Deadpool 2 Will Set Up 'X-Force and Beyond,' Writers Say

Long in development, and very nearly never greenlit, Fox's "Deadpool" nevertheless defied expectations, earning $783 million, critical acclaim and a growing list of industry nominations and awards. As unforeseen as that critical and commercial success may have been, even just a few years ago, it's only the beginning for the Merc With a Mouth.

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With an eagerly anticipated sequel on the horizon that will not only introduce the time-traveling mutant cyborg Cable but also (reportedly) the probability-altering Domino, the pieces begin to fall into place for the founding of the X-Men offshoot X-Force. However, "Deadpool 2" screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick caution that, although the film will lay the groundwork for an X-Force spinoff, that's not its primary purpose.

"There is a responsibility we have to the 'X-Force' universe," Rheese told Collider, "and I do think we will not disappoint the fans going into 'Deadpool 2' and then setting up 'X-Force' and beyond."

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The use of "and beyond" is certainly intriguing, as it could indicate plans for additional franchises spinning out of "Deadpool 2" -- perhaps "Cable" and "Domino"? -- or perhaps Rheese is merely referring to "X-Force" and further "Deadpool" sequels. It's impossible to say.

However, Wernick stressed that they don't intend to allow "the tail to wag the dog." "Some of these movies feel overstuffed and almost choking with the need to set up 18 different things that pay off down the road," he said, "and we want to avoid that responsibility to the extent that it hurts us. We want to hint at things, we want to plan some characters, and we want to make some nods, but we’re very, very cognizant about making sure that 'Deadpool' is above all a Deadpool movie."

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That of course echoes Reese's previous assertion that, despite the introduction of additional characters, "Deadpool 2" is still "a solo movie." "It’ll be populated with a lot of characters," he said, "but it is still Deadpool’s movie, this next one."

Directed by David Leitch ("John Wick"), the "Deadpool" sequel will once again star Ryan Reynolds, joined (so far) by Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Wasteland, Karan Soni as Dopinder and, presumably, Stefan Kapičić as the voice of Colossus. The film is targeted for release on Jan. 2, 2018.

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