Deadpool 2 director David Leitch explains why Fox and Marvel were okay with Josh Brolin playing both Thanos and Cable. And when it was originally announced back in 2014 that Brolin would be playing the Mad Titan Thanos, the actor hadn’t just landed the role of another comic book movie villain, but the villain that Marvel Studios was planning to center its entire cinematic universe around. As such, many fans assumed that Brolin’s chances of playing any other iconic comic book movie villains or heroes — anytime soon at least — were completely off the table, as he was set to play Thanos until at least 2019 when The Avengers 4 is released.
That was until 20th Century Fox announced that Brolin was cast as Cable in next year’s Deadpool 2, another iconic comic book character, who would be playing a large role in the highly-anticipated Deadpool sequel. This led many fans to wonder just what had made Marvel and Fox agree to let the actor play roles in two of their biggest comic book movie titles, around relatively the same time.
While recently speaking with CinemaBlend about the film, Deadpool 2‘s director opened up about how perfect Brolin is for the role of Cable, and why he thinks the two studios agreed to let the actor have such a prominent role in both of their universes:
“I think everybody in sort of the Marvel and Fox world considered it, and they take their time and make measured moves. But I think everyone thought it was prudent and was okay in terms of the way Thanos is portrayed and Cable is portrayed. They’re very different in styles, and in terms of the way they are presented in the movies, obviously. We couldn’t have cast a better Cable. We were filming last night and both of them were on set, and the chemistry is amazing. It’s such a fun movie to be on. I’m really grateful.”
Brolin isn’t, by any means, the first actor to play notable roles in two different comic book movie universes, with Willem Dafoe, J.K. Simmons, Ryan Reynolds, Chris Evans, and more having all crossed over throughout their careers. However, none of those actors have played roles quite as sizable as Brolin as Thanos and Cable, which is what drew more attention and discussion to this casting announcement than usual. Although, Leitch’s comments here similarly reflect Kevin Feige’s remarks about Brolin playing both roles, which basically come down to just how different the two characters are.
That’s not just in relation to the stark differences between Thanos and Cable’s personalities either, but how the two characters will also be brought to life visually. While Cable will be played with Brolin in costume with heavy facial prosthetics covering half of his face, Brolin’s performances as Thanos will be translated to the big screen entirely through motion capture technologies. So it wouldn’t necessarily be surprising if casual moviegoers don’t even notice both of the characters are played by the same actor. And based on how receptive fans have been to Brolin playing both roles, it looks as though this just means the two characters will be brought to life by the actor most capable of doing them justice. After all, that’s all that really matters.