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Michael Shannon Frontrunner to Play Cable in ‘Deadpool 2’

Variety logo Variety 3/22/2017 Dave McNary
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Michael Shannon is the frontrunner to play Cable in “Deadpool 2.”

While no deal is yet in place, Shannon has been the top choice for about a week. Fox, the studio handling the film, had no comment on the news.

The actual debut date for Ryan Reynolds’ “Deadpool 2” is in a year’s time — March 2, 2018. “John Wick” director David Leitch came on board to direct “Deadpool 2” last fall after Tim Miller dropped out due to creative differences with Reynolds.

The superhero sequel also recently cast “Atlanta” breakout Zazie Beetz as mutant mercenary Domino. Fox had announced at CinemaCon in April that Reynolds would be back, as well as Miller. “Deadpool” gave Fox its biggest hit of 2016 after opening on Valentine’s Day to $782.6 million worldwide, supplanting “The Matrix Reloaded” to become the highest-grossing R-rated film in history.

The casting of Cable, a.k.a. Nathan Summers, was one that had captivated fans’ attention. Cable and Deadpool were often paired together (albeit reluctantly) in the Marvel comics, and even had their own 50-issue series.

Cable’s involvement goes all the way back to the first “Deadpool,” where the foul-mouthed mercenary himself teased that he’d be in the sequel during the film’s post-credits scene. In the recent “Deadpool” scene that was shown ahead of “Logan” in theaters, a message written on a phonebooth read, “Nathan Summers c*mming [yes, that’s the correct spelling] soon!”

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Most of the creative team had been set to return for “Deadpool 2,” with Fox Film chief Stacey Snider also confirming at CinemaCon that screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick would be back to handle script duties. Fox has not set a release date for “Deadpool 2.”

Shannon is one of Hollywood’s most versatile actors, with credits on “Man of Steel,” “Mud,” “Take Shelter,” “Frank & Lola,” “Machine Gun Preacher,” and “The Iceman.” He’s received two Academy Award nominations for best supporting actor for “Revolutionary Road” and “Nocturnal Animals.”

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