic antihero Wade Wilson. He will suit up alongside returning characters Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), and taxi driver Dopinder (Karan Soni). The film will also introduce mutants Cable and Domino to Deadpool’s live-action movie universe, among others, with actor Josh Brolin set to play Cable. Deadpool screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick will also return for the sequel, which is expected to hit theaters sometime in 2018.
Here is everything we know about the Deadpool sequel so far.
Tragedy strikes on set
Canada’s CTV News reported Monday that a stuntwoman was killed in a motorcycle accident while filming on set for Deadpool 2. The sequence was being filmed at Jack Poole Plaza when she lost control of her bike and veered off the set through a window at nearby Shaw Tower.
The Advanced Life Support ambulance remained on location for about 45 minutes before driving away with its sirens and lights off. CTV host Ben Miljure shared a few photos from the scene via Twitter. No further details have been released regarding the stuntwoman’s identity.
Cable, we presume?
Among the first batch of official photos from the set of the Deadpool sequel was a shot of actor Josh Brolin in a makeup chair, with half of his face covered in a mold in order to recreate his character Cable’s half-machine look.
Brolin posted the photo on Instagram, and accompanied it with an ominous caption.
Insanity on the brink. Face is morphing into something machine, fierce, hair sliced, arm machined, bulged. Where is Deadpool?!? Looking. Looking. All I got are these two…molding me, prodding, turning me into something hard. @bcorso #mikesmithson #deadpool #ivebeencabled #cableswole @prevailactivewear
“Insanity on the brink,” wrote Brolin. “Face is morphing into something machine, fierce, hair sliced, arm machined, bulged. Where is Deadpool?!? Looking. Looking. All I got are these two…molding me, prodding, turning me into something hard.”
An official photo tweeted by Ryan Reynolds on August 7 finally revealed what Brolin will look like on screen, with a glowing eye appearing on the mechanical half of his character’s scarred face.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 7, 2017
“We all have that one, grumpy, heavily armed Uncle from the future,” Reynolds wrote as a caption for the photo, where Brolin’s character appears with a mechanical fingertip over his lips.
Reynolds later tweeted a more complete body shot of Brolin as Cable.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 7, 2017
The second photo includes a teddy bear hanging around the actor’s waist — an object that may be a reference to fellow Marvel character Hope Summers, who Cable kept safe as a child.
Domino works the red carpet
On July 31, Ryan Reynolds tweeted a first-look photo of Zazie Beetz as the mutant Domino, noting “some people just know how to work a red carpet.”
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) July 31, 2017
The image is reminiscent of an early pic of Reynolds himself as the title character, except this time, instead of Deadpool posing on a rug in front of a fireplace, Domino is sprawled out in the same pose. The Deadpool suit (or possibly Deadpool himself) is crushed, face down on the floor, beneath her. Decked out in busty, black leather gear, the character also sports a generous afro and a fiercely menacing expression that proves she’s a worthy enemy (or ally?) to the potty-mouthed man in the red suit.
Just a day later, Beetz posted another photo of herself in costume on Instagram.
The second photo offers a clearer shot of the white mark around her eye — a visual cue from the character’s comic-book counterpart.
Filming had barely been underway a week when one of the first Easter Eggs from the Deadpool sequel found its way online.
It’s no spoiler per se, but eagle-eyed Marvel Comics fans spotted an interesting addition to a taxi being used on the film’s Vancouver set. The advertisement on the top of the taxi cab appears to be pitching an airline or travel agency going by the name of “Alpha Flight.”
As fans of Marvel’s comic-book universe know, Alpha Flight is actually the famous superhero team that hails from Canada — essentially, Canada’s version of the X-Men or Avengers. It appears, however, that the name “Alpha Flight” might not carry a similar level of prestige in the film.
Happy birthday to whom?
We might not know much about the story that brings Deadpool back to the big screen, but we know that it will involve a birthday party.
In late June 2017, Just Jared posted a batch of unofficial photos from the set of the Deadpool sequel, including one photo released via Twitter. The images feature Reynolds in partial costume as the mouthy mercenary, attending — or more likely, crashing — a children’s birthday party.
— JustJared.com (@JustJared) June 26, 2017
Reynolds appears in Deadpool’s mask, and in one photo he’s seen diving into … something. What part the party will play in things remains unknown, but at least we know it’s not all business for Wade Wilson in the sequel.
Making a house call
Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds commemorated the beginning of production on the sequel with a photo of himself in costume, set against a familiar backdrop: Charles Xavier’s school.
The photo (posted on Twitter) features Reynolds’ mercenary in full red-and-black uniform, lying on the ground in front of the famous Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters — an estate that’s actually Hatley Castle in British Columbia, Canada. The iconic building has been used as the X-mansion in the majority of the X-Men films, beginning with 2003’s X2: X-Men United and throughout X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Deadpool, and X-Men: Apocalypse.
Dropped by the X-Mansion. Big fucking surprise. No one’s home. pic.twitter.com/svbUMEdKbb
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) June 17, 2017
Given that there will be a few more mutants added to the mix in the sequel, as well as several returning characters who call the X-mansion home, it appears that Deadpool is getting an early start on reacquainting himself with Xavier’s school.
More cast members, more muscles
In June 2017, Japanese actress Shioli Kutsuna (Oh Lucy!, The Outsider) reportedly joined the cast of the Deadpool sequel in an unidentified role. According to Deadline, Kutsuna is playing a “key role” in the film.
Meanwhile, Josh Brolin offered a preview of the physique he’s building to bring Deadpool’s fellow mutant mercenary Cable to the screen.
The actor posted a brief video on Instagram showing his workout routine for the Deadpool sequel. As if that wasn’t enough to stoke the fires of fans’ excitement for the upcoming film, Brolin upped the ante by calling out co-star Ryan Reynolds with the hashtag “#ryanreynoldsismybitch.”
Quietly, the “Team” is killing it. It takes a small village: @justindlovato at @iambuilt, Jonathon Phillips @hbmaxmuscle, @goldsgym and some discipline. Just saw @davebautista at the gym and he said: “What the f*ck happened to you?!” Haha. Best compliment ever. Totally clean: no sugar, no breads, no pastas, no drugs, none of it. Fish, rice, eggs, veggies, water, one @bulletproof or @cavemancoffeeco in the morning. I’m almost 50. It’s a different time: our access along with some big picture discipline results in always surprising milestones. Get on the train. #wedontfuckaround. #itaintthathard #startslowandlight @weprevail #ryanreynoldsismybitch
Your move, Reynolds.
A villain is cast
Josh Brolin will be stirring things up as Cable when Deadpool 2 arrives, but we can expect someone else to cause problems for the Merc with a Mouth as well. Jack Kesy has taken a key villain role, Deadline reports. The actor joins the film having previously appeared in the FX series The Strain, in which he portrayed a goth rock star who was infected with a vampiric virus and then later became a host body for the Master. Needless to say, Kesy can handle an unconventional storyline, so he should be right at home in the upcoming superhero flick.
Just which villain Kesy will play in the Deadpool sequel remains under wraps. One name being tossed about by Deadline’s sources is the mutant Black Tom. In the comics, he is an enemy of the X-Men, and he uses plants in interesting ways, including generating blasts via any wooden object. He also faces off with Cable, and at one point, is even shot by him, so their interactions could be interesting.
Would the real Cable please stand up?
After a post-credits scene in Deadpool revealed we could expect the character Cable (aka Nathan Summers) to appear in the next film, casting speculation began. Several contenders were named, including an apparent frontrunner, Oscar-nominated actor Michael Shannon. As it turns out, though, the Nocturnal Animals star will not be playing the mutant after all; Marvel Cinematic Universe vet Josh Brolin has snagged the role, according to Variety.
The casting comes as a surprise, given that Shannon was “leading the pack” as the studio’s top choice for the character, according to The Hollywood Reporter in mid-March. He seemed like an ideal fit, having already appeared in three films based on comic-book properties — 2010’s Jonah Hex, as well as Man of Steel and the recent Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Brolin also brings that experience, but it will be a bit strange to see him portray another Marvel character. He played the villain Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and he’ll also reprise the role in Avengers: Infinity War. Don’t ask us how they’ll deal with that if there’s ever a Deadpool-Avengers crossover.
Any future strangeness notwithstanding, Rob Liefield, co-creator of the Deadpool comics, is thrilled. He posted an exclamation point-filled Facebook message, saying, “It’s OFFICIAL!!! The amazing JOSH BROLIN is CABLE!! He will be joining @vancityreynolds and @zaziebeetz in #Deadpool 2!!! SO EXCITING!! Yes, it’s happening folks, Deadpool #Domino #Cable are united on screen!!!”
In Marvel Comics lore, Cable is a powerful mutant soldier with a complicated history (involving time travel and conflicting timelines) and a stoic demeanor that often runs counter to Deadpool’s erratic nature. The pair have been enemies, allies, and co-stars of a popular shared comic-book series at various points, and screenwriters Reese and Wernick indicated that Cable’s origin will need to be simplified for the movie.
Prior to Brolin’s casting, Shannon’s name wasn’t the only one floated as the actor to play him. Stranger Things actor David Harbour was also reportedly in the mix, and Bloodline and Zero Dark Thirty actor Kyle Chandler emerged as one of the early frontrunners for the role in August 2016. That report seemed to lose momentum after Deadpool director Tim Miller departed the sequel a few months later.
The art of the tease
In March, 20th Century Fox revved up anticipation for the Deadpool sequel with a short film that was shown before screenings of Logan, Hugh Jackman’s (assumed to be) final solo film as the Marvel Comics mutant Wolverine.
Lights, camera …
In February 2017, studio 20th Century Fox and producer Simon Kinberg confirmed plans to release the Deadpool sequel in 2018. The announcement left fans wondering when cameras would officially begin rolling on the project, but they didn’t have to wait long for an answer.
Later that same month, the Directors Guild of Canada confirmed that filming will begin on the Deadpool sequel around June 19 and continue through September 18.