SPOILER ALERT: Warning, this article contains references and cameos in Deadpool 2. Proceed at your own risk.
UPDATE: Rhett Reese — the co-writer of Deadpool 2 — has revealed there’s a very famous face, hiding in plain site during the movie. When Cable first travels back in time, he meets a couple of hillbillys, one of whom is played by Alan Tudyk, as described below. But the identity of the other actor remained a mystery. Though he’s listed as Dickie Greenleaf in the credits, which should have been a clue. As the actor in question is Matt Damon, who acted opposite Jude Law’s Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley. With his Tom Ripley eventually stealing the character’s identity.
“He’s not hidden like Waldo for just an instant; he gets some good screen time” Reese told Yahoo. “We’ve sneaked him past everybody. Literally thousands of people have seen the movie so far, and no one’s noticed.”
Director David Leitch added “Bill Corse, our make-up artist, had three hours with him to put him in deep prosthetics and give him that beer belly. We didn’t tell any of the crew. There were a few people who sniffed it out. But you work on enough movies, you got to keep these things tight.”
Comic Book Stuff
In the opening sequence, Deadpool plays with a musical toy that commemorates Wolverine‘s death at the end of Logan, complete with figurine impaled by a branch. Wade states that for his film to compete, he’ll have to die too.
The character that Julian Dennison plays — who kind of turns into the film’s antagonist — is Russell “Rusty” Collins AKA Firefist. Created by Bob Layton and Jackson Guice, the mutant first appeared in X-Factor #1 in 1986. Rusty can “pyromorph,” which means he can generate and project flames from his fists.
Zazie Beetz — of Atlanta fame — plays mutant Domino in the movie, who can control probability. Which basically means she’s very lucky. The character first appeared in X-Force #8 in 1992, so it’s fitting that she helps form the X-Force with a few of the below characters here. In the comics, she sports a black tattoo on her white skin. In the movie, she has the reverse discoloration, which appears to be the result of vitiligo.
Shioli Kutsuna plays Yukio, Negasonic Teenage Warhead‘s girlfriend. She doesn’t seem to be the same Yukio who was played by Rila Fukushima in The Wolverine. Instead, the Japanese mutant is a lot more like Surge, who first appeared in New Mutants #8 in 2004, and can also generate and manipulate electricity.
Weasel points out that Cable‘s height in the comics is different to his height in Deadpool 2. Cable is nearly 7-feet in the comics; actor Josh Brolin is 5’10” in real life.
Juggernaut makes his second celluloid appearance in Deadpool 2. He first popped up in X-Men: The Last Stand, played by footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones. Here the super-strong and virtually unstoppable mutant is a fully CG character. Firefist also asks why Juggernaut wears a helmet. He answers so that his brother can’t read his mind, a reference to Professor Xavier. But more on him later…
Lewis Tan plays Shatterstar in the movie, a superhero who first appeared in New Mutants #99 in 1991. On the page, Shatterstar can create shockwaves and teleport using his twin swords. In the movie, he mentions he’s from Mojoworld, an alien planet in the comics where they are obsessed with television.
Terry Crews briefly appears as Bedlam, a comic book character who first appeared in Factor X #1 in 1995. He can disrupt electrical fields, including bio-electricity, effectively scrambling brain functions.
Pennywise himself — Bill Skarsgard — pops ups as Zeitgeist, who debuted in X-Force #16. His ability to spit acidic breath means he has to wear a mouthguard.
That would be none-other-than Brad Pitt making a cameo as Vanisher. He’s initially invisible in the movie, so no gorgeous Brad Pitt face. But when he dies horribly via electrocution, Brad’s beauty briefly fills the screen. Fun fact: Pitt very nearly played Cable in Deadpool 2, but scheduling issues meant he was reduced to this cameo.
Towards the end of the movie, Cable reveals that his daughter is called Hope. That means she’s Hope Summers, the daughter he adopted in the comics, aka the Mutant Messiah. Hope first appeared in X-Men #205 in 2007, and was the first mutant born after Scarlet Witch turned pretty much every other mutant into a regular human.
Black Tom Cassidy
In the Ice Box — a prison that’s also taken directly from the comics — Deadpool faces off with the very white mutant “Black Tom Cassidy,” whom he calls out for “cultural appropriation.” Black Tom Cassidy first appeared in X-Men #99 in 1976. He’s a longtime collaborator of Juggernaut’s, who is also imprisoned.
Early in proceedings, Wade Wilson tells Vanessa that he was doing battle with a caped vigilante until he found out his mum was called Martha too. This is a reference to the mad moment that Batman and Superman stop fighting in Dawn of Justice. They also crib an iconic line from the start of Tim Burton’s Batman, when Cable asks “Who are you?” to which Deadpool responds “I’m Batman.”
The recent DC movies are a little heavy, and Deadpool calls this out, saying to Cable, “You’re so dark, are you sure you’re not from the DC Universe?”
Irene Merryweather is a TV reporter in the movie. In the comics, she’s a reporter-turned-ally of Cable, who also goes by the name Chronicler.
In Deadpool 2, bad stuff is happening at the Essex House for Mutant Rehabilitation. Which is very probably a sly reference to Nathanial Essex, the supervillain better known as Mister Sinister. Who first appeared in Uncanny X-Men and became a longtime nemesis for the X-heroes. Sinister is particularly interested in the Summers bloodline.
Marvel legend Stan Lee cameos, but not in physical form. Rather he appears in a mural on a wall soon after the X-Force sequence.
There’s an Alpha Flight airlines advert on the top of Dopinder‘s taxi. In the comics, Alpha Flight is a Canadian superhero team who premiered in Uncanny X-Men #120 in 1979. Ryan Reynolds is Canadian, and there are numerous jokes about his native country in the film.
Deadpool visits the X-Mansion, rides around in Professor X’s wheelchair, and claims that Cerebro smells like X-Men actor Patrick Stewart. Then — in an all-star cameo — he briefly spies the likes of the Professor (here played by James McAvoy), Cyclops and Quicksilver before Beast shuts the door on him, continuing a joke from the first film that they are all avoiding him.
Cable has a bionic arm that’s a bit like Winter Soldier‘s. Deadpool can’t resist making reference to that fact, asking, “What did I do to piss off a grumpy old f–ker with a Winter Soldier arm?”
Deadpool calls Domino “Black Black Widow” which is a reference to… well, we reckon you know that one.
Deadpool calls Dopinder “Brown Panther,” A reference to… you know that one as well.
Deadpool disses the least exciting movie Avenger by saying, “Give me a bow and arrow, I’m basically Hawkeye.”
Legend has it that Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld won’t draw feet. Either because he doesn’t like to or can’t. Either way, it gets referenced in the movie, with Deadpool telling Domino she looks like she’s been created by “a guy who can’t draw feet.”
Deadpool orders Cable to “Zip it, Thanos!” Cable and Thanos are played by the same actor, Josh Brolin.
An armoured convoy drives down Gerry Duggan Parkway in the movie. Gerry Duggan has recently been writing a run of Deadpool comics, and even inserted himself as a character in Despicable Deadpool #300.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
A scene in which Deadpool tries — and fails — to slice bullets with his katanas mocks a similar scene in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. While the post-credit sting features Wade inserting himself into the movie, and killing that much-maligned version of his character.
The same post-credit sting ends with Wade visiting Ryan Reynolds when he’s holding the Green Lantern script, and killing him before he gets a chance to make the also much-maligned movie.
The movie opens with a title sequence that mimics those that kick off the Bond movies. As they are normally underscored by a big ballad by a big-name singer with a big voice, Deadpool 2 features a song by Celine Dion.
The film is directed by David Leitch, who co-directed John Wick. The credits therefore feature the line “Directed by one of the guys who killed the dog in John Wick.”
Interview with the Vampire
The Tom Cruise/Brad Pitt horror movie Interview with the Vampire is referenced regularly throughout Deadpool 2. Star Kirsten Dunst gets mentioned, and jokingly called Kristen. While Dopinder quotes her character (“I want some more”) and the shot of Hope and her mother’s charred bodies is exactly the same way Dunst’s character died in Interview.
Bambi, The Lion King, Saw 7
Wade Wilson says Deadpool 2 is a family film in that it kicks off with death, like these three very different films.
The Passion of the Christ
Wade name-checks Passion of the Christ as the biggest R-rated movie at the U.S. box office, but adds that Deadpool‘s international success makes it the biggest R-rated movie worldwide.
The star of Firefly and Rogue One cameos as a hillbilly that Cable encounters when he first travels back in time, discussing the merits of toilet paper versus wet wipes with his hillbilly pal. Which seems like it might be a nod to brilliant Tudyk flick Tucker and Dale vs Evil.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Wade dubs Negasonic Teenage Warhead “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” after the popular comic book/TV character.
Wade Wilson is likely to be an Adventure Time fan, as he wears an Adventure Time watch in Deadpool 2.
Deadpool shouts “Hands off the kid, John Connor,” which is a reference to the Terminator films, and also a way of acknowledging similarities between their storylines, which involve traveling back in time to stop something terrible happening in the future. Also, Cable looks a bit like a cross between Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator and Jason Clarke’s John Connor.
Colossus warns Russell to “Come quietly or there will be trouble,” before promptly getting called out for stealing the line from RoboCop.
Wade and Vanessa watch Barbra Streisand’s Yentl after making love, when Wade notices that “Papa Can You Hear Me?” sounds a lot like “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” from Frozen. The Disney lyrics also end up being Deadpool’s dying words. Fun fact: Streisand is Josh Brolin’s stepmother.
Deadpool references Harry Potter by asking if there will be a “Sorting Hat” to put him in the right gang.
The Time Traveller’s Wife
Deadpool calls Cable “The Time Traveller’s Wife’s Husband,” a reference to 2003 novel The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Which was turned into a 2009 movie that starred Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams.
Deadpool’s swords are named “Bea” and “Arthur,” a reference to the star of The Golden Girls and Star Wars Holiday Special. Wade Wilson is clearly a big fan, as he wore a Bea Arthur t-shirt in the first flick.
Wade Wilson talks about hitting rock bottom in his movie, and comparing it to when the sledge breaks in Jamaican bobsleigh comedy Cool Runnings.
The Human Centipede
Deadpool then claims that the actors in The Human Centipede hit their low-point when they signed up to appear in the movie. Harsh, but fair.
When Deadpool returns to the X-Mansion, and holds up a tiny boombox playing “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel to coax Colossus down. In Say Anything, John Cusack’s character holds up a slightly larger boombox playing the same song to show ex-girlfriend — played by Ione Sky — that he still cares.
Star Wars/The Empire Strikes Back
Early in proceedings, when discussing kids, Wade says that all sons are destined to turn out like their fathers, as in Star Wars. Then adds they will also accidentally have sex with their sisters, mis-remembering Star Wars. Later, when Vanessa tells Deadpool she loves him, DP responds with ,”I know.” And we all know what scene that comes from.
Wade Wilson says The Proposition features “a wonderful Guy Pearce performance.” The Proposition is a Guy Pearce western from 2005.
Deadpool uses the phrase “Mario Nopez,” a reference to the former Saved by the Bell star turned entertainment host, whom Deadpool fought while promoting his first standalone movie.
Wade Wilson’s love for George Michael is referenced when he uses the “Careless Whisper” lyrics while lamenting his lost love to Weasel. Wilson reveals that he’s sad that Michael is dead, but happy we still have David Bowie. Weasel quickly changes the subject.
The Karate Kid
Deadpool shouts “Sweep the leg, Johnny,” a truly villainous line taken from the final fight in the original Karate Kid.
After Wade Wilson’s death, he starts to cross to the other side to meet Vanessa, as an acoustic version of A-ha‘s “Take on Me” plays. And the scene looks just like the video for that song, wherein a human girl crosses over into the comic book world.
Deadpool 2 is out now in most territories, while it hits U.S. screens this Friday (May 18).