[Warning: This post contains major spoilers for Deadpool 2.]
Just about anything can happen in Deadpool’s world. From accelerated healing strong enough to reverse dismemberment to his meta-relationship with the X-Men’s cinematic universe and now, thanks to a severely pissy Cable in Deadpool 2, time travel, the “rules” do not apply to the wisecracking antihero. This works out for all involved: Deadpool 2 just nabbed one of the highest-grossing R-rated openings of all time, and unseated Avengers: Infinity War at the box-office.
The same rule-breaking lifestyle extends to actor Ryan Reynolds and his screenwriting cohorts Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. For the creative team behind the Deadpool franchise, there are no timeline continuity woes or laws of physics tying them down. Not only does their Deadpool 2 steamroll X-Men movie canon to deliver a burst of pure, villainous joy, but the trio found a way to give Reynolds another speaking part — you just have to know what you’re looking at.
A bit of Deadpool 2 bricklaying: After Deadpool brushes him off in a mutant supermax, 14-year-old Russell “Firefist” Collins takes solace under the wing of a “monster” who lives in the basement. The obscured villain turns out to be Juggernaut, the classic, oversized X-Men villain whose diplomacy methods include punching, clobbering, stomping, and breaking through walls. The character previously appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand, portrayed by actor Vinnie Jones as a muscular-but-human-sized killer. As if there was any confusion, that Juggernaut, painfully aware of his own meme history, has no connection to Deadpool 2’s Juggernaut, a digital creation who goes uncredited in the full cast list.
“It feels like a little bit of a reboot to us with Juggernaut as opposed to incorporating the Juggernauts from the past,” Reese tells Polygon. “He’s a man of few words and a temper and he expresses himself through kind of murderous physicality ... We thought we could take full advantage of CGI to make him the powerful force of nature that he really deserved to be and wasn’t in earlier movies.”
Juggernaut may be a man of few words, but in Deadpool 2, it’s still a vocal performance that gives the all-digital being life (including a throwaway line alluding to his lineage as Charles Xavier’s stepbrother). But who actually provides his voice? As you’ve probably guessed, it’s Mr. Ryan Reynolds, down-pitched and growling.
Everyone involved with Deadpool 2 jumped at the chance to revive Juggernaut for this new era of X-Men, and having Reynolds play the bruiser only makes his relationship with Deadpool all the weirder. When we first see him break out of a derailed, steel containment unit, the Merc with the Mouth loses his cool. It’s a more meta moment than the audience may realize.
“Ryan does that fanboy thing when he meets him, which is probably an imitation of everybody who’s ever come up to Ryan Reynolds in his last 25 years,” Reese says.
There’s even more hope for Juggernaut fans looking for the big bad to get a proper, on-screen due. Reese says there’s a good chance he’ll return in movies to come. “He’s not dead at the end of the movie, so we could certainly bring him back ... We had fun with that and we’d love to see Juggernaut back.”
Why not? His voice will be around the sequels …