WARNING: This article contains massive spoilers for Deadpool 2, in theaters now.
Deadpool 2 is primarily an action-comedy, of course, but it also packs an emotional wallop, as at the film's heart lie two tragedies: the loss of Wade Wilson's longtime girlfriend Vanessa, and the murders of Cable's wife and daughter, which lead him to travel back through time to change the future. If that weren't enough, there's also an underlying theme about surrogate families, and the relationship between a parent and child.
The latter is primarily carried by Cable, who tasks himself with killing a young mutant in order to save his family in the future. With Deadpool's help, Cable is ultimately able to save his wife and daughter without any bloodshed. Near the end of the film, in a quiet moment in which the two antiheroes bond, Cable casually reveals the name of his daughter -- one that instantly drew the attention of comic book fans. Yes, it's Hope, and the possible ramifications of this revelation are enormous.
In the comic books, Cable is actually Hope's surrogate father, who traveled with her into the future for protection. She was born in 2007's major X-Men crossover "Messiah Complex," set against the backdrop of an impending mutant extinction: Fewer than 200 mutants remained on Earth, and no more were being born, at least until Hope arrived. Her birth ignited a major conflict, as the infant was viewed by some as a savior and by others as a herald of the end. For Hope's protection, Cyclops entrusted her in the care of his son Cable, who took her into the far-flung future.
Since then, Hope has been at the center of numerous X-Men comics events, such as the "Messiah War," which involved X-Force in a major way; "Messiah Complex," a crossover that roped in all of the X-Men teams; and Avengers vs. X-Men, which, as the name implies, involved a brawl between the two superhero teams over the return of the Phoenix entity, which had set its fiery sights on Hope. As Hope grows up, more of her powers reveal themselves, and she might yet prove to be a mutant savior -- which brings us to Deadpool 2.
While the sequel name-drops Hope, we actually barely see her and, save for her name, we know virtually nothing about her. Cable mentions she is his daughter, but he does that in the comics as well, as he is her adoptive father. It's therefore possible he isn't her biological father in the movie universe, either. It's also possible for her to be from an alternate timeline, one that could even tie back to other X-Men movies. She could potentially play a larger role in the upcoming franchise films.
However, it's also possible that the Hope name-drop was simply an Easter egg for comic book fans, who know of the connection between Cable and his daughter. In fact, the film did away with much of Cable's convoluted backstory, which means his more streamlined movie origin might have little to do with the source material. If that is the case then, yes, the mention of Hope was simply to make comic book fans happy.
And yet, Deadpool 2 ends with Cable choosing to remain in the present, to ensure the timeline is stable. Perhaps a dark future is exactly what's coming, with Hope in the middle of it. It's been recently revealed that Josh Brolin's Cable will have a planned four-movie arc, which means there is much about left to be told about the time-traveling mutant, soldier and father.
Directed by David Leitch, Deadpool 2 stars Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Leslie Uggams as Blind Al, Stefan Kapičić as the voice of Colossus, and Karan Soni as Dopinder, with newcomers Zazie Beetz as Domino, Josh Brolin as Cable and Julian Dennison as Russell. The film is playing in theaters everywhere.