Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Deadpool 2
In Deadpool 2, Cable is a part-machine, part-human cybernetic soldier who comes from the future... but what future? The time that Cable comes from is a future where humanity has, to borrow his phrasing, "f**ked this planet into a coma." Most of what we know about this grim period is given to us through Cable's emotive explanation of his wife and daughter having been slain by the pyromaniac mutant Firefist, but we do get a couple of short scenes that show what Cable's world was like. In those shots, the purple lighting, apocalyptic tone, and shots of the city in the background bear a striking resemblance to the sentinel-ridden future of in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
While this would be an interesting way to tie the X-films together, viewing the sentinel/mutant war as an inevitability, the timeline Cable comes from isn't the same. Wisely, the Deadpool movies have kept themselves away from whatever the X-Men movies are doing, keeping the tie-ins limited to sarcastic commentary and the occasional cameo. He exists in the same universe, complete with Xavier's School For Gifted Children, but he has his own little world that hasn't done much crossing-over besides Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead - something he personally blames on the producers.
Despite the aesthetic similarities to Days of Future Past, we're pretty sure that Cable's future is a slightly different one.While Cable himself attempted to hunt down the adult Firefist, he doesn't mention sentinels or a sentinel programme, which was the entire basis for Future Past's dystopia. The X-Men franchise has so far used sentinels quite sparingly, only employing them for Days of Future Past and using a variant for TV series The Gifted. They probably could have been incorporated into Deadpool 2's futuristic scenes somehow, but that would have made things way too complicated.
However, Deadpool 2's future-set scenes sharing a color palette and certain design choices with Days of Future Past is a clever tactic. Because X-Men movie fans will recognize purple lighting and nighttime cityscapes as signifying scenes that take place in the future, it effectively functions as a shorthand for the audience - letting them know right away that when Cable first appears, he's not in the same time setting as Deadpool and the others. And if the purple lighting doesn't give it away, the flying police cars in the background certainly will.
Of course, it hasn't explicitly been said that Cable isn't from the Days of Future Past timeline, so don't rule it out completely. We learn very little of the cyborg's backstory, after all; perhaps he worked alongside the sentinels to hunt down his fellow mutants, including Firefist. In any case, it's somewhat immaterial since at the end of the movie Cable decides to stay behind and try to prevent humanity from creating the dark future that he came from. Will that affect his own past/future, or his wife and daughter? Honestly, it's hard to say.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020