Fox first began to work on an X-Force movie back in 2013, based on the stories of a militant offshoot of the X-Men, which debuted in 1991. Leaked concept art showed that Fox originally considered a team pulled straight from the original comics. Plans changed six years later, when Deadpool was an unprecedented success. The studio swiftly bought into the idea of an R-rated corner of their superhero universe, with X-Force as the x-pected progression from Deadpool.
This year’s Deadpool 2 will be a standalone film in its own right, and will also be essential setup for the X-Force movie. But which mutants are likely to be in the team? Let’s take a look at the most probable candidates.
It’s a safe bet that the Merc With A Mouth will be a part of X-Force. In March 2017, Simon Kinberg told Deadline that he’d be working alongside “other main characters,” suggesting potential for amusing character dynamics between the loudmouth mercenary and the rest of the team.
Deadpool certainly deserves a major role. Over in the comics he was actually introduced as a supervillain who caused X-Force a lot of trouble. As the years passed, Deadpool gradually became something of a morally-ambiguous ‘shades of gray’ character. Amusingly, he even had a strange, twisted romance subplot with X-Force’s Siryn.
More recently, in 2009, Marvel relaunched the X-Force team as a mutant black ops group. Deadpool was naturally a member, albeit one who caused field leader Wolverine no end of headaches. This series of Uncanny X-Force was critically acclaimed and popular with the fans; it’s likely Fox will look to this series for the film’s inspiration.
Josh Brolin is one lucky actor. He doesn’t just get to play one Marvel super-character; he’s playing two. This year will see Brolin tear the Marvel Cinematic Universe apart as Thanos, and he’ll then return as the time-traveler Cable. A character with one of Marvel’s most confusing backstories, Cable is the son of Cyclops and a clone of Jean Grey. He was brought up in a dystopian future timeline, and returned to the past in order to avert this timeline. Deadpool 2 is sure to avoid exploring Cable’s crazy backstory in too much detail, though fans can expect Deadpool to crack jokes at Cable’s expense.
As with Deadpool, Cable was a certainty for X-Force. In the comics, he was the team’s founder, and turned the New Mutants into a brutal group willing to take action against threats to mutantkind. Cable has often clashed with the X-Men, as his military style doesn’t match up to Xavier’s high standards. Appropriately enough, he and Deadpool have frequently been best frenemies; in fact, Fabian Nicieza launched a long-running Cable and Deadpool series that was dearly loved by fans.
Another key member of X-Force in the comics, Domino is a mutant mercenary who has the power to adjust people’s luck. She’s a tremendously skilled warrior, and has been a love interest for both Cable and Deadpool. Domino will be introduced in Deadpool 2, but she’s been significantly adapted for the big screen. Zazie Beetz has been cast as the probability-altering warrior.
Deadpool introduced fans to Stefan Kapicic’s Colossus – the first comic-book-accurate version of the X-Man to hit the big screen. This towering titan was no fan of Deadpool’s take-no-prisoners approach, and the script leaned into the comic aspects of their differences.
Colossus is confirmed to return in Deadpool 2, although the dynamic will be slightly different this time. The first film saw Colossus act as the straight man to Deadpool’s jester, but that role will likely be taken up by Cable. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how Fox continues Colossus’s role in these R-rated spinoffs.
It may surprise fans to hear that the noble giant has actually been a member of an X-Force team. The sad truth is that Colossus has lost his way many times, and actually joined up with a black ops crew on one occasion. To fans’ surprise, he even became Domino’s lover.
Another long-running X-Force member is Warpath. James Proudstar originally joined the villains known as the Hellions, seeking revenge on the X-Men for the death of his brother Thunderbird. He ultimately became one of X-Force’s staple members, a powerful warrior with tremendous tracking skills and strong combat instincts.
As The Gifted has proven, this kind of power set can be a tremendous advantage in combat. Warpath is more than just another bruiser; his skills, combat training, and spiritual background all make him a unique and distinctive character. What’s more, he’s been a member of many different incarnations of X-Force – including Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force, which seems to be informing this film.
Olivia Munn’s Psylocke is perfectly suited to the X-Force movie. She’s a sleek and effective assassin, and Munn clearly had a blast playing the character. What’s more, Cable could easily scoop this telekinetic assassin out of the past.
Munn is a fan-favorite, and fans were disappointed with her small role in X-Men: Apocalypse. There’s some evidence she’ll be returning to the tentpole X-Men films in this year’s Dark Phoenix, but really she’s more suited to the dark and violent R-rated corner of this franchise. In the comics, Psylocke even acted as team leader for two incarnations of X-Force.
Dafne Keen wowed fans with her portrayal of X-23 in Logan, and Fox is keen to see her reprise the role. X-Force would be the perfect movie to bring the character back into play; after all, she could easily be recruited by the time-traveling Cable.
Fox has toyed with the idea of a solo X-23 movie, but this sadly looks unlikely; it doesn’t seem to be too far into development just yet, and the clock is ticking. There are strong rumors Disney isn’t interested in pursuing that property should regulators approve their purchase of the bulk of 21st Century Fox. Hopefully X-Force will give Keen another chance to shine.
Daughter of the X-Men’s Banshee, Siryn possesses her father’s distinctive sonic scream. That power was relatively under-developed in the film X-Men: First Class, and adding Siryn to X-Force would give Fox a chance to revisit the ability. Siryn is a fascinating character, and has struggled with alcoholism. She was raised by the X-Men villain Black Tom Cassidy, giving her a dangerous edge.
Siryn has historically been far more creative in the use of her powers than her father. She can deflect projectiles with waves of sound, can project a so-called “sonic lance,” and can actually use sound waves to hypnotize others into telling her things they’d prefer to keep secret. That would be an ideal powerset for a black ops operative.
As with Warpath, Siryn has been a key member of several incarnations of X-Force. She also has strong ties to Deadpool; he became obsessed with Siryn, and that was actually a major step in Deadpool’s transformative arc from villain to antihero.
These are only some of the potential X-Force members. While the Deadpool films have introduced a few of them, it’s important that X-Force feel like a new, distinctive movie rather than just a continuation of Deadpool’s story. That means the film really needs to introduce some more new characters, or lift X-23 from Logan. Fortunately, in the comics X-Force has always had a fantastic line-up, so the production team certainly is short on inspiration.