If all the Easter Eggs, comic-book jokes and fourth wall breaks weren’t enough for you in the first Deadpool film, then you’ll be pleased to note that the sequel also manages to squeeze in a load of A-list cameos, with established stars apparently falling over themselves to get a quick appearance in Ryan Reynolds’ entourage.
Below, we’ve catalogued a few of our favourites – and a few we haven’t quite managed to pin down yet – which we ran through with cast member Zazie Beetz, who plays super lucky mercenary Domino in the new film and who talked us through the process of getting the big names involved: “Because Ryan is so respected in this whole thing, a bunch of people were like ‘Sure, great!’”
Be warned – below the jump we’ll be dealing with spoilers from Deadpool 2, so don’t read on if you haven’t had the chance to see the film yet.
Still here? Then let’s kick things off with a few X-Men.
Jackman’s mutant hero Wolverine hangs over quite a lot of Deadpool 2, with the character namechecked a couple of times onscreen, appearing as a grisly music box (owned by Deadpool, of course) in the opening scenes and even being featured on a child’s box of cereal (which Deadpool signs as Ryan Reynolds).
However, it’s after the credits when we really see him join the action, with archive footage of Wolverine from the critically-panned 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine given a new twist.
In the clip, we see Logan confronting that movie’s version of Deadpool – played by Reynolds in his first take at the character, which most fans were unhappy with – before the REAL Deadpool arrives, blowing his alternate self’s brains out and explaining that he’s “trying to clean up the timelines” after stealing a time-travel device from Cable (Josh Brolin).
Jackman is given special thanks in the credits for use of his likeness, and the archive cameo appearance – though re-edited, there’s no new footage of Jackman – allowed Reynolds and director David Leitch to finally include Wolverine in a Deadpool film, without undercutting the character’s emotional death in 2017 film Logan. A smart move overall, then.
“I thought it was great, particularly since Hugh died in his last movie, that he decided to still kind of be a part of it,” Beetz told us. “I really liked Logan too.”
Literally all the X-Men
The cast of X-Men: Apocalypse (20th Century Fox, HF)
But Wolvie wasn’t the only X-Man to make an appearance. At one point during Deadpool 2 Wade spends some time at the X-Mansion, and repeats a complaint he had in the first film that none of the famous X-Men are around to greet him.
At that moment, the camera cuts to a room directly to Deadpool’s right that he’s not looking at, full of the current X-Men cast including James McAvoy’s Professor X, Evan Peters’ Quicksilver, Nicholas Hoult’s Beast and Tye Sheridan’s Cyclops among others, before the group quietly close the door on Deadpool’s tantrum.
Somehow, we doubt Deadpool will return the favour for a cameo in Dark Phoenix next year – the different tones of Deadpool and the X-Men could clash just a bit too much – but it does seem like at least some crossovers are possible.
Brad Pitt (Getty, HF)
Hollywood A-lister Brad Pitt also makes a memorable appearance in the film, revealed as the true face behind invisible/intangible X-Force member The Vanisher just moments before the character’s death in the film.
After originally being in the running to play Cable, Pitt’s cameo was shot after the rest of Deadpool 2 in a closed studio, and the crew tried their best to keep it a secret despite rumours of his involvement leaking out a few months ago.
“I wasn’t there when he did that,” Beetz recalled of Pitt’s inclusion. “I think they got some studio space and did that later on, threw him in there.
“But I do remember hearing on set conversations that Brad Pitt might do it, woaaaaah. So I wasn’t sure if it was actually going to happen. I saw the movie last week and I was like ‘Oh he did it!’ So, that was great.”
Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson/Deadpool in Deadpool 2 (20th Century Fox, HF)
Here’s another interesting one. A large part of the film includes the character of the Juggernaut, an iconic X-Men foe with mystical powers of strength and unstoppable movement (and a psychic-proof helmet) who was previously portrayed in X-Men: The Last Stand by Vinnie Jones.
This version of the Juggernaut, however, is entirely CGI, meaning there wasn’t anyone for the cast to interact with on set.
“Juggernaut was a complete CGI experience,” Beetz told us. “So whenever we were fighting him we were fighting nothing, or shooting at nothing.
“Sometimes they had a guy on stilts in like, a grey suit. But for a lot of the shots they would just have no-one, nothing there.
“And then we’re just running around shooting at him, going backwards, but there’s nothing there. Which is really hard to do, especially when you’re trying to follow something with your eyes.”
Of course, there was ONE actor involved in the Juggernaut’s creation, providing his dialogue – and we now know who it was! The character’s voice is credited “as himself,” but one of the film’s screenwriters has now revealed that it was none other than Ryan Reynolds himself recording the lines and performing some facial motion capture, with his voice altered electronically to disguise it.
“Ryan Reynolds is the voice of Juggernaut, believe it or not,” Rhett Reese told IGN. “Slightly modulated with a computer to bring his register down.
“Ryan did a fun job with the voice. He didn’t have many lines, he’s a man of few words, but he’s a man of great anger and forcefulness, and we think it worked out pretty well.”
Alan Tudyk (Getty, HF)
Blink and you’ll miss him, but Rogue One: A Star Wars story and Firefly star Alan Tudyk also appears in Deadpool 2, as one of the two rednecks encountered by Cable when he first travels in time to the present day.
His partner in the disgusting toilet paper conversation he’s having before Cable’s interruption, meanwhile, could be even more significant…
A mystery figure
Josh Brolin as Cable in Deadpool 2 (20th Century Fox, HF)
In an odd twist, we know of another cameo in Deadpool 2 – but while we’re aware which character this guest actor is playing, we currently have no idea who the famous face actually is.
“That was the one for me. But he’s not even listed in the credits,” Beetz told us. “They don’t even give his real name and he’s in complete prosthetics.”
As far as we can tell, the cameo takes place during the toilet paper scene we mentioned above, when two rednecks are having a truly disgusting conversation based on the real-life “toilet paper manifesto” often trotted out by the film’s co-writer Rhett Reese.
“I have a toilet paper manifesto of my own, abut the inadequacy of toilet paper,” Reese explained in production notes for the film.
“I do this bit about it, and I did it for Ryan. We all looked at each other and said, ‘This has to go into the movie somehow.’
“Then we discussed what calibre actor would we need to do such a scene…”
Alan Tudyk is credited as one of the rednecks in the scene, while the other is listed as “Dickie Greenleaf,” the fictional character played by Jude Law in The Talented Mr Ripley (based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel) whose identity is usurped by Matt Damon’s Tom Ripley.
In other words, it’s the perfect pseudonym for an actor going undercover beneath some cutting-edge prosthetics – and while we’re tempted to wonder if the name could mean it’s actually Law or Damon themselves in the secret cameo (the latter repeating his feat from Thor: Ragnarok, where he played an Asgardian actor), it seems more likely to be another well-known star going for an under-the-radar appearance.
Still, hopefully in the coming weeks and months this mystery will be cleared up.
Speaking of Reese, he also has a cameo in the film, playing a news helicopter pilot alongside co-writer Paul Wernick, who appears as a news cameraman.
Director David Leitch also has a cameo playing a character called Ground Chuck Mutant, who presumably is a part of the Ice Box prison scenes.
And finally…Ryan Reynolds (again)???
Ryan Reynolds (Getty, FT)
OK, we might be pushing it with this one, but bear with us.
In the final Deadpool 2 post-credits scene we see the titular hero travel back in time to execute his own actor, preventing Reynolds (who plays himself) from signing on to critically-panned superhero movie Green Lantern, which the real Reynolds made in 2011.
Having a lead actor cameo in the movie as himself – while also playing another character, having previously performed a different voice-only cameo cameo (see above) – is definitely a bit of a first, so we couldn’t really do a cameo list without mentioning it.
After all, what’s more Deadpool than someone executing themselves, as played by them, while also talking to the audience as a separate character, having previously voiced another character who tried to kill a different character played by himself again? Maximum effort.