'Avengers' villain Josh Brolin to play Cable in 'Deadpool' sequel

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) — Apparently not content with playing the big bad of the “Avengers” movie franchise, actor Josh Brolin has signed on for a role in a second film series based on Marvel Comics characters.

Brolin will play time-traveling, massive gun-toting mutant Cable in “Deadpool 2.” The character’s arrival was teased by Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool in a post-credit scene in the first film.

"We have no idea who we're gonna cast yet, but it could be anyone," Deadpool says in the brief scene. Michael Shannon had been rumored to be up for the gig.

The R-rated “Deadpool,” featuring Reynolds as an irreverent mutant mercenary with a powerful healing factor, grossed $783 million worldwide and somehow garnered two Golden Globe nominations. The sequel, directed by David Leitch, is planned for release in 2018.

Brolin’s cosmic supervillain Thanos has briefly been glimpsed in the “Avengers” films and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” but he is expected to be the main antagonist in 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Reynolds nodded to the potential continuity headaches in a tweet Wednesday: "You can't play 2 characters in the same universe!! Josh Brolin was in Sicario and I was in Sabrina The Teenage Witch."

The Marvel Cinematic Universe inhabited by the Avengers is separate from the X-Men universe because the rights to the characters are owned by different studios.

Brolin is not the first actor to take on multiple Marvel roles. Michael B. Jordan, who played the Human Torch in 2015’s “Fantastic Four,” will also be appearing in Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther” in 2018. And long before playing Deadpool, Reynolds was featured as Hannibal King in "Blade: Trinity."

Josh Brolin at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) - Opening Gala and 'Hail, Caesar!' premiere on Feb. 11, 2016. (Thomas Bartilla/Future Image)

Josh Brolin to Play Cable in 'Deadpool 2' (Exclusive)

Here comes the Cable guy.
Josh Brolin has nabbed the hotly contested role of Cable opposite Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool 2, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The production has been on the warpath to find the right actor for the role for months, with Michael Shannon almost nabbing the role and Stranger Things star David Harbour on the shortlist. (There were even rumors of conversations with Russell Crowe and Brad Pitt.)

In the end, Brolin emerged as a surprise contender, notching his second Marvel Comics character in the process; the actor plays the villain Thanos in the Marvel Studios movies. Sources say Brolin's deal is for four films. 

David Leitch is directing the sequel to Fox's surprise blockbuster, with the movie heading toward a June production start in Vancouver.

Reynolds is reprising his role as the wisecracking mercenary, with the story expanding to include other characters from Deadpool's corner of Marvel’s X-Men universe.

Atlanta breakout Zazie Beetz has already been cast as the super-powered merc named Domino.

Cable was co-created by Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld and writer Louise Simonson and is described as being in many ways the opposite of Deadpool: a man who is a leader and used to being obeyed, and who is very controlled — but with an aura of simmering violence. In the comics, Cable was from the future and was the adult son of Scott Summers, also known as the X-Man Cyclops.

Brolin, who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in 2009's Milk, has been on a busy streak, with a lot of his work culminating this fall. He leads the cast of Granite Mountain, Joseph Kosinski’s firefighting adventure which is set to open Sept. 22, and he also stars with Benicio del Toro in Soldado, the sequel to Sicario. Brolin also appears in George Clooney’s ensemble Suburbicon, which is set to bow Nov. 3, and stars in the drama The Legacy of the Whitetail Deer Hunter, which is slated to debut Dec 25.

Brolin, who will take center stage as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War in 2018, is repped by CAA and Ziffren Brittenham.

Josh Brolin as Cable in 'Deadpool 2'? Twitter, Ryan Reynolds have jokes

Brolin, whose name never came in casting rumors for the character, has snagged a four-movie deal to portray Cable. USA TODAY

Josh Brolin has signed on to play comic-book character Cable, opposite Ryan Reynolds' foul-mouthed mercenary in Deadpool 2, The Hollywood Reporter and The Associated Press confirmed Wednesday.

But, wait, wasn't Brolin already cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Indeed. Brolin plays Thanos, a supervillain who has a major role in the forthcoming Avengers: Infinity War.

Reynolds, himself, made light of the fact that Brolin's been cast as a second character based on Marvel Comics (though Deadpool is a Twentieth Century Fox film, as opposed to Disney's Avengers). He tweeted, sarcastically, "You can't play 2 characters in the same universe!! Josh Brolin was in Sicario and I was in Sabrina The Teenage Witch."

By Wednesday afternoon, news of Brolin playing Cable in a four-picture deal had lit up social media, with "Josh Brolin" as a top national Twitter trend. Though many online complained about the casting decision, others tweeted in defense of Brolin.

To be fair, Brolin isn't the first actor to play two Marvel characters. Both Chris Evans and Michael B. Jordan played Human Torch in Fox's Fantastic Four movies, before going on to play hero Captain America (Evans) and supervillain Erik Killmonger (Jordan, in 2018's Black Panther) in Disney/Marvel films.

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