In the post-credits of the “Deadpool” movie, ol’ Wade made it clear what his team was bringing to the table in the second film, the most important addition of which is, of course, Cable. As such, fans are ready for Cable to enter the “X-Men” movie-verse, even calling for Quentin Tarantino to helm the film, which has led to even more immense speculation over the new director, as well as further shortlisting from the studio.
Cable, aka Nathan Summers, is the son of Cyclops and Jean Grey clone, Madelyne Pryor — transported to the future where he evolved into a time-hopping stone-walled warrior! Outside of his renowned run with Deadpool, he’s got comic ties to the New Mutants, X-Force and the Avengers, so when it comes to the ever-popular and in-demand character (created by Chris Claremont, Rob Liefeld and Louise Simonson), we decided to look at 16 of the very best actors who could bring him and Deadpool to life on-screen!
16. Ron Perlman
Without a third “Hellboy” film coming, FOX should be gearing to poach Perlman before DC Comics, Warner Bros. and Guillermo Del Toro try. At age 66, time may not be on his side, but if it’s one thing that Perlman is to geeks and nerds, it’s timeless.
That’s why, when it comes to the Summers “son of anarchy,” he’s our guy. Whether you remember him as Vincent from his “Beauty and the Beast” days or are looking forward to him portraying Gnarlack, the goblin gangster in “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them,” it’s a safe bet you’ll watch anything with Perlman (including SyFy Saturday nights).
If you recall their roles in the “Blade” franchise, then we’re sure you can already see the banter between him and Reynolds being nothing short of snarky and humorous. Along with that dynamic is the fact that Perlman desperately wants to play the role, which is always a good sign. This is a definitely match made in heaven… or hell, boy!
15. Jason Clarke
FOX’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is a major reason Jason Clarke is on this list, after he turned in such an emotive and leading performance in that movie. Add that to him being one of the few bright spots in “Terminator Genisys,” where he ran a very subverted take on John Connor, and you can see why he’s got a sci-fi appeal to him that nerds could warm to relatively easily. “Everest” is another fine example why he can hold his own as Cyclops’ militant yet sentimental son.
Clarke hasn’t really let us down in many films over his career, and while he’s not yet a household name, he’s got what it takes to plug Cable into our lives. There’s something earnest about his depictions on-screen; and again, he’s already got that connection to the studio to play our time-displaced gunslinger. Now, if only we can get Mr. Reynolds to sign off on approval for this…
14. Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson has had quite an up-and-down career in Hollywood, but despite the controversy and personal issues, it’s undeniable how good an actor and overall visionary Gibson is. Having him team up with Deadpool could take the duo to new heights as something more than just a lethal weapon. His filmography is known worldwide, but what makes him perfect for this role isn’t just his collection of movies from the ’80s and ’90s.
His more recent films are a better indication of his worthiness; flicks like “The Beaver,” or more gun-toting fare like “The Expendables 3,” “Blood Father” and “Machete Kills.” He’s been known for these fatherly roles of protection, too, so maybe this could even push the former “Mad Max” lead into a role incorporating Hope Summers and a renewed Phoenix Saga later on down the line. If it’s one thing we can stand by, in agreement with “Deadpool’s” after-credits scene, it’s that Gibson wielding arms (in many cases, literally) surely matches Reynolds in red leather.
13. Jim Carrey
“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “The Number 23,” “Man on the Moon” and the contentious “Kick-Ass 2” exemplify just how much range Jim Carrey has as an actor. You may mostly think of things like “The Mask” and “The Cable Guy” when it comes to him, but you can’t dismiss how versatile and balanced he is in terms of subtle humor and drama; it really makes you wonder if this is the same guy that talked through his butt as “Ace Ventura.”
He’s always been one of Hollywood’s most underrated actors lately, and the fact that his plate isn’t as full these days makes him a great mark for Cable. Bulking up shouldn’t be a problem and seeing the old king of comedy temper it back to deal with the new king of bullet-comedy would make for such a grand time at the cinema, so long as he can tone it down and bring the necessary refined gristle to the role.
12. James Marsden
Imagine Deadpool harassing James Marsden over the fact that he looks like the dude who lost the girl in “X-Men,” as well as “Superman Returns”… and “The Notebook.” That alone could be worth the price of admission. With “Westworld” also under his belt at the moment, Marsden’s primed to re-enter our geek hearts. He’s older, a tad more hardened and really, what should stop FOX from having him as a descendant of the superhero he played under Bryan Singer?
Marsden has always seemed to get the rough and raw end of the stick from Hollywood, but he’s definitely got acting chops. If anything, his rapport with FOX as an ex-Cyclops could work in his favor. Some grey hair here, some scars there, a bit of abrasion in his voice and boom, you’ve got yourself a genetically-accurate Cable! In terms of continuity, it would bode well; then again, has FOX ever really stuck to continuity? That notwithstanding, Mardsen as Cable is a risk we’re willing to take.
11. Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis has a resume stacked so tall, he doesn’t really need an introduction. From the “Die Hard” series to traversing the geek realm in films such as “Red,” G.I. Joe: Retaliation” and the “Sin City” franchise, there are few action stars like Willis, who combine the last three decades of exploding, bullet-ridden movies to such great effect. He’s definitely a legend in the modern pantheon of actors that make things go up in flames, and after “Unbreakable,” let’s just say that we’ve been dying for him to really own a mainstream comic book character.
Willis is ideal for Cable because of his voice, looks and overall badass demeanor. Time travel? He’s got that covered in “12 Monkeys” and “Looper.” Willis has also saved our world from Armageddon quite a bit, so what’s another round with our favorite merc? Few can go toe-to-toe with Willis, but the same can be said for Reynolds. Deadpool regularly dies hard, and upping the ante with a John McClane-style Cable would really mark “Deadpool 2″… with a bullet!
10. Charlize Theron
The reason we’re opting for the South African actress over, say, the Deadpool-endorsed Keira Knightley, simply comes down to her resume. “Fast 8,” “Æon Flux” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” all show the star power of Theron, as well as the demand for her in blockbusters that are packed with carnage and spectacle. She’s got that kickass disposition as well as the ability to pull a mean mug, all of which really make her exchanges with Deadpool something to remember.
The gender-swapping may cause controversy but hey, why not? It could open that door we mentioned for Hope Summers a la the “X-Men: Second Coming” event, but as we’ve mentioned before, FOX doesn’t stick to continuity or any formula. Maybe this is one of the few times that can be a good thing. When it comes to top female action stars, Theron is right up there with the rest of them, so having her dial Deadpool back and teach him a thing or 10 about being a gentleman could end up being a worthwhile trip. Worst case scenario? We’ve got another Domino candidate.
9. Stephen Lang
Stephen Lang has been touting his desire for the role of Cable online, and we’ll be damned if we don’t admit that for his age, he looks perfect for the role. Lang’s not only strapped, he also has that commanding presence, which audiences witnessed in films like “Avatar” and “Don’t Breathe.” At 64 years of age, this is why his online campaign has always been a hit with geeks. He still gets major street cred for 2013’s video game, “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” wherein he played Elias Walker.
Lang has that appeal for fanboys because he also seems truly loyal to the mythos; at the same time, just like Reynolds with Deadpool, he really wants said role. If we can vouch for Perlman, then there’s no reason why we can’t do the same for Lang. Weathered and rugged, but hey, so too is Cable a seasoned veteran, after all. Lang makes sense for the grizzly soldier of war and should definitely be a contender.
8. Matt Dillon
Matt Dillon may be a left-field pick but remember, apart from being a darling of the 80’s and 90’s, he’s also been critically acclaimed in the award-winning drama “Crash” and shown that he can transition to action buff in flicks like “Armored” and “Takers.” He isn’t the name you’d usually find associated with these roles because he doesn’t pump out volume as much as he used to, but that’s where FOX could benefit.
A great actor with time to spare on his schedule (and then some), Dillon is someone who doesn’t have too much pressure on his back. “Wayward Pines” fans would certainly back our nod here as one that, while it may be a curve-ball, would also be economical on the studio’s part; he most likely wouldn’t come with a big price tag. Either way, this isn’t about getting things done on the cheap, but allowing worthy talents to take a chance. Let’s show Dillon that he isn’t an outsider to our world and have him joust with Deadpool. Gotta have faith, right?
7. Liam Neeson
This pick sells itself. Neeson’s a bad boy who can’t stop, won’t stop. Just see the “Taken” franchise or ask any of the dudes he’s headhunted over the years. Neeson’s a contemporary Steven Seagal or Chuck Norris, because when it comes to bullets, they rarely hit — certainly not as hard as he does, anyway. Liam Neeson is like wine, getting finer with age and more robust. Anyone who has played Zeus, or even our favorite lion, Aslan (from the “Narnia” franchise), gets our nod to take Cable that one step further into cinematic reality.
He already put a bullet in Reynolds in “A Million Ways to Die in the West” so they’re more than acquainted. Neeson is a box office draw for all ages and combined with Deadpool, we could see them enjoying an unconventional relationship in a pairing that perhaps shouldn’t work, but most probably will. After all, no matter what time he slides to, Cable will find you. And he will kill you.
6. Kevin Costner
At age 61, Kevin Costner is another vet on the list, but one who has history with the man behind the merc. He and Reynolds partook in “Criminal” this year, which revolved around a CIA agent’s memories being implanted into a convict to finish a job; essentially, it felt like a sci-fi book from Image. Couple that with Costner’s extensive resume — which lists him playing everything from Superman’s dad to Robin Hood, along with appearing in western flicks such as “Open Range” and “Wyatt Earp” — and he’s got the credentials to pull off an aging comic book action star.
He’s quite decorated if you look at how diverse his filmography is, but what stands out is that Costner, even in bad films, always tends to shine and deliver what he’s supposed to. We firmly believe that he has distilled that tortured feel, which would be a great blend for the tomfoolery that Deadpool will surely bring his way. There’s way too much potential here to let Costner slip by.
5. Benicio Del Toro
The cinematic accomplishments of Benicio Del Toro are off the charts, so for sure, if his name is attached, it would bring in big box office numbers. But what makes this Oscar-winner (who also has multitudes of other accolades to his name) one of our top picks is the brilliantly intense role he pulled off as a clandestine hitman in “Sicario.”
Del Toro has also warmed his way into geek hearts through movies such as “Sin City,” “The Wolfman” and as The Collector in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Needless to say, he is quite familiar with the passion, demand and, at times, overzealous embrace of the comic book world. He’s lined up for Rian Johnson’s “Star Wars: Episode VIII” in 2017, but he also pulled out of Shane Black’s “The Predator,” due to scheduling conflicts. So, while we know this may be a long shot, it’s one we’re praying comes to fruition by the good grace of En Sabah Nur.
4. Thomas Jane
Even though the role is already taken (and taken well), Thomas Jane has always displayed an affinity to return as The Punisher. WHile that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon, he also showed in 2008’s “Mutant Chronicles” (alongside Perlman) that he’s game for anything else considered sci-fi. Just ask fans of “The Expanse.” From Stephen King’s “The Mist” to voicing Jonah Hex in DC’s animated universe, as well as appearing briefly in “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” (both in 2010), Jane has always been held in high esteem by comic lovers.
If he took time to do a Punisher fan-film, then his dedication and fan-friendly service (along with his currently light project workload) could work out to FOX’s favor. We’re pretty sure Reynolds will have a joke or two about him jumping ship to a new comic property, as well. Cable meets Punisher meets Deadpool meets Green Lantern meets so many other comic book characters played by Van Wilder? Sold.
3. Tom Cruise
Wait. Hear us out. Tom Cruise’s action pedigree runs back to the 80’s. Sure, he’s hit or miss these days, but remember that, for every “Jack Reacher” he does, you’ve got an “Edge of Tomorrow.” Before you (or Deadpool) get into jokes about Cruise’s stature, or him constantly running, what really gets our engines grinding on the thought of him as Cable is the look he pulled off in “Collateral,” not to mention the brutally murderous verve of the assassin he played.
Seriously, we all know his repertoire as being one of the best in his day, so we shouldn’t let his misses dictate the pace. Remember, even Reynolds had his flops such as “Green Lantern.” This could be a redeemer for Cruise, as he even looks a bit like James Marsden and Tye Sheridan, who played a younger Scott Summers, and it’s a role we’d peg to bring back Cruise’s days of thunder. After all, just see “Tropic Thunder” and see that he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and that he can absolutely murder a role seemingly outside of his wheelhouse.
2. Jon Hamm
When it comes to dealing with the madman that is Deadpool, we need someone who’s cool and composed under gunfire. That’s why there is no better pick than Jon Hamm, who jumped into our list after his role in “Keeping Up With The Joneses.” He’s got flair, charisma and a hunky look that makes him a man’s man, who we can see firing machine guns and throwing bombs.
Even if it’s in the likes of “Black Mirror” or “Sucker Punch,” you can just see him waiting to jump into a role that can really make his name on the big screen. Sure, we’ve seen him in “The Town” and “The Day The Earth Stood Still,” but we feel like he deserves that leading role. We’re betting on Deadpool giving him just the platform to do so as he tries to avoid those AMC jokes about Christina Hendricks’ bust. That all notwithstanding, you have to admit, that for Cable’s first appearance in film… it’s Hamm-er Time.
1. Clive Owen
While his last couple of years in film may not have been drawing big figures, Clive Owen still has roles in “Sin City,” “King Arthur” and of course, “Shoot ‘Em Up” that he could quite rightly boast as being great reasons for taking the Cable gig. Owen still has lead potential in his holster and we think this film could revive his geek cred. Wouldn’t it be epic hearing Reynolds asking him if he can do a British accent on a mission? We think so too!
He’s slated for Luc Besson’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” next year, so it’s nice to see him claiming a bit of the spotlight once more. Signing up for the likes of “Anon” and “Intruders” also kept his momentum going, but we’d really love to see him suit up with a big gun and bring the kind of heat he did in “Children of Men.” That film alone shows how he can be a savior in an apocalyptic world and is more than enough of an application.
Thoughts on our picks? Got some of your own? Break the fourth wall in the comments!
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