Even as recently as 2015, the idea that Deadpool 2 would be one of the most hotly-anticipated in the mighty raft of upcoming superhero movies was unlikely to say the least.
But here we are. After the phenomenal success of the Ryan Reynolds-starring Fox film, which became the most successful instalment in the X-Men franchise on a modest $58 million budget, the world is ready for more R-rated, hyperactive action comedy, Marvel-style.
Here's your one-stop shop on all the Deadpool sequel's news, castings, spoilers, rumours and more.
Deadpool 2 release date: Fast tracked
Especially considering that the first film was in the works for over a decade, its follow-up is moving very quickly, which we're hoping won't effect the movie's quality. With writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick coming back (with some help from Cloverfield, Daredevil and The Martian's Drew Goddard), we should be in good hands.
And we've already had a teaser squeezed in ahead of Fox's newest X-Men spin-off, Logan.
Not all the core creative team will make it back for round two. Although director Tim Miller was unofficially on board when the Deadpool sequel was announced, he has departed after differing with Reynolds on the direction of the film. This may or may not have had something to do with the tone and the casting of Cable (more on him later), and may or may not have been 'amicable' depending on who you ask.
John Wick co-director David Leitch has stepped up to work on Deadpool 2 instead.
Dropped by the X-Mansion. Big fucking surprise. No one's home. pic.twitter.com/svbUMEdKbb- Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) June 17, 2017
It's now got a working title too – 'Love Machine' which is presumably a reference to semi-mecha Cable.
And beyond Deadpool 2, Wade Wilson will be showing up in the team movie, X-Force.
Deadpool 2 cast: New mutants for old
We're still in the early days of Deadpool 2 announcements. Ryan Reynolds is confirmed to be returning as Deadpool/Wade Wilson – the first movie was very much his baby, and it's inconceivable that Fox would move ahead without him.
Morena Baccarin has teased her possible return as Wade's partner Vanessa Carlysle, and TJ Miller has said that he 'believes' that he'll be back as sidekick Weasel, but wasn't ready to give us official confirmation.
Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and taxi driver Dopinder (Karan Soni) are all in line to return, as is Deadpool's flatmate Blind Al (Leslie Uggams). Hildebrand teased that her character has "grown and matured" but still has the "essence of a punk kid".
Deadpool's after-credits scene revealed that the filmmakers fully intended to introduce Cable into the sequel, jokingly throwing around names like Mel Gibson, Dolph Lundgren and Keira Knightley ("she's got range – who knows?"). We were totally on board with that last rumour in particular.
Subsequently, Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights, Carol) was linked with the role of the time-travelling mutant commando, and Pierce Brosnan was rumoured too, along with Stranger Things' David Harbour (aka Chief Jim Hopper) and Michael Shannon. Brad Pitt seriously considered the role, but his schedule wouldn't allow it, and it was even on Russell Crowe's radar.
Domino – another mercenary mutant type with a long association with both Deadpool and Cable – will also make her on-screen debut in the movie. Rumoured stars for that role have included everyone from The Martian's Mackenzie Davis and Scandal star Kerry Washington to Janelle Monáe – but Atlanta and Easy star Zazie Beetz was eventually announced for the part.
The Strain's Jack Kesy has joined as the movie's villain – rumoured to be the mutant Black Tom Cassidy, cousin of the X-Men member Banshee.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople's Julian Dennison also seems to be on board in a mystery role.
But Reese and Wernick have assured us that this doesn't mean Deadpool 2 is secretly turning into an ensemble film. Wade is still a solo hero for now.
Deadpool 2 plot: Cable and Deadpool
We're pretty much all at sea here so far. Cable often plays the straight man to Deadpool's antics, and his storylines often circle around serious, world-ending and time-hopping events. Basically, there'll probably be something important and dire going on as a counterpoint to Deadpool's mischief and off-colour jokes.
If Vanessa is back, maybe we'll start to explore her comicbook background as the mutant Copycat, too.
And we're not quite sure how they'll marry the very different tones of Deadpool and the main X-Men films, but Fox might start thinking about a cameo or two to start transferring some of that fresh Wade Wilson magic to its older series. We'd certainly be thinking about it if we were in their shoes.
We do know something about the tone, and in true Deadpool-style, it will be poking fun at the tendency for sequels.
"I think Deadpool 2 will comment on anything that's happening in movies today especially in superhero movies," producer Simon Kinberg told Slash Film. "The sort of glut or saturation of these movies and the proliferation of sequels is definitely something we'll play around with."
This probably won't herald a change in Fox's overall attitude to sequels, but you never know.
Reports of some kind of Wolverine cameo/crossover are apparently just speculation for the time being.
Deadpool budget: Bigger isn't always better
Thanks to its huge success, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Deadpool 2 will take the chance to go big the second time around. Tim Miller had promised a reassuringly level-headed approach to his sequel, refusing to jump on the glossy, big-budget blockbuster bandwagon (although how his departure may affect things, we can't be sure).
"I don't think bigger is better," he told ComicBook.com. "You tell a story that's organic to the character. Deadpool's world doesn't mean you have to go bigger. I don't think the fans of the movie like it because we had big effects."
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