3 Wishes For the Deadpool Sequel

By  · Published on February 15th, 2016

Even before Deadpool surprised everyone by breaking box office records over the weekend, Fox was already moving ahead with a sequel. And as we learned from the stinger during the end credits of the first movie, the character Cable will be introduced in the follow-up. Other than that, all we know about Deadpool 2 is that Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are returning to write the script. The studio reportedly wants to retain director Tim Miller, as well, but he’s not yet signed on.

The sequel’s creative team probably won’t bother taking note of any criticisms with Deadpool or “fix” anything, especially if the studio demands more of the same in order to have more of the same box office success. But they also might want to improve on the original on their own terms, as in make the follow-up bigger and better. And they ought to really aim for something “radical” this time, given all the talk of how the first movie was or wasn’t so profoundly new and different.

Without reiterating any of the issues I brought up previously in my questions about Deadpool, I have three wishes for Deadpool 2 that could be taken as suggestions for how to truly go for a fresh take with the continuing adventures of the merc with a mouth.

1. Don’t Kill Off the Girlfriend

Traditionally, antihero characters are loners who can’t be tied down with a love interest. Even if they wind up with someone at the end of one installment, that character is gone or killed off in the next. That would be the normal way to go with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), soul mate to Wade Wilson/Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), so the series can move ahead freely without any anchors. As is always the case, it’d ruin the weight of the romantic angle of the previous movie, but that’s how it goes.

The thing is, Vanessa isn’t just some easily disposable love interest. She’s a character from the comics, where she’s actually a mutant with shape-shifting powers and goes by the name Copycat. The writers wouldn’t have given her the name Vanessa Carlysle if she wasn’t destined to be revealed as her true comic book self, right? But the X-Men movie franchise also already has a shape-shifter (Mystique) and doesn’t need another. Especially if they have to work in a way to turn Vanessa into a mutant.

What if she wound up staying non-mutant but was good at disguises? Could there be a way that Vanessa takes on the persona of Domino (a character eventually revealed to be mimicked by an undercover Copycat for most of her existence in the comics) without a need for powers? She could still wind up spying on or getting cozy with Cable without needing to infiltrate a mutant team (as she has no powers to show for), to keep with all these characters’ original canonical encounter.

2. Give Deadpool a Boyfriend

One complaint that hasn’t been raised enough about Deadpool is how weak the main character’s pansexuality is represented. Sure, he jokes about finding Wolverine attractive and is on the receiving end of anal sex, albeit with his heterosexual partner in an act of pegging, but the sequel should explore his broader interests further. Reynolds has said that he’d like to see Deadpool get a boyfriend in Deadpool 2. However, he and Miller also claimed the first movie saw him as totally pansexual.

There has been discussion for years about how we need a gay superhero character in the movies. This wouldn’t necessarily be that, but it could be the first non-heteronormative relationship for a main character in a superhero movie. And the romantic (or just sexual) interest for Deadpool needn’t be a “boyfriend,” either. He could become involved with a character who is transgender or intersex. There’s no need for baby steps here. Deadpool isn’t merely bisexual.

Of course, this whole idea complicates things with Vanessa. Maybe the couple does take a break, during which time Deadpool finds another lover. Maybe Vanessa does become a shape-shifter and turns into a man during another sex montage, with Deadpool on the receiving end of anal again – that would be kind of a cop out, though. And of course, the studio could try to squash the whole idea, but the Deadpool team has 135 million reasons they should be allowed to do anything they want now.

3. Don’t Wind Up With a Team-Up

Now it’s time to address the addition of Cable. Not the casting, because I can’t think of anyone who fits the part perfectly enough (good luck, guys!). Just his role. It shouldn’t be too big. This is Deadpool 2, not Deadpool and Cable. At least, it shouldn’t be. Not yet. Nor should it be called Deadpool v Cable: Dawn of X-Force or even be what that title suggests. This sequel shouldn’t follow any sort of expectation. So, no Deadpool and Cable fight and then unite against a common enemy plot, please.

Cable should truly be “the villain,” visible about as much as any movie villain is seen. The irony is that he’s a good guy, so we should be rooting for him, but instead we’re rooting for a sort of bad guy in our beloved antihero Deadpool. Let the ol’ merc with a mouth tell us directly how messed up it is that we’re on his side and how weird it is for a movie to go in that direction. “It’s like The Joker is the main character and Batman is just his adversary,” he’d say, “Oh wait, that’s actually The Dark Knight.”

Treating Cable as the movie’s villain may upset some of the character’s fans. But it would also offer a “bad guy” with more complexity than superhero movies are used to, so that should be a plus. And the sequel would still wind up in a draw, with Deadpool and Cable as buds. Well, sort of buds. Maybe even a full-on team-up in the future. Deadpool 2 doesn’t need more than a few minutes at the end to assure us that Cable is a guy we should like and he’ll be back in X-Force in a traditional hero role.


Bonus: The End-Credits Stinger

If Deadpool 2 really wanted to be really radical, it’d actually cast Keira Knightley as Cable, as suggested by Deadpool during the first movie’s end-credits stinger. There’s no way that’s happening, but here’s an idea for the sequel’s stinger: a funny redo of a scene from the movie where Knightley has a cameo subbing in as Cable. She should have a cameo of some sort either way. That’s my pitch for the best way.

Here’s a rendering by artist BossLogic of what Knightley would look like as Cable:

Oh and one more thing: keep the budget low

There will be a want for a bigger budget for Deadpool 2. I say, hell no! The sequel can be plenty creative without extra millions thrown at it. Maybe a few more, not a lot.

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.