Whelp, Deadpool 2 has finally found its Cable.
Sorry, Pierce Brosnan fans. Too bad, advocates of Stranger Things’ Chief Hopper. Looks like, instead, the big, beefy X-Men will be played by Josh Brolin.
But hang on a second, isn’t Josh Brolin playing Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a rival studio?
Why yes, he is. In hiring Brolin for the role, Fox has pinched the MCU’s Mad Titan for their own movie, and they’re probably feeling pretty smug about it.
There’s been a lot of this fraternizing between studios going on at the moment. Marvel fans are still reeling from the (pretty excellent) news that Avengers director Joss Whedon has defected to DC to direct Batgirl. Meanwhile, rumors still abound that Peter Dinklage, who played Bolivar Trask in Days of Future Past, has jumped ship to work with Marvel on Infinity War.
This, of course, is to say nothing of the fact that the new Commissioner Gordon in Justice League used to be Spider-Man’s J Jonah Jameson, nor the genius casting that has seen the original Batman become The Vulture in the joint Sony/Marvel Spider-Man: Homecoming.
The walls that kept comic book movie studios separate are beginning to crumble. For a long while, it seemed like actors were locked down into one superhero franchise or another, and nobody was willing to double dip, except in circumstances where their original performance was in a less than stellar movie (see both Human Torches and Green Lantern for examples).
Brolin making his way to Fox doesn’t rule out the possibility of him continuing as Thanos, if the MCU still requires him. With Brolin only really voicing the Mad Titan, and most of the character’s performance being created digitally, there’s no reason for fans to get confused between his two roles.
What’s more, it’s entirely possible that, in the grand tradition of Marvel movies, the currently filming Infinity War might see the end of Thanos, as the movie ends with the villain getting killed off while all the heroes skip off into the sunset. In this case, there should be no conflict of interests in Brolin taking on a new gig at a rival studio.
But with any luck, this new casting will help to further soften the boundaries between movie studios. Keeping actors locked down to specific cinematic universes is unhelpful for Hollywood as a whole, because it limits the creative choices that studios are able to make, and keeps many talented actors from progressing in their careers.
One thing’s for certain, though - considering the self-referential, Fourth Wall breaking nature of the Deadpool franchise, there’s no way the sequel will manage to go for very long without pausing to point out that Cable sure does sound a lot like a big purple guy in a floaty chair.
Intellectual property rights don’t mean a thing when you’re dealing with Deadpool. Boo-yah.