Monday, June 27, 2016

Real Name: Nathan Summers
First Appearance: New Mutants #87 (March, 1990)
Fight Club Ranking: #99

Featured Fights:
- vs AHAB: X-Men Annual #14 (1990)
- vs BARON ZEMO & MODOK: Captain America #6 (Apr 1997)
- vs THE AVENGERS: Civil War #3 (Sep 2006)

After a couple of big weeks in the world of comic books, the moving image is pulling focus back with news a Deadpool sequel is on track to start filming early next year! Comic Book Resources ended the week with a report via Collider, where X-Producer Simon Kinberg spoke positively about progress at the script level in an expansive interview.

Speculating how FOX will follow-up their surprise 2016 mega-hit has been a fun pastime, in part due to the overwhelming uncertainty of where they'll go next. After an all around disappointing outing with Bryan Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse last month, the sense that a change could do everyone good is strong. The question is - can FOX make that change without damaging their new cash cow?

Deadpool was every bit the breath of fresh air it purported to be, even if it was an imperfect exercise in a basic variation of the superhero formula. A sequel demands a fresh angle, if not outright improvement. The potential for connecting to the next phase of X-Men cinema - a temptation that should be handled with extreme caution.

All of this is to say: developing the next piece of the puzzle isn't such a bad idea!

A Ferris Bueller parody isn't exactly a contract, but by promising classic frenemy Cable at the end of the last movie, they've already created natural connective tissue between Deadpool and several rumored projects!

Cable, like Deadpool, made his first appearance in New Mutants: a comic series about a new class of young mutants, reportedly in pre-production for a feature film adaptation. In the comics, Cable introduces a military sensibility that eventually leads to a rebranding as X-Force. That name has been floated as a potential project for a couple of years now, and with modern influences, could be a way to refresh the X-Men formula with new and existing characters (and actors), including Deadpool.

Actors have been the biggest question when it comes to the cinematic debut of Cable. Who do you get to play the musclebound, cyborg soldier of the future? It seems every actor in Hollywood over fifty has an interest in the role!

Dolph Lundgren (The Punisher, Rocky IV) responded to the jokes with a promise he'd kick butt in the role. Stephen Lang (Avatar) has been lobbying for the part. Ron Perlman (Alien: Resurrection, Blade II, Hellboy) has thrown his credentials into the ring. Some are even pointing to wrestler/actor Kevin Nash as another option with a connection to movie versions of Punisher (he was The Russian).

Casting Cable will rest heavily on how the character's to be portrayed - not just in Deadpool 2 - but in any possible subsequent projects. Someone with gravitas to go with their muscle will help, but an understanding of the rat-a-tat-tat of the Deadpool motor-mouth they'll be scowling at, could help.

For a different approach, I'm gonna throw out a suggestion of someone already a friend to the X-Men movies: Eric Dane. As TV's Captain Tom Chandler in The Last Ship [pictured below], Dane bucked his Dr. McSteamy rep to play a military man making touch decisions as the world crumbles around him. It may not have had the weight of the apocalyptic future in Cable's past, but it got me seriously thinking about the potential for Dane to physically embody the role.

Just as Ryan Reynolds and a romantic sub-plot was pitched to bring a female demographic to the first Deadpool; Dane's past as a Grey's Anatomy heartthrob -- (shout out to the Charmed fans, as well) -- could help pitch the sequel to the mass audience who aren't ordinarily be the target, but showed up in droves to make Deadpool a $500 million dollar hit.

What ever happens - Deadpool himself was undoubtedly the thing that made the first movie work. That could be incredibly liberating as they attempt to catch lightning in a bottle once again and move the character, and their time with the X-Men license, forward.

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