There’s a lot that we don’t know about Deadpool 2, but what we do know is exciting. Not only will the film follow through on the original movie’s post-credits promise to bring Cable to the big screen, but it’s bringing Domino along for the ride as well. Zazie Beetz has been cast as Domino, Cable’s actor should be announced soon, and it’s only a matter of time before filming is underway. Of course, there’s still one little question that fans likely have on their minds:
Just how will the movie bring Cable and Deadpool together?
Cable/Deadpool team-ups in the comics are always popular, but they draw on 20+ years of interactions between the characters to build the connection between them. Deadpool 2 won’t have that to work with. The movie will have to introduce Cable and Domino, bring the characters together and more than likely introduce some threat that they can rally against. Fortunately, the comics have a character who’d be perfect to do just that.
Who Is Mr. Tolliver?
If your first memories of Deadpool were of the wisecracking Merc with a Mouth that we all know and love, you probably aren’t familiar with the name “Mr. Tolliver.” Way back in 1991, Cable was still relatively new to comics (having just been introduced the year before) and was in the process of reorganizing the New Mutants team into what would become X-Force. An arms dealer named Mr. Tolliver (or sometimes just “Tolliver”) seemed to have a grudge against Cable, having hired his mercenary squad and purposefully sent them against a group led by Stryfe (who at the time wasn’t known to be Cable’s clone). Intensifying the feud, Tolliver then hired Deadpool to attack Cable and the New Mutants… and also had Deadpool kidnap Domino so she could be replaced by Deadpool’s girlfriend, Copycat.
Tolliver’s plot continued, though Cable learned that Domino had been replaced. The mission to rescue her was successful, but Tolliver’s helicopter was destroyed with him on it. No body was located, though a rubber mask that Tolliver wore was found in the water – yes, it turned out that no one had any idea what Mr. Tolliver actually looked like. He had a good reason to keep his true identity a secret, though: Tolliver was actually Cable’s son Tyler, whom Cable believed was dead (and he should know, as he was pretty sure that he killed him).
After abandoning the Tolliver identity, Tyler remained around for a while in the company of a futuristic android named Zero. He eventually adopted a new persona called Genesis (not the current one, who is a teenage boy) and styled himself as the new heir of Apocalypse. He attempted to turn Wolverine into one of his horsemen, trying to wipe his mind and rebond adamantium to his skeleton (which Magneto had previously removed). When both attempts failed, Wolvie went feral and killed Tyler.
Streamlining Cable’s Origin Story
Adapting Cable for the big screen is a big task. He’s the time-travelling son of Scott Summers and a clone of Jean Grey, raised in the future by an alternate-reality half-sister (who may be more than a half sister, since her mother was Jean Grey… the cloning bit makes it complicated) whose arch nemesis is a clone of himself named Stryfe (who was briefly believed to be the “real” character and Cable the clone). Tolliver is his son Tyler from the future, who may or may not have actually been Stryfe’s son, and who was kidnapped and brainwashed by Stryfe to use as a weapon against Cable and his future clan until Cable shot him.
Needless to say, the producers of Deadpool 2 want to streamline all of this a bit to keep the cool-mutant-warrior-from-the-future vibe without the need for a flowchart to keep track of the clones and alternate realities. This is where using Tolliver as a villain could come in.
Leaving out his parentage and all of the clones, Cable could still be the mutant warrior from the future who’s earned Tolliver’s hate. The identity of his parents and the inclusion of Stryfe could be left for future films, and Tolliver could still be revealed as Tyler for dramatic effect. Enough details could be worked in to the story to set up the Tolliver/Tyler reveal without bogging down the movie with needless Cable backstory.
How Would It Work?
Adapting Mr. Tolliver’s arc for Deadpool 2 could work surprisingly well. As in the comics, Deadpool could be hired by Tolliver to take on Cable, with or without the Domino kidnapping plot. (That plot point might be harder to fit in, since Copycat’s real identity from the comics has already been used as Deadpool’s non-shapeshifting love interest Vanessa from the first Deadpool film). This could all lead to the iconic helicopter showdown with Tolliver, either in the finale or as a midpoint battle leading to a larger fight and the Tyler reveal at the end of the film.
That’s assuming that Tolliver is the Big Bad of the film, as well. His story would still work with him as a secondary villain as well, showing him orchestrate his revenge against Cable while also advancing whatever plan the movie’s main villain has. The Tolliver persona was an arms dealer, after all, and there’s a lot of room for one of those in a movie starring Deadpool and Cable. He could even be set up to make his way into the X-Force movie, using Deadpool 2 to set the stage for his plan and having the main payoff come later.
Regardless of how big of a role he plays, Tolliver’s past connections with Deadpool and Cable would be a great nod to long-time fans while setting up a conflict (and eventual team-up) between the two characters.
Will Tolliver Appear in Deadpool 2?
While Cable and Domino are both “superstar” characters that are pretty well known among comic fans, more “obscure” characters are also promised for the sequel. Similar to how Ajax from the first film wasn’t a major villain, like the kind you’d expect the X-Men or some other group to take on, Tolliver could be an obscure villain that fits into the story and winds up syncing perfectly with the story of Deadpool 2. His inclusion could also show that Cable is capable of making hard decisions, sacrificing a son who seemed beyond saving in order to try and save someone else on the team.
That said, it’s possible that the Tyler/Tolliver story will be one of the things that the writers and producers decide to cut from Cable’s backstory. It will depend on the story that they have in mind and how well the Tolliver angle would fit into it. The writers (as well as star Ryan Reynolds) are almost certainly familiar with Tolliver and his role in Deadpool and Cable’s early adventures, so if there’s good reason for him to appear then he could very well hit the big screen in Deadpool 2.