'Deadpool 2' Screenwriters Discuss Adapting Cable's "Convoluted Origin Story"

Rob Liefeld advised against using Cable in Deadpool. The character's creator thought the time traveler with a bionic arm and a glowing eye was unnecessary for Wade Wilson's origin story. The filmmakers considered Cable for the film, but ultimately he was left out and saved as a tease for the end credits. The character is next up at bat, though, as he plays a prominent role in David Leitch's (John WickDeadpool 2. Cable has a complicated backstory in the comics, which the real heroes of Deadpool, screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, plan on distilling down to its bare essentials.

Below, the screenwriters discuss writing the Cable origin story.

Nathan Summers/Cable is Scott Summers' son and a clone of Jean Grey, resulting from Mr. Sinister — played by Richard E. Grant in Logan – manipulating their family lineage to create a powerful enough mutant to stop Apocalypse. Deadpool and Cable both made their first appearance in New Mutants #98, in which the merc with a mouth tries to kill Cyclops' son. The two later went on to have their comic book series that ran for 50 issues.

While speaking with Collider, Wernick and Reese discussed writing the character and waiting for the right actor:

Wernick: It's intimidating because we have to find his voice, and we don't have an actor yet so we don't know who we're writing for. Most screenwriting happens without cast in place, but sequels it's a little bit different and it's likely that part will get cast, and we'll get to continue writing it and honing it for that actor, which I think is a good thing. There's been so many diverse people that have been brought up as possibilities for Cable, and who have not been brought up but we're considering. And that, much like with Ryan [Reynolds], that decision will greatly impact his cadences, his rhythms. And we'll certainly make him like he is in the comics, and we'll certainly be faithful, but I do think that voice will inform us quite a bit.

Wernick added they both want to capture the spirit of the character, not the "18,000 details" about him you find on Wikipedia:

So with Cable, he's got such a convoluted past, and such a convoluted origin story that I think we're going to try to leave that, not mysterious, but there are a lot of twists and turns, cloning and all this stuff where you go, "Oh my God. How do we get that across in a two-hour movie?" I think we're going to distill him down to his essence. It will be authentic and faithful, but it's not going to include the 18,000 details if you were going to read a Wikipedia page about Cable you'd roll your eyes.

Something Deadpool has going for it is simplicity. The story is not overly crowded or crammed with exposition. The anti-hero has a few simple, clear goals, and his origin is relatively straightforward. Cable's origin story, on the other hand, is not as simple and has a lot of information that sounds challenging to fit into a Deadpool sequel comfortably. Because of all that, it's hard to imagine the character would've had a proper introduction in Deadpool, so it's a good thing they saved him for the sequel, and it sounds like they're on the right track translating him to film.