The sheer amount of pop culture references within Deadpool 2 was staggering. There were probably on average about two to three references per minute in the movie, with any lulls in references made up for with fire callbacks and shout-outs. This is definitely one of the most metafictional superhero movies that you will ever see, which, given it’s Deadpool, is pretty appropriate. It took the clever nods to other properties in the first Deadpool movie and took those nods and turned them into blatant references, especially in the outrageous mid-credits sequence where the film re-visited Ryan Reynolds’ ill-fated superhero movie past — you got lucky that they had bigger fish to fry, Blade: Trinity! Heck, in just the opening credits sequence alone, the film made some rather obvious references to the James Bond films, John Wick and even Flashdance!
With all of these references being thrown around, it is only natural that a few of them ended up being more hidden than others. Some of them were so obscure that you would need a degree in comic book history to understand them while others zoomed by on the screen so quickly that they were easy to miss. Thus, we have collected 20 of the best Deadpool 2 Easter Eggs from the film.
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Deadpool 2, in theaters now.
20. WE GOT NOTHING BUT BAD BLOOD
One of the most offbeat sequences in the film is early on, when Deadpool has just unsuccessfully tried to kill himself. His old friend, Colossus, brought him to the X-Mansion to recuperate. In the first Deadpool film, the movie famously could not afford to have too many X-Men in the movie. In fact, producers were actually denied one of the X-Men that they wanted to use, Cannonball, and had to replace him with Negasonic Teenage Warhead. In this movie, Deadpool draws attention to the lack of the other X-Men being around, but then we see that they are all just hiding from him, in a cameo from most of the cast of the next X-Men film, X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
In any event, during these scenes, as he rides around in Professor X’s wheelchair, Deadpool is wearing a T-shirt with some cats on them. You can barely make them out, but they are actually Meredith and Olivia, Taylor Swift’s cats that she named after Meredith Gray from Gray’s Anatomy and Olivia Benson from Law & Order: SVU! As it turns out, in real life, Ryan Reynolds and his wife, actress Blake Lively, are friends with the singer, hence the cute little nod to her and her famous kitties.
19. ALPHA FLIGHT IS HERE FOR YOU!
During the movie, there are a number of references to Canada, including a hilarious sequence where Weasel compares Superman coming to Earth as an American coming to Canada. Ryan Reynolds and Deadpool are both from Canada, so it makes sense that both of them would take umbrage with Weasel’s comment. In addition, the superhuman prison in the film, the Ice Box, is actually a Canadian prison from the comics that only made a single appearance! So the film was clearly going out of the way to get as many Canadian references as they could.
That is why it is no surprise that they found a way to work in a nod to the most famous Canadian super team of them all! Alpha Flight was introduced during John Byrne and Chris Claremont’s X-Men run as the Canadian superhero team designed to bring in rogue Canadian agent, Wolverine. They lost in that fight, but they then got their own series, initially written and drawn by John Byrne, that lasted for over 100 issues! They have had a few revival series over the years, as well. Here, though, they are apparently a Canadian travel agency, at least that is what it appears like on their ad on Dopinder’s taxi cab.
18. GOONIE JOKES NEVER SAY DIE!
As noted earlier, Deadpool 2 packs in references to a wide variety of films. One film, though, in particular, got a few nods, including one really obscure one. That film is The Goonies, the 1985 comedy adventure film directed by Richard Donner, about a group of young friends who try to beat a family of criminals to a hidden pirate treasure to help save the neighborhood where they all live from being torn down and turned into a golf course. There are two notable connections between that movie and this one. Richard Donner’s wife, Lauren Shuler Donner, produced Deadpool 2 and Josh Brolin, one of the stars of The Goonies, played Cable in Deadpool 2.
The most notable reference was when Deadpool called Cable “One Eyed Willie” during one of their fights. That is the name of the pirate whose treasure the Goonies are trying to find. The other reference is a lot more obscure. After Deadpool has his legs torn off by the Juggernaut, he hangs out at his old place with Blind Al while they slowly grow back. During this time, he is wearing no pants, but the same shirt that the character of Chunk wears in The Goonies.
17. CABLE TAPS SOME SPINES
One area where the movie cleverly avoids getting too far into the comic book backstory is when it comes to Cable’s superpowers. In the comics, Cable has telekinetic and telepathic abilities, but most of the time, his powers are being used to keep the techno-organic virus from spreading throughout his body, so he is only able to use a fraction of his full abilities at any given time. However, explaining that would likely take a decent amount of time, so the film skips over it. They still show him having a little bit of telekinesis, but they don’t explain it.
Instead, most of his feats in the film are done through his special gun from the future, which has different settings that allow him to do different types of damage. Amusingly, at one point, Deadpool gets a hold of the gun and we see that the dial on Cable’s gun goes to 11. That is a reference to the famous mockumentary film, This is Spinal Tap, directed and co-written by Rob Reiner, about a clueless rock band. Their speakers are all labeled to 11, which they believe means that their speakers are louder than all other speakers, which only go to 10.
16. THE BLIND AL PAYOFF
Early in the film, Deadpool goes back to his old place that he shared with Blind Al (played by Leslie Uggams), because he is looking for some drugs to help him deal with the pain that he is feeling following the death of his girlfriend, Vanessa. He ends up putting a whole bag of cocaine under his mask and popping it, to no effect. In the first movie, Deadpool ended up with Blind Al after he fell on hard times. When he left to go have his final confrontation with the villain of the first film, Ajax, Deadpool tells Blind Al, “Listen Al, if I never see you again, I want you to know that I love you very much. I also buried 1,600 kilos of cocaine somewhere in the apartment – right next to the cure for blindness. Good luck.”
Well, sure enough, at the start of this film, Deadpool opens up a floorboard in Al’s apartment and there are a bunch of bags of cocaine and a bag marked “The Cure for Blindness.” Of course, the cure for blindness looks just like another bag of cocaine, but still, it is a clever payoff on a joke from the first movie.
15. DID WEASEL ALMOST GET PLUMMERED?
Last year, Ridley Scott had a movie called All The Money In the World, set to be released at the end of the year to make it eligible for the 2018 Academy Awards, before then getting a wide release in early 2018. One of the stars of the movie was Kevin Spacey. Well, only a couple of months before the film was set to be released, allegations were released that revealed that Kevin Spacey likely committed a number of sexual offenses over the years. Spacey was fired from his Netflix TV series House of Cards and Scott made a bold decision — he brought in the actor Christopher Plummer to re-shoot all of Spacey’s scenes from the movie and managed to get it all done in a month, giving him time to edit the film and make the original release date.
When Deadpool 2 co-star, TJ Miller, also dealt with some unsavory allegations about his personal life, there was some pressure to remove him from the film, as well. The filmmakers ultimately did not take him out of the movie, but during a news crawl in the film, they included a joke about Christopher Plummer respectfully turning down a role in Deadpool 2.
14. TAKING THE HUGH JACKMAN OBSESSION TOO FAR
Right from the start of the movie, Deadpool 2 has a clear obsession with Hugh Jackman and his famous performance as Wolverine in the X-Men films, as well as his solo Wolverine films. Deadpool specifically references the fact that Jackman’s Wolverine died in Logan, thus making it seem like Deadpool was copying Logan by dying in Deadpool 2. We see a music box at the start of the film that reenacts Wolverine’s death sequence from Logan. Deadpool plays it before trying to kill himself. Later in the movie, Deadpool meets a kid who is eating Wolverine brand cereal. Deadpool decides to autograph it himself, signing it “Ryan Reynolds.” In the mid-credits sequence, Deadpool travels back in time to X-Men Origins: Wolverine to stop the Deadpool from that film from existing.
However, the most obscure Jackman reference happens when Deadpool is planning on his rescue of Russell Collins. When he draws his map of the planned attack, Russell’s prison number is listed as 24601. That is the famous prisoner number assigned to Jean Valjean in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. Hugh Jackman famously played that role in the 2012 musical adaptation of the novel. Thus, Deadpool’s obsession with Jackman goes way past just his role as Wolverine!
13. DUGGAN GETS A NOD
Also in that same scene where Deadpool plans out the attack on the prison convoy from the Ice Box that contains Russell Collins’ cell, Deadpool makes references to the fact that they are going to intercept the convoy while it was on the Duggan Parkway. This, of course, is a reference to writer Gerry Duggan, who only recently finished a long run as the writer of Deadpool’s regular series.
In fact, in his last issue, Despicable Deadpool #300, Duggan actually appeared in the issue and met with Deadpool, a la Grant Morrison meeting Animal Man back during Morrison’s famous run on Animal Man. Duggan, though, is not the only Deadpool writer to be referenced in the movie. Early in the film, when we see Deadpool slaughtering some bad guys, he first introduces himself to them as “Gail,” a possible reference to Gail Simone’s past run on Deadpool. In addition, during the actual attack on the prison convoy, we see a Hastings street sign. Christopher Hastings has written a number of Deadpool stories, as well. This has been a regular thing in the Deadpool films, as they have made as many references to past Deadpool creators as they could, typically with street signs.
12. THE VESPA FINALLY SHOWS
As noted earlier, this film had a clever payoff on a joke from the first movie at Blind Al’s apartment, when we finally see the cure for blindness. That is not the only old joke from the first film that gets a payoff in this one. During Gail Simone’s run on Deadpool, she had Wade be forced to ride a Vespa motor scooter after his car is trashed in a battle with the Rhino. The absurdity of seeing this violent mercenary riding around on a scooter was hilarious. It was even spotlighted on the cover of that issue, Deadpool #68. The Vespa became an iconic part of Deadpool’s history and it was even later featured on a statue of Deadpool.
In the first Deadpool movie, there is a Vespa scooter in the background of Blind Al’s apartment, but it never is actually used in the film itself. It is just a background gag. In this movie, though, during the assault on the prison convoy, Deadpool does, in fact, end up riding a Vespa motor scooter to catch up with the convoy. Of course, the Vespa does not end up getting Deadpool close enough to the actual convoy to catch up to it in time, later leading to him having to commandeer an assault vehicle, but it was still really fun to see!
11. ANOTHER ILL-FATED X-FORCE
Probably the most hilarious sequence in the entire film is when X-Force makes its triumphant debut, parachuting out of a plane so that they can surprise the prison convoy by landing on it out of the sky. Of course, the winds ended up being so rough that the parachutes of most of the team are thrown all over the place, with most of the team dying in horrific fashion.
Amusingly enough, this is actually reminiscent of the similarly ill-fated debut of a different version of X-Force. In 2001’s X-Force #116, Peter Milligan and Mike Allred took over the series by introducing a new X-Force who were reality stars that also fought crime. The team leader was Zeitgeist, who could spit out acid just like in Deadpool 2. Almost all of the members of X-Force are killed in the first issue, though, with Zeitgeist being one of the heroes who dies. In the movie, Zeitgeist has a tattoo on his shoulder that read “116,” a reference to his death before it actually occurred! The other members of X-Force who died, though, Bedlam and Shatterstar, were not part of that era of X-Force, making their deaths more shocking. Shatterstar’s was especially surprising, since he was a longstanding member of X-Force and other X-teams, like X-Factor.
10. STAN’S DOUBLE CAMEOS
In the first Deadpool film, Stan Lee had one of his most memorable cameo appearances, working as a disc jockey in a strip club. The scenes were filmed, though, in such a way that Lee was not actually in the strip club with the women who weren’t wearing any clothes. It was filmed separately and then just edited in, green screen style. Lee did not make an actual cameo appearance in Deadpool 2, with the filmmakers feeling that his appearance in the Deadpool 2 teaser trailer counted as his “official” cameo for the movie.
However, they did manage to still work him into the film in two other sequences, just without him literally appearing in the film. First off, during the sequence in the X-Mansion, when Deadpool is making fun of how there are so many paintings of old white men in the mansion, he knocks over a bust of Stan Lee. It is really quick, so few people recognized him. Finally, during the prison convoy assault, when Domino lands on the ground, we briefly see Stan’s face appearing on a mural on a wall. It is endearing the way that all of these Marvel projects find a way to get Stan into the films.
9. HE’S GOT ISSUES
One of the big surprises in the film, albeit one that they made a big deal about foreshadowing early in the movie, was that Juggernaut was a major character in the story. With Black Tom Cassidy being in the film, many people assumed that if Juggernaut was going to be in the film, the special friendship between those two characters would play a role. Instead, Russell Collins ended up taking over the role of Juggernaut’s partner. Juggernaut sympathized with Russell’s desire to kill the headmaster who abused him, as Juggernaut has a poor relationship with his half-brother, Charles Xavier, who is also a headmaster.
When Deadpool first sees Juggernaut, he totally geeks out. He starts rattling off comic books that had Juggernaut in them and, sure enough, all of the issues he mentioned were actual Juggernaut appearances — Uncanny X-Men #183, X-Men Unlimited #12 and Thor #411. Uncanny X-Men #183 is the key issue of the three, as it is an acclaimed story by Chris Claremont, John Romita Jr. and Dan Green where Wolverine tricks Colossus into fighting Juggernaut because Wolverine is trying to teach Colossus a lesson about trusting his teammates. Obviously, Colossus and Juggernaut have a big fight in this movie.
8. DEADPOOL AND JUGGERNAUT TOGETHER
The Juggernaut ended up being a great addition to the movie. One of the best parts was when his appearance triggered an operatic song that essentially amounted to, “Oh man, the Juggernaut is here. You guys are in trouble!” During the closing credits, the song is replayed so that you can hear the full lyrics without distracting stuff like highways collapsing blocking the lyrics. Also during the closing credits is an interesting piece in the cast listings, where Juggernaut is credited as playing himself.
You would think that they would want to get a big name to play Juggernaut in the film, just like how they got Brad Pitt to make a brief cameo as the Vanisher, and that’s exactly what they did, but they ended up going very close to home. That mystery was solved when CBR talked to Deadpool 2 screenwriter, Rhett Reese, who revealed, “Ryan Reynolds ended up voicing Juggernaut, if you didn’t know that. That was Ryan’s voice as the Juggernaut, and he did the facial capture for him. I don’t know how they did the physical mo-cap — I don’t think that was Ryan.” It is fun to see just how dedicated Ryan Reynolds is to the whole process of these Deadpool films.
7. TRAINING DAY
Early in the movie, Colossus is trying to help Deadpool find some new meaning in his life after the death of Vanessa. Colossus tries to get Wade to try to fill the missing piece of his heart, something that Vanessa said to Wade during a vision after he blew himself up, by becoming a member of the X-Men. Of course, he was not ready to be a full-time X-Man yet, so he is an X-Man trainee in the film, wearing a special trainee costume.
Amusingly enough, that outfit is very much like the one that Deadpool wore when he actually did try to join the X-Men during Daniel Way and Paco Medina’s run on the series. This was at a point when the X-Men were forced to move to an island with most of the world’s mutants on it and Cyclops was open to some new ideas on how to go about handling the X-Men’s position in the world. He was desperate enough that he was willing to let Deadpool join the team for a very special mission. Interestingly, Deadpool proved himself by taking down Domino, who had been working with the X-Men herself for a while at the time.
The reason why all of the world’s mutants were able to fit on to just one island is because of a devastating event in the history of the X-Men. You see, during “Avengers Disassembled,” the Scarlet Witch essentially snapped and used her mutant powers to attack the Avengers. Once they realized that it was her, they were about to capture here when her father, Magneto, showed up to take her with him to Genosha. The Avengers and the X-Men then met up to decide what to do with her. Some of the team even debated whether they could let her live, if she was so unstable and could alter reality itself. Her brother, Quicksilver, discovered these discussion and ran to warn his sister. He then had her use her powers to change reality so that mutants were in charge of the world.
This created the “House of M” reality. Eventually, enough heroes learned the truth that they fought to get her to put things back to normal. During the fight, Scarlet Witch was so distraught that she just said, “No more mutants” and suddenly, millions of mutants lost their powers. Doctor Strange managed to use his magic to save as many as he could, but it was only about 1,000. That day was later called “M-Day,” and there are posters in the home for mutants that Russell came from in the film that reference M-Day.
5. ASHES TO ASHES
The central conflict of the film is that Cable has traveled back in time to kill Russell before he can grow up to become the vicious killer who murdered Cable’s family in the future. Deadpool believes that the future could be stopped by having him reason with Russell before Russell becomes a killer for the first time by killing his abusive headmaster. The question of whether an evil adult was always destined to become evil was a central plot point in the comic book series, Uncanny X-Force, by Rick Remender and Jerome Opena.
Wolverine formed a black ops team, with Deadpool, Psylocke, Fantomex and Archangel, and they planned to take out threats early. One of their missions was to kill a clone of Apocalypse before it grew up to become Apocalypse. Deadpool and Psylocke, though, believed that it was wrong to kill a kid because of what he was “destined” to become. They lost the fight in that series. Deadpool wore a special gray version of his costume in that comic and at the end of the film, ashes from Russell’s fire attacks kick up and cover Deadpool’s costume to make it look just like his Uncanny X-Force outfit, just in time for the conflict of that comic to match the one in the film.
4. GOODNIGHT, IRENE
Early in the film, when Deadpool is making his disastrous debut as an X-Man in training, the reporter who is covering the story for the news is Irene Merryweather. Irene and Deadpool go way back in the comics. She was initially introduced during James Robinson’s brief run on Cable, when he wanted to introduce a new character to give an outsider’s point of view on Cable. She was a reporter for the Daily Bugle at the time.
Later, during Fabian Nicieza’s Cable and Deadpool run, Cable ends up forming his own sovereign nation in a floating city called Providence and calls on Irene again to work for him as his chronicler of what he was doing with this new nation, so that history could see an accurate representation of his actions and so they could fairly judge whether he was right to do what he was doing or not. She helped manage the city and Deadpool fell for her, although she was not interested. They became friends, though, and he saved her life when Cable’s nation was destroyed by the Marauders. That made is all the more tragic when Deadpool was later forced to kill her by Cable’s evil clone, Stryfe, who wanted to mess with Deadpool.
3. A HEARTFELT TRIBUTE
Before Vanessa’s tragic death in the beginning of the film, she and Wade were finally planning on having a child together. They each mentioned various different possible names for the kid, with Deadpool pushing hard for the name Todd, but Vanessa was not having it. One of the names suggested was Connor, which was a sad, but heartfelt reference to a kid that Deadpool himself, Ryan Reynolds, had met through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Connor McGrath died a few years back, but not before being able to see a rough cut of the first Deadpool film. Reynolds wrote of him, “I’m grateful I got to orbit Connor’s world for a brief time. Grateful for the pages and pages of hilarious texts between us. Grateful to his parents for allowing Connor to spend time with a foul-mouthed child in the body of a 39 year old. I called Connor ‘Bubba.’ And he called me ‘Bubba2.’ We met because he loved Deadpool. In a certain sense he WAS Deadpool. Or, at least everything Deadpool aspires to be; balancing pain, fearlessness, love and a filthy (filthy!) sense of humor in one body. I wish he could’ve stuck around a lot longer.” It was a sweet tribute by Reynolds.
2. SHOWING PRYOR RESTRAINT
As we noted earlier, the film really cut down on Cable’s backstory for the film. This makes sense, as Cable has one of the most convoluted back stories in all of comics. He is the son of Cyclops and Cyclops’ first wife, Madelyne Pryor, who turned out to be a clone of Jean Grey created by Mister Sinister so that he could still see a child formed from Summers and Grey DNA. Sinister believed that their child was destined to be the one who finally took Apocalypse down for good. Madelyne turned evil and died in battle with the X-Men.
When still a baby, Cable was infected with a techno-organic virus by Apocalypse, leading to Cyclops having to send baby Cable into the future, where the virus turned half of his body into cybernetic parts. He then returned to the present from the future when he was now older than his own father! As you can see, that is a crazy and complicated mess of a back story, so none of that made it into the movie. However, during the prison convoy assault, there is at least a sign for a ice cream store called Pryor’s Treats, giving Madelyne Pryor at least sort of a mention within the movie.
1. MAN, WHO CREATED THESE PEOPLE?
Deadpool’s creator, Rob Liefeld, has always been prominently featured, reference-wise, in the Deadpool films. He got his biggest shout out in a sequence during the prison convoy assault. You see, back when Liefeld was plotting and drawing New Mutants (along with his scripter, Fabian Nicieza), he began to prepare the transition from New Mutants to X-Force. So he began to write out characters and introduce new ones. In New Mutants #98, he planned on introducing a major new member of the team as well as a major new villain. Those characters were Domino and Gideon. Gideon was an immortal mutant who manipulated the New Mutant Sunspot into quitting the team. However, the issue also introduced a third new character, who was not meant to be as important as the other two, but the mercenary known as Deadpool ended up being the most famous of them all.
During the film, though, Deadpool is making fun of Domino’s luck powers and jokes about what kind of maniac would come up with a character with powers like that. He then muses that whoever it is, he bets that they can’t draw feet. People have always made fun of how Rob Liefeld draws characters’ feet. In the world of Deadpool, being mocked means that you are loved!
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