This is Dream Cast, a series of articles where we examine questionable casting choices from Hollywood’s history of nerd-centric adaptations and try to re-imagine them in a perfect world where money is no object and egos don’t exist. Today’s subject: Deadpool 2.
With last week’s release of Deadpool on Blu Ray and the confirmation a few weeks back that a sequel to the surprise R-Rated February blockbuster was definitely on the way, speculation has reached a fever pitch as to which X-characters will step on screen and who will play them in Fox’s follow up to the gleefully raunchy and satisfyingly reverent comic adaptation.
As many of my generation will surely echo, I’ve been a huge X-Fan since the comic’s 1991 re-launch (with the Juggernaut and Magneto tattoos to prove it), and only had the subsequent X-branded 90’s cartoon and fighting games solidify my love for all things mutant, though I’ve always found Fox’s theatrical takes on the universe a bit lacking, until Deadpool that is, which was about as perfect a Marvel adaptation as a pouch, strap, blade and blaster loving 90’s dork could dream of.
So who’s next to cross sword and sarcasm with Wade W. Wilson? Here are a few of the ideas that have been bouncing around in my irradiated brain…
Lizzy Caplan as Domino
Like Scarlet Witch in the comics, Domino has the ability to alter probability, which stupid stupid Hollywood will probably lazily change into telekinesis, also like Scarlet Witch. Stupid. She’s also a talented marksman and world class mercenary/assassin, who has had plenty of run ins, both as friend and foe, with both Deadpool and his time traveling musclebound straight man Cable (don’t worry, we’re getting to him) over the years. We could definitely see Lizzy Caplan trading sardonic barbs as well as fists and feet with Ryan Renolds’ now iconic Wade Wilson, not to mention her former Cloverfield cast mate TJ Miller’s Weasel. Not sold? Who’s that dominating the best scene of the biggest (no pun intended) movie of the year . Sorry Spidey, but it’s Paul Rudd, another Apatow vet known mostly for comedy. Marvel’s been ruling the comic film roost with unconventional casting choices like this (remember when people who wanted Tom Cruise scoffed at the idea of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man?) for almost a decade now and if Fox wants to maintain the small amount of good will that they’ve finally gotten from die-hard fans with Deadpool they’re going to have to follow suit.
Aubrey Plaza as X-23
A sarcastic shit talker that can put even Reynolds to shame, Aubrey Plaza’s TV boyfriend Chris Pratt burst onto the cinematic superhero scene in 2014 mega smash Guardians of the Galaxy and now we think it’s her turn. It doesn’t hurt that Plaza is a dead ringer for the comics’ female Wolverine clone, a character that the X-filmmakers have been recently teasing bringing into their shared universe, especially since Hugh Jackman is getting a bit long in the claw.
Tilda Swinton as Cassandra Nova
Let’s ignore the upcoming Dr. Strange and it’s weird casting non-controversy for a second, this is called “Dream Cast” after all and not “Shitty Disappointing Reality Cast”. I stated in my Deadpool review that the appearance of Negasonic Teenage Warhead should open the floodgates for wacky concepts from Grant Morrison’s batshit bonkers early 00’s New X-Men run to make their way into the movies, and Professor Xavier’s sadistic alien evil twin seems to be the role that Tilda Swinton was born to play, and a cursory Google search proves that I’m not the only one who thinks so. And so what about Dr. Strange anyway, if actors couldn’t (or wouldn’t) play for both teams we’d have never gotten former Human Torch Chris Evans as Captain America after all, another initially head scratching casting choice that has proven revelatory time and again.
Mads Mikkelsen as Mister Sinister
Another potential casting I’ve been yammering on about to anyone who would listen for years, Dr. Strange be damned. The X-Universe’s nefarious immortal mutant geneticist Dr. Essex would be an absolute home run for TV’s sociopathic narcissist cannibal psychiatrist Dr. Lecter. His ties to Cyclops, Cable (trust us, he’s coming) and Apocalypse could run rampant all through Fox’s X-canon, that is if they don’t kill off Apocalypse like dummies in his upcoming eponymous film (pro tip: they probably will). The look of Mads’ character in Strange is so off the wall that most casual filmgoers wouldn’t notice if he turned up in an X-flick at some point anyway, and Hannibal fans would pay to have Mikkelsen read them the phone book, so everybody wins. And yes, I know, I think he should play Dr. Doom too. I’m not an idiot, I just really liked Hannibal .
Danny Trejo as Forge
Yup, I like Danny Trejo a lot too, and just as he was almost too perfect to play the Governor in The Walking Dead, he’s even more of a slam dunk to inhabit genius inventor and future mutant freedom fighter Forge. That’s about all I got for this one, the picture pretty much speaks for itself.
Kevin Durand as Cable
Another one of my famous cursory Google searches shows lots of armchair casting floating around on the internet for Cable, the hulking, time hopping, giant gun toting, techno-organic virus afflicted future son of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor (the evil Jean Grey clone, if you don’t already know, don’t ask), who has more often than not cohabitated on the comic page with Deadpool throughout their over 25 year history (fuck, I’m old). Steven Lang from Avatar? Too old, too skinny. Schwarzenegger? Way too old, probably too expensive. Mad Men’s Jon Hamm? Already stated he had no interest in superhero filmmaking when people were clamoring for him to play Superman a few years back? Kevin Nash? Ray Stevenson? Not bad. Though my personal choice for size, age, general badass-ery and an asking price that probably won’t break Fox’s notoriously tight wad is Kevin Durand from Lost and The Strain. Yes, he already played The Blob in the uniformly terrible X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Let Reynolds riff on that himself for a few minutes in the movie, and then let’s all forget that fucking shit show ever happened.