20th Century Fox's Deadpool 2 is shaping up to be one of 2018's most-anticipated movies, with Ryan Reynolds returning as the Merc With the Mouth. One of the most intriguing new additions to the cast is Hunt For the Wilderpeople breakout star Julian Dennison. The young actor was announced through a social media photo where the actor was seen getting a piggy-back ride from the Merc With the Mouth, with both actors mocking a Star Wars: The Last Jedi photo where Daisy Ridley was getting a piggy-back ride from Mark Hamill. Julian Dennison's casting was announced back in late June, but his character was never confirmed, although a new report has seemingly revealed who he's playing.
The original Deadpool movie introduced one of the more obscure X-Men characters, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, with Brianna Hildenbrand delivering a breakthrough performance that ensured the character's return in the sequel. It seems that this sequel is bringing in another obscure character, with this report claiming that Julian Dennison is playing a character named Neal Shaara A.K.A. Thunderbird (III), who was created by Chris Claremont and introduced in X-Men v2 #100. He was the third character to take on the Thunderbird mantle, and while his name is the same as his predecessors, he has a completely different set of powers and he is also the first Indian member of the X-Men.
Neal Shaara was a powerful pyrokinetic character who was also a devout vegan, although his arc only lasted about 30 issues. Still, if Neil Dennison is in fact playing this character, it will be yet another character that 20th Century Fox will keep the rights to. While the character is Indian in the comics, it wouldn't be surprising if Neal Shaara's background was changed to Maori to fit Julian Dennison. We saw in the new Deadpool 2 trailer released yesterday that Julian Dennison's character does certainly seem to be pyrokinetic, with a brief scene where he's seen surrounded by flames. It's possible that he could be other pyrokinetic firebrands like Rusty Collins, Match, or even a much different interpretation of Pyro, who was played in early X-Men movies by Aaron Stanford.
Still, there is no confirmation as to who Julian Dennison is actually playing quite yet, and it remains to be seen when that information may or may not be divulged to the viewing public. There has also been talk that the Deadpool 2 teaser has in fact revealed that Mister Sinister is the main villain of Deadpool 2, but that has yet to be confirmed by the studio either. Production wrapped on both Deadpool 2 and New Mutants in September, with New Mutants slated for release on April 13, 2018, followed by Deadpool 2 on June 1, 2018 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix on November 2, 2018, marking the first time that three X-Men movies will hit theaters on the same year.
The Deadpool 2 cast also includes franchise newcomers Josh Brolin as Cable, Zazie Beetz as Domino, Jack Kesy as the currently unnamed villain, rumored to be Black Tom Cassidy and Shilo Kutsuna and Eddie Marsan in unspecified roles. They will be joined by returning Deadpool stars Ryan Reynolds as the title character, Morena Baccarin as Vanessa, T.J. Miller as Weasel, Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Stefan Kapcic as Colossus, Leslie Uggams as Blind Al and Karan Soni as Dopinder. David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, John Wick) directs from a script by Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. This new report about Julian Dennison's character comes from Nerdist, although it has yet to be confirmed by the studio.