Josh Brolin Knew His Deadpool Casting Came With Some Baggage

While it has become increasingly common for actors of a certain caliber to portray comic superheroes and villains on the big screen, Josh Brolin has played not one, but two major Marvel characters in the past few years, both of whom were a huge hit with fans. Though Thanos first appeared in "Avengers" in 2012, Brolin debuted as the Mad Titan in "Guardians of the Galaxy" in 2014. The character would go on to become the primary antagonist for both "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame," and has since gone down in history as one of the MCU's greatest villains. "Infinity War" was released in 2018, and less than a month later, "Deadpool 2" hit theaters, which saw Brolin star as Cable opposite Ryan Reynolds.

There was quite a bit of hype surrounding Thanos, so it might seem like that would be higher stress than playing Cable. Stepping into such beloved parts is no doubt an intense experience for anyone, but it was actually his role in the "Deadpool" sequel that stressed Brolin out more — and not just because his body took a beating on set. Fans may have loved Brolin's take on the time-traveling mutant, but the actor had some struggles with playing Cable. 

Under pressure

When asked by ACE Universe (via Comic Book) which role was his biggest challenge and why, Brolin said, "I think 'Deadpool' was a major challenge just because there was such expectation." He then went on to discuss how different the situation was with the MCU, talking about Marvel's well-documented villain problem. Brolin made it clear he meant no disrespect to any of the actors who'd previously played the Big Bads, but remembered the general consensus at the time that the MCU didn't have any decent villains. He's not wrong. Before Thanos, the only really memorable antagonists were Loki (who has since been redeemed) and Killmonger (who was only around for one movie). The bar for MCU villains had been set pretty low.

Brolin continued talking about the difficulties of suiting up as Cable, calling "Deadpool" "an amazing, unexpected, risqué film" and discussing the pressure for the sequel to live up to expectations. It's understandable that Brolin felt apprehensive about "Deadpool 2" being great. The first film was an enormous success and whenever a movie is that well received, there's always a ton of pressure on the follow-up. The actor needn't have worried though, as his Cable was universally beloved by fans.

'A business transaction'

Brolin also discussed his time playing these characters on the "Team Deakins" podcast (via IndieWire). He explained that while his time as Thanos allowed him to stretch certain creative muscles, he felt he had less freedom when working on "Deadpool 2." He said, 

"'Deadpool' was hard. Even though it was funny, it was harder. That was more of a business transaction, it was more, 'We need to make this like this,' which I didn't feel that way with 'Avengers.'" 

Although both roles were Marvel characters, it certainly sounds like two very different experiences.

Since Disney bought Fox, Deadpool's future in films has seemed a bit uncertain, despite the fact that Ryan Reynolds clearly has job security. We'll have to wait to find out how the Mouse House will integrate the Merc with a Mouth into a cinematic universe quite different from his own. As for Brolin, no word yet on whether he'll make another appearance as Cable in the long-gestating "Deadpool 3," but no doubt fans are hoping to see his triumphant return!