SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Deadpool 2, which debuted in theaters on Thursday night.
As if introducing Cable, Domino and X-Force (well, sort of) wasn’t enough, Deadpool 2 went ahead and included a major Marvel character that wasn’t even advertised in advance: The Juggernaut, who was speculated by hardcore fans to appear, but hadn’t been confirmed by official channels.
But with that comes the obvious question: Who played the CGI-rendered version of the longtime X-Men villain and Professor Charles Xavier’s wayward stepbrother? After all, the credits only list Juggernaut “as himself.” Turns out, it was the biggest name possible — at least within the context of a Deadpool film.
Yep, Ryan Reynolds — the titular star of the Deadpool movies, who was also a producer and co-writer of the film — continued to be very heavily involved in the franchise by providing the voice and facial capture for Juggernaut, as revealed to CBR by screenwriter Rhett Reese.
“Ryan Reynolds ended up voicing Juggernaut, if you didn’t know that,” Reese told CBR at the film’s New York City press junket earlier this week. “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.”
For screenwriting team Reese and Paul Wernick, who also wrote the first Deadpool, it was a way of finally doing Juggernaut “right,” after many fans were disappointed in the classic villain’s portrayal in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, where he was played by Vinnie Jones. Also, having a villain of that power level — he’s unstoppable, you may have heard — helped up the ante against the heroes in the film’s third act.
“We committed to it pretty early on, because he’s never been done justice until now,” Reese said. “We always wanted to see a CG Juggernaut, so we finally got that. We also really needed to balance the scales in act three, between Deadpool and friends and little Firefist who has cool powers, but we needed to make it a fair fight. What greater force of nature than Juggernaut?”
Plus, Juggernaut’s appearance tied into a couple of comic book rivalries. Juggernaut vs. Colossus is a longstanding rivalry — Colossus even wielded the power of Cyttorak at one point, not to mention classic bouts like Uncanny X-Men #183, mentioned in the film — and Juggernaut was an antagonist in 1994’s Deadpool miniseries, in a time before an ongoing Deadpool series was a constant presence in Marvel’s publishing line.
“It also gave us a chance for him to fight Colossus,” Reese said. “Two big behemoths going at it in act three is never a bad thing.”
Juggernaut was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and debuted in 1965’s X-Men #12. Keep reading CBR for much more coverage of Deadpool 2.
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