When "Logan" arrived in theaters last week, moviegoers quickly found out that the reports were true: the film does not have a post- or mid-credits scene. What it does have, however, is a pre-movie treat in the form of the first teaser for "Deadpool 2."
The nearly three-and-a-half-minute teaser not only features Ryan Reynolds as the popular Merc with a Mouth, it's also chock-full of Easter eggs. From "Firefly" posters in the background (presumably a shoutout to “Deadpool” co-star Morena Baccarin, who played Inara on the Joss Whedon TV series) to an unexpected Stan Lee cameo and more, the scene successfully whet audience appetites for the anticipated sequel. But there may be more than just some fun references to other properties -- in fact, the scene may have offered a hint as to the sequel's storyline with a simple tease of a major Marvel Comics mutant.
After focusing rather deliberately, on a phone booth with a graffitied message promising "Nathan Summers coming soon," the camera pans further to the left as Deadpool slams open the booth's door. Inside, we see another piece of graffiti, this time declaring "HOPE!" Later, once we're treated to a lengthy costume change to the tune of John Williams' "Superman" theme (or a pretty reasonable facsimile), we see the word "HOPE" graffitied again, this time on the building behind Reynolds' costumed anti-hero.
To the average moviegoer, there's nothing to see here -- it's just another piece of background decoration, one of less interest than the Ariana Grande call-out on the garbage can in the alley. To fans of Marvel's X-Men comics, however, that word -- or name, rather -- holds more than a little bit of significance. It's pretty obvious that "Deadpool 2's" producers want us to believe that Hope Summers will be joining Cable (AKA Nathan Summers) in the sequel.
In the comics, Hope was introduced as a baby, the first mutant born after the Scarlet Witch famously uttered the words "No More Mutants," magically reducing the entire population of mutants in the Marvel Universe to 198 in 2005. Upon her birth, Cable rescued Hope from the Purifiers, a group intent on eradicating all mutant life, time-jumping with the newborn and raising her as his own child while the pair leapt from era to era. As Hope grew up, she was hunted by another mutant, Bishop (who debuted as part of the Fox movie verse in "X-Men: Days of Future Past"), who believed her existence would herald an even worse fate for mutant kind than the Scarlet Witch's actions caused.
Though her position in the Marvel Universe has been diminished in recent years, for a time Hope was a major character in the ongoing mutant storyline. While it is, of course, entirely possible her name being dropped here is a mere Easter egg, it's no accident that it appears in close proximity to the Nathan Summers reference.
As for whether this indicates the arrival of Hope -- and possible return of Bishop -- remains to be seen, but the clues are there!
Directed by James Mangold, “Logan” stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, Richard E. Grant, Dafne Keen and Stephen Merchant. It’s in theaters now.
The “Deadpool” sequel — “coming not soon enough” — is directed by David Leitch (“John Wick”), and stars Reynolds, joined by (so far) Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Karan Soni as Dopinder and, presumably, Stefan Kapičić as the voice of Colossus. It’s targeted for release in 2018.