If you didn't hit theaters to see Deadpool 2 last night, there will be SPOILERS below, with new details about the surprising and secretive second character that Ryan Reynolds portrayed in the sequel. Even if you did watch the movie in Thursday night sneak previews, you likely didn't know that this secretive character was played by Ryan Reynolds. This is your last chance to avoid SPOILERS, so if you haven't watched Deadpool 2 yet, stop reading right now.
There had long been speculation that the iconic X-Men character Juggernaut will have a role in the movie, with early reports claiming that Jack Kesy was playing Juggernaut, although he was ultimately confirmed as Black Tom Cassidy. Those who saw the movie last night learned that Juggernaut did in fact make an appearance, and had a much larger role than most anticipated, but perhaps the most surprising part about this character is that he was played by Ryan Reynolds himself, through motion capture and dialogue which he provided in the post-production process. Here's what director David Leitch had to say about how Ryan Reynolds ultimately became Juggernaut.
"The spoiler is Juggernaut is sort of a combination of Ryan and myself. And it only became, and this is a spoiler spoiler. It only came out of just the necessity of change, and you're getting into the post-process, and we're like, 'Okay, now we need a face animator actor.' And I'm in the editing room, and Ryan's writing alts, and we're like, 'I'll just go do it.' And then the animators are going to change it anyway. Ryan did some performance capture for certain dialogue bits. And then he provided the voice, which we altered, which allowed us to, when we we're in post, we're doing some alts for Deadpool. It'd be like, 'Okay, let's just switch into Juggernaut mode, try this.' As opposed to 'Let's bring in somebody, wait for them, call time,' all this. It was a tight unit. Ryan's got another franchise!"
The character Juggernaut, a.k.a. Cain Marko, the step-brother of Professor X, was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, making his first appearance in X-Men #12 in July 1965. While Juggernaut is capable of superhuman strength, his most unique power is that, once he's in motion, there is literally nothing that can stop him, he never tires from physical activity and he has quick healing powers like Wolverine. Juggernaut was played on the big screen by Vinnie Jones in the divisive 2006 movie X-Men: The Last Stand, a movie whose events were basically wiped away by the time-shattering events of X-Men: The Last Stand. Writer Rhett Reese revealed that he and his writing partner Paul Wernick wanted to include Juggernaut in the sequel because they don't think he was treated as well as he should have in The Last Stand.
"We did think that Juggernaut had not been treated as well as he could have been in previous movies, and we wanted to rectify that... we worried a little bit about too much backstory, like with Cable in particular. We were like, 'Let's make him a man of mystery. The whole Nathan Summers clone, techno-virus, all that stuff, we just thought we were going to overload our audience. But we did sneak in the bit about Professor Xavier."
Juggernaut is eventually defeated in a rather embarrassing fashion, having a live wire stuck in his rear end before being shoved into a pool. Director David Leitch confirmed that Juggernaut did in fact survive, adding he's looking forward to seeing what he'll do in future movies. Here's what the director had to say below.
"I think there's ground in the future to really expand on his powers. He only comes into the movie in the third act, and we kind of set the location, and I mean there's only so much you can do with him in a mano a mano fight, you know? The Juggernaut's action comes from him like plowing through stuff, and he's unstoppable, and we just didn't really have that in the construct of the set piece. So I do look forward to in future installments, if they want to bring him back, to watch him wreck some shit."
We reported this morning that Deadpool 2 has already set a box office record, with a Thursday night preview tally of $18.6 million, the highest Thursday preview tally ever for an R-rated film. Box office analysts are projecting an opening weekend of roughly $150 million, but given this Thursday record, it could come in even higher. You can head over to Cinema Blend for their full report on Ryan Reynolds' role as Juggernaut in Deadpool 2.