Deadpool is currently in theaters and Deadpool 2 is currently being written. We’re hoping the sequel gets the title Cable & Deadpool after the long-running Marvel Comics team-up series since the only thing we know about the movie is that Cable will be in it. And it’s been a long time coming.
The time-travelling mutant soldier from the future and the son of X-Men leader Cyclops has the powers of Telepathy, Telekinesis, and Technopathy. But he suffers from the techno-organic virus which gives him his unique look, namely the big metal arm. He’s known for sporting over-sized weapons from the future to go along with his armor and tech, which often includes his ability to teleport or “bodyslide,” tech at at one time he passed onto Deadpool.
Like Deadpool, Cable is a creation of Rob Liefeld from the early ’90s and may have a major role to play for years to come in the X-Men movie universe, so casting him will be an important task for Twentieth Century Fox and its Deadpool/X-Men producers (which includes star Ryan Reynolds). Whoever is chosen must be someone who can command the screen, even without dialogue, and someone who can handle action and the physicality of Cable. Most importantly, it needs to be someone who can hold their own playing off of the “Merc with a Mouth.”
So without further ado, we’ve compiled a list of who should play Cable in Deadpool 2 from notable fan-favorite TV and film actors, a few Oscar-caliber talents, and even a few weird picks just for fun. The ordering does not represent the order we think they should be cast, however.
25. Joe Manganiello
Birth Date: December 28, 1976 (age 39)
Known For: True Blood, Magic Mike
Joe Manganiello has the size, the voice, and the presence to go with being a super likable character actor. From his role as brooding but kind and romantic werewolf in True Blood to a scene-stealing supporting actor in the Magic Mike films, it’s time Manganiello gets the big screen spotlight attention he deserves. For years, he’s been making appearances on fan casting lists and media-suggested contenders for major superhero parts, and we think he might be a perfect fit to play opposite Ryan Reynolds not just for Deadpool 2, but for years to come.
24. Eric Dane
Birth Date: November 9, 1972 (age 43)
Known For: Grey’s Anatomy, The Last Ship
One of the most common names we see on Cable fan-casting lists is Eric Dane, best known for his TV roles as Dr. Mark Sloan in Grey’s Anatomy and CO CDR Tom Chandler in The Last Ship. Dane rocks the silver hair very well and has the face of Cable to go along with an impressive physique. He’s an underrated star with a proven talent who’s ripe for a splash into the Hollywood spotlight with a role like this.
And interestintly enough, he’s no stranger to the X-Men movies either, having played Jamie Madrox a.k.a. Multiple Man in X-Men: The Last Stand. But who cares about that after the timeline was areased. After all, Ryan Reynolds is playing an entirely different Wade Wilson
23. Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Birth Date: April 22, 1966 (age 49)
Known For: Supernatural, Watchmen, Grey’s Anatomy, Magic City
Jeffrey Dean Morgan is no stranger to comic book movies. He played The Comedian in Watchmen, Clay in The Losers, a cameo in Jonah Hex, and of course, he’s playing Thomas Wayne in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Negan on The Walking Dead. We’d like to add X-Men’s Cable to that impressive resume.
Morgan played a serious, demon-battling father figure to the Winchesters in Supernatural and it’s that sort of grit, survivalist hunter mentality we’d love to see in a series take on Marvel’s time-travelling soldier from a dystopian future. And really, when he was suited up as Comedian, he already looked like Cable.
22. Henry Rollins
Birth Date: February 13, 1961 (age 55)
Known For: Sons of Anarchy, The Legend of Korra
Part of the appeal of Henry Rollins is his multitude of talents beyond acting. He hosts a radio show, is a longtime musician, does motivational speaking, and is a political activist. He’s a strong voice in the real world which makes him a great addition to the meta-style humor and marketing of Deadpool, since he can be just as vocal, if not, more than Ryan Reynolds.
21. Jon Hamm
Birth Date: March 10, 1971 (age 44)
Known For: Mad Men, Million Dollar Arm, Sucker Punch, The Town
If you’re not familiar with Jon Hamm’s work, you’ve been living under bus. He lead AMC’s Mad Men for nearly 8 years while also stealing comedic and dramatic scenes in a multitude of notable films from Sucker Punch and Bridesmaids to The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Town. Thrown in countless cameos in other movies and television series, and several stints hosting Saturday Night Live, and it’s easy to see a superhero future for the actor who many fans championed for the roles of Superman and Lex Luthor for years.
Why Hamm was a must-include for this list though is the simple fact that Cable creator Rob Liefeld namedropped him as his personal current favorite selection for the role.
Yes! Jon Hamm, Dream Future Cable pick, wins for Mad Men! pic.twitter.com/WDXqlTNkId— robertliefeld (@robertliefeld) January 11, 2016
20. Stephen Lang
Birth Date: July 11, 1952 (age 63)
Known For: The Speed of Darkness, Gods and Generals, Tombstone, Avatar, Public Enemies
While Jon Hamm may be Liefeld’s current “dream” pick, if we go back a few years it was Stephen Lang who Liefeld loved for the role. Back then, Lang was in his late 50s and was coming off playing a Cable-like character in James Cameron’s Avatar only to play another Cable-like character in Terra Nova. He had the guns, the guns (his arms), and the hair, the look, and the acting chops that seemed like he already was a live-action adaptation of Nathan Summers.
For these reasons, despite his age as one of the older members on this list, we absolutely must include Stephen Lang who continues to keep in shape. Lang, who got his start on Broadway, is a wonderfully talented character actor and could easily play a veteran Cable alongside Ryan Reynolds.
Dear 20th Century Fox, Please sign Steven Lang as Cable and put him in your next X-men film. Thanks, Rob— robertliefeld (@robertliefeld) December 21, 2009
19. Liam Neeson
Birth Date: June 7, 1952 (age 63)
Known For: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Batman Begins, Schindler’s List, Rob Roy
Liam Neeson seems to only be doing more action movies as he ages, and is embracing his appeal as an action star and surprisingly, a funnyman too. You couldn’t tell he’s in his sixties from watching his work in the Taken series – which Ryan Reynolds makes fun of in Deadpool – along with Non-Stop, Run All Night, and A Walk Among the Tombstones. On top of that, Neeson has been earning big laughs for his cameos and roles in The LEGO Movie, Ted 2, A Million Ways to Die in the West, and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
It goes without saying that Neeson has his own fandom and respect amongst the geek crowd for his roles in Batman Begins and Star Wars franchise, and we think he has the right attitude, experience and look to play an awesome Cable in the X-Men universe.
18. Sean Bean
Birth Date: April 17, 1959 (age 56)
Known For: Goldeneye, The Fellowship of the Ring, Game of Thrones, Patriot Games, Troy
Cable is a character we expect will be around for many years and many X-Men movies, so that’s an especially good thing for fans of Sean Bean knowing most of his parts involving him dying on screen. Sean Bean is simply one of the best, fan-fave characters who can play good or bad, emotional or light, and he’s got the look to go with the experience and onscreen gravitas.
The British has experience in sci-fi, genre, and geek culture, and would be a wonderful opposite for Ryan Reynolds’ Wade Wilson. We really hope this is a consideration for the studio as it seems an obvious, likable pick-up for any comic book movie universe.
17. Mel Gibson
Birth Date: January 3, 1956 (age 60),
Known For: Mad Max, Lethal Weapon, Braveheart, The Patriot, Signs
Robert Downey Jr. has been trying to make a case for Mel Gibson and jokingly (or is he?) says he’d do Iron Man 4 if the Lethal Weapon star could direct or star in it. Gibson’s multiple Oscars and unquestionable talent in front and behind the cameras is only overshadowed by the multitude of controversies he’s been subject to in the latest years of his career, but wow, can he command the screen.
Sylvester Stallone gave Gibson the lead villain role in The Expendables 3 which saw the aging actor bulk up to Cable-like size and become the only good part of the film. While we’d love to see the old actor get another chance on Hollywood, especially in the day and age when superhero films dominate the media and box office, but his ego and history may get in the way of what Fox, star and producer Ryan Reynolds, and director Tim Miller want to do with the followup. After all, while Miller and his special effects production house Blur Studios has been in the industry for many years, Deadpool is his directorial debut and he openly jests about not really knowing what he’s doing.
16. Kurt Russell
Birth Date: March 17, 1951 (age 64)
Known For: Escape from New York, The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, Tombstone, Stargate, Miracle, The Hateful Eight
Kurt Russell is making a big comeback, not that he needed to. The veteran action hero, one of the oldest picks on our list, landed himself a multi-movie role in the super successful Fast & Furious franchise which rightly threw him back in the spotlight, further solidified by a lead role in Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. Now the star has enlisted with Marvel Studios for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 which may squash any chance of him joining another comic book movie cinematic universe.
15. Bruce Campbell
Birth Date: June 22, 1958 (age 57)
Known For: Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, Burn Notice, Ash vs Evil Dead
Returning to the character of Ash after a few decades, Bruce Campbell has deservedly become one of the best things on TV thanks to Starz network’s amazing hit show Ash vs Evil Dead. Come to think of it, he’s very similar to Deadpool on the smallscreen. Campbell is willing to do anything for the cameras and is just as witty and charming as Ryan Reynolds himself. And he’s familiar with having weaponized limbs much like modern Cable in Marvel Comics…
Campbell got back in shape to play TV’s Ash but he’ll have to take that a few steps further to play the muscular Cable on the big screen and we’d love to see that happen. The only question is whether he can convincingly drop that winning smile and play serious in a way to differentiate the character from Ash in every way possible.
14. Ray Stevenson
Birth Date: May 25, 1964 (age 51)
Known For: King Arthur, Outpost, Rome, Punisher: War Zone
Stevenson is not only a talented veteran actor and a commanding presence on screen, playing villains and heroes throughout his career, but he’s an experienced superhero actor for Marvel-specific roles. He proved his action and heavy weapon proficiency when playing Frank Castle in Punisher: War Zone and currently swings an axe as Volstagg in Marvel’s Thor movies.
But we also love him for Rome and other genre films like Outpost and King Arthur. Stevenson is the tallest actor on this list, and has the right look to play a beefy Cable opposite Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool, but he can also deliver the emotional punch needed to care about his mission from the future.
13. Karl Urban
Birth Date: June 7, 1972 (age 43)
Known For: Xena: Warrior Princess, The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Dredd, Almost Human
Karl Urban is crushing it with his almost too-perfect performance as Dr. McCoy in the modern Star Trek movies, but we love him for everything he does, as a fan-fave minor character in Lord of the Rings to his dedicated take on Judge Dredd in the underrated Dredd remake. Even in the shows and movies which aren’t the best, he’s never fails to standout (Almost Human, Pathfinder, Priest).
12. Gerard Butler
Birth Date: November 13, 1969 (age 46)
Known For: 300, RocknRolla, Machine Gun Preacher, Olympus Has Fallen
This one speaks for itself, and perhaps Butler is a little typecast as the loud and brave soldier type, after his role in 300 which seems mimicked in the upcoming Gods of Egypt, but we see more for Butler. Picture him using that physicality and presence with a giant future gun, but in full control of his – and potentially everyone else’s – destiny unlike his role in Gamer. Butler can play a convincing Cable when it comes to the look, the arm size, and the action, and playing serious and funny with Deadpool.
11. Christopher Meloni
Birth Date: April 2, 1961 (age 54)
Known For: Oz, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Man of Steel, Call of Duty: Black Ops III
Christopher Meloni is a powerful character act, the type who can play funny and extremely intense, all while dominating the screen. And he’s in great physical shape. Comic book movie fans will know Meloni from his role as Colonel Nathan Hardy in Man of Steel, but we envision him doing something far greater if given the chance.
Like many of the talented actors on this list, Christopher Meloni is someone who can carry scenes better than most, and can deliver the type of urgency and precision Cable requires, especially in sharing the screen with Ryan Reynolds.
10. Josh Brolin
Birth Date: February 12, 1968 (age 48)
Known For: True Grit, W., Gangster Squad, Oldboy, Men in Black 3, Sicario
Brolin played Jonah Hex, almost played Batman, and is playing big bad Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since he’s barely recognizable as the CGI alien from his limited appearances in the post-credits buttons of the Avengers movies and his few scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy, he could easily play a version of himself for the X-Men universe. The man can command the screen, play a soldier, and can nail the physicality. Seeing him help lead future X-Men movies would be something special and he’d be a perfect straight man opposite Deadpool.
9. Nathan Fillion
Birth Date: March 27, 1971 (age 44)
Known For: Castle, Firefly, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
After earning the love of geekdom in Joss Whedon’s short-lived Firefly, Nathan Fillion’s since gotten his due on TV with the long-running ABC hit series Castle currently in its eighth season. It’s not that we want that series to end, but when it does we hope the lovable Canadian star lands some major film gigs. After all, he’s been fan-listed for nearly every superhero role imaginable.
With a change in hair style and a crazy workout regiment, Fillion – who’s no stranger to sci-fi and military roles – would be perfect for Cable. And it would be almost as if the stars aligned if this happened since he’s pals with Ryan Reynolds since they co-starred together for a few years in Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. What a reunion that would be!
8. Michael Cudlitz
Birth Date: December 29, 1964 (age 51)
Known For: The Walking Dead, Southland
A frequently guest star on many TV shows and a staple voice actor for the Call of Duty video game series, Michael Cudlitz is now more famous than ever thanks to his regular roles in Southland, and currently as the lovable and loyal soldier-like brawler Sgt. Abraham Ford in The Walking Dead.
7. Viggo Mortensen
Birth Date: October 20, 1958 (age 57)
Known For: The Lord of the Rings, A History of Violence, The Road
Simply put, Viggo Mortensen is one of the greatest actors alive, and he can play anyone or anything. Countless rumors and fan lists had him suggested for all sorts of major comic book movie parts, but sadly none have come to fruition. Everyone will know Mortensen’s iconic performance of Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and several of his notable performances since (A History of Violence, Hidalgo, Eastern Promises, The Road), but he’s since stayed out of mainstream movies.
6. Travis Fimmel
Birth Date: Travis Fimmel
Known For: Vikings, Warcraft
Travis Fimmel may not be a household name just yet, but he might be in the very near future. The Aussie star plays the lead in the hit series Vikings and has a key role in this year’s big budget video game adaptation, Warcraft, which seems poised to propel his career forward.
He’s got the eyes, the size, and the intensity, and at the young age of 36 (the youngest on this list), we feel it might be a smart play for one of the superhero movie studios to sign him to a lengthy multi-picture deal.
5. Clive Owen
Birth Date: October 3, 1964 (age 51)
Known For: Children of Men, The International, Closer, Inside Man, The Knick
Many Clive Owen fans suggested the British actor as a shoe-in for the next James Bond, but we’re thinking something a little more sci-fi would be more interesting. After all, Children of Men might be his best movie to date. TV viewers might be catching a glimpse of Owen’s brilliance in The Knick, but he caught our attention many years earlier thanks to his epic performances in Beyond Borders and King Arthur, which quickly led to him landing key roles in Closer, Sin City, and Inside Man, solidifying his position as a Hollywood star. And if those roles all sound too serious, you need to watch Shoot ‘Em Up.
4. Alec Baldwin
Birth Date: April 3, 1958 (age 57)
Known For: The Hunt for Red October, The Cooler, 30 Rock
At first glance, Alec Baldwin may not be the most obvious suggestion as a legitimate candidate to play Cable in a superhero film, but bear with us. Baldwin has more experience than most and an immense range as an actor, from live work on Saturday Night Live and Broadway, to comedy genius on 30 Rock, to an Oscar-nominated performance in The Cooler among many other Golden Globe nominations. And c’mon, he nailed it in Beetlejuice and The Hunt for Red October.
He’s got the face, hair and voice, and just needs to get the physique down for what would be a role of a lifetime and another ongoing franchise on his resume to go alongside his new part in the Mission: Impossible series.
3. Jason Clarke
Birth Date: July 17, 1969 (age 46)
Known For: Zero Dark Thirty, Lawless, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Terminator Genisys
If Terminator: Genisys had its two sequels in development as originally planned, we probably wouldn’t have considered including Jason Clarke on this list, since he already plays a time-hopping cybernetic soldier in that franchise. But since it currently sits dead once again, we can’t help but not smile at the idea of Clarke taking on a key role in the X-Men movie universe.
We cannot speak highly enough of Jason Clarke’s talent on the big screen, as a hero or villainous character. We loved him most recently in Everest, but before and his stint as Terminator’s latest John Connor, he captured the hearts of mainstream moviegoers with his roles in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Zero Dark Thirty. It’s be a smart pickup for one of these studios to lock Clarke up some sort of of long-term deal while he’s available.
2. Max Martini
Birth Date: December 11, 1969 (age 46)
Known For: The Unit, 13 Hours, Pacific Rim
Max Martini is a badass, or at least that what he always seems to play in movies and on TV. From Saving Private Ryan and Harsh Realm in the ’90s to Level 9, 24, The Unit, and Trooper in the 2000s and more recently, Crisis, Pacific Rim, and Michael Bay’s 13 Hours, Martini always plays a soldier-type.
1. Kyle Chandler
Birth Date: September 17, 1965 (age 50)
Known For: Friday Night Lights, Bloodline, Super 8
Chandler’s an underrated super star, a master of the screen who can play light-hearted in one scene and emotionally intense in another. Just take a look and how he helped carry Friday Night Lights and the first season of Bloodline, alongside his many notable supporting roles in major films including Super 8, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Carol.
Bonus Pick: Nicolas Cage
Birth Date: January 7, 1964 (age 52)
Known For: Leaving Las Vegas, National Treasure, Ghost Rider, Gone in 60 Seconds
Cage showed that he’s willing to do practically anything in front of a camera with his over-the-top performance in the Ghost Rider sequel Spirit of Vengeance, and as no stranger to wacky characters and key comic book roles – having kicked ass in Kick-Ass and was set to play Superman for Tim Burton – maybe there’s still room for him to join one of the currently active comic book movie franchises.
He certainly doesn’t have the look of Cable from Marvel Comics, but there’s something about his on screen presence and the idea of him bantering with Ryan Reynolds that forced us to at least mention him. Who wouldn’t want to see Nicholas Cage explain time paradoxes to Deadpool?
If you stuck around for the post-credits scene at the very end of Deadpool where he confirmed that Cable will be in Deadpool 2, he jokes that no one’s been cast yet, but suggests Mel Gibson, Dolph Lundgren, and Keira Knightley. Of these three we included Mel Gibson in our actual list, but we couldn’t let this go live without mentioning the others.
Given the positive fan response and reviews and the record-breaking opening weekend, we expect Fox will fast-track production on the already-greenlit sequel. Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are currently writing the script and we wouldn’t be surprised if production begins early next year at the latest for a 2018 release. Fox won’t want to wait now that Deadpool has become one of their most lucrative film IPs, and one the future of the X-Men franchise will build off of.
Share your thoughts on who should play Cable and keep in mind, that Cable won’t just be a supporting player for Deadpool, but could be in The New Mutants, X-Force and the mainline X-Men films for years to come as well.