When Deadpool 2's first look at Josh Brolin's Cable was released, eagle-eyed fans spotted something that potentially referenced a much bigger part of Fox's mutant-verse: a teddy bear attached to the time-traveler's utility belt. At first glance, this may seem like a quirky item the warrior has amid his arsenal just to build up the franchise's humor, but this worn-out stuffed toy may hint at the existence of Hope Summers, the mutant savior that Cable fought to protect as a father figure in the comics.
With the sequel's trailer finally debuting, it's business as usual, with Deadpool and now Cable engaging in foul-mouthed antics, heavy gunfire, breaking the fourth wall, and of course, assembling a mutant hit-squad. But early on, we can spot Cable's teddy bear once more, and around the 1:39 mark, we then get a shot of Julian Dennison's unknown character, which leaves us wondering if he's actually Fox's version of Hope, and the reason why Cable has jumped to the past.
In the comics, Cable came from the future to find Hope, a young girl that the Phoenix Force wanted as a host years after the death of Jean Grey. Basically, as her name implies, she was the mutant messiah destined to kick-start the age of mutants again after Scarlet Witch de-powered the vast majority of them in House of M. Now, while Fox may not follow this route directly, signs do point to this storyline being adapted for Cable's mission, and in terms of what the studio has built so far, Dennison fits the role for a few reasons.
The 15 year-old New Zealander doesn't match Hope in terms of gender, hut does so in terms of age. Given his comedic nature, he's perfect for the tone of this franchise. We saw this in Taika Waititi's Hunt for the Wilderpeople, where he and his uncle Hector (Sam Neill) went on the run from the cops, and a similar dynamic between him and Cable could be at play here. Also, as we've seen from him throwing up middle-fingers in the trailer, Dennison as Hope (or someone similar) would be able to provide the right spunk and overall attitude to deal with Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds). His character, as per the power-suppressing collars and yellow jumpsuit he's wearing, is also clearly in need of rescuing, further teasing he's a key mutant figure in the plot.
As for this drastic change, Deadpool prides itself on being tongue-in-cheek, even towards superhero franchises from other studios, and there's no reason why Reynolds and his creative team can't pull a fast one on die-heard Marvel fans who'd expect Hope to look like her comics counterpart: a young redhead that resembles a teenage Jean Grey. Dennison as Hope would be funny to some, a slap-in-the-face to others, and likely controversial due to the gender swap, thus giving Deadpool verbal ammunition to drag out a few punchlines towards an audience that clamors for a more comic-faithful approach.
With X-Men: Dark Phoenix set to drop later this year, it'd also be a nice nod to Fox's overall universe and to fans who wonder every now and again if the Phoenix may actually be interested in another host besides Jean. At the end of the day, Dennison as someone wielding this cosmic power would be one of the most intriguing things the studio has ever done, though admittedly it's all speculation at this point. Whether fans like it or not, it would match the essence of what Deadpool is about: an unconventional comic book movie that doesn't care who it ticks off.
Directed by David Leitch, Deadpool 2 features 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, Julian Dennison in an unknown role, and Jack Kesy as a villain widely thought to be Black Tom Cassidy. The film hits theaters on May 18.