As a movie character, Deadpool is all about Easter eggs and in-jokes. He is perpetually breaking the fourth wall and seems to be aware that he is in a movie, just as his comics incarnation seems aware that he is a comic character. That means that he is constantly making jokes to poke fun at the absurd world around him.
It should come as no surprise that Deadpool is a bad influence, too. The director and writers of Deadpool 2 wanted to do their own version of poking fun at the absurdity of the shared X-Men universe. They couldn’t directly break the fourth wall as directly as the old Merc With a Mouth, so they found a new technique: tons and tons of cameos!
The first Deadpool movie was surprisingly concise. It focused on only a handful of characters, and Deadpool himself cracked jokes about the lack of other people in locations like Xavier’s mansion. That’s why it’s so surprising to see that Deadpool 2 has as many (if not more) cameos than its predecessor. In fact, there are more surprise cameos here than we saw in Avengers: Infinity War!
Don’t believe us? You don’t need to steal Xavier’s Cerebro device to verify - all you have to do is keep scrolling to check out Deadpool 2: 20 Crazy Cameos You Missed!
20 Brad Pitt
Deadpool 2 is a movie that has a really weird sense of humor. Lots of its humor (and the humor of Deadpool himself) comes from being ironic and self-referential. We figured it was only fitting to kick the cameos list off with something equally ironic: the man behind The Vanisher.
Obviously, it’s a running gag in the movie that because Vanisher’s ability is to turn invisible, no one ever knows if he is really there or not. That all changes when he loses his life, appearing briefly as electricity courses through his body.
Vanisher is only visible onscreen for a brief moment, so it’s easy to overlook who was playing him.
You might expect they would get a relatively unknown actor for such a bit role, but since when has a Deadpool movie ever done the expected thing? Instead, the role was actually played by Brad Pitt!
Why did they get such a big name actor, and why was he game for doing it? As it turns out, Pitt’s appearance is a bit of a meta joke: early on, Brad Pitt was one of the many actors that was rumored to play as Cable in the movie. The role eventually went to Josh Brolin, but Pitt’s appearance lets him tease fans who were excited about the rumor!
19 Stan Lee
At this point, fans have been conditioned to expect Stan Lee in pretty much every Marvel movie. It’s something that manages to ignore things like studio ownership, as Lee is just as likely to appear in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie as he is in an X-Men or Deadpool movie.
He had an unexpectedly adult cameo in the previous Deadpool film, appearing as a DJ at the dance club where Deadpool goes to try to find Vanessa. However, fans looking for another cameo that overt in the sequel are going to be disappointed!
This is because Stan “The Man” Lee does not appear in the flesh in this movie. However, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t appear. This is a movie ripe with Easter eggs and jokes in the background of every scene, and in one instance, you can see that Stan Lee has been recreated as a bit of street graffiti.
While this may seem disappointing to movie fans who were expecting something more obvious, akin to his Infinity War cameo, it’s actually really fitting: the creator of comics that we love has now been created as a comic, and so the artist becomes the art. For all you true believers, that’s ‘nuff said!
18 Matt Damon
Some of the cameos on this list were easy to miss because they were barely onscreen for any real length of time. However, there are some amusing exceptions to this. For instance, some characters are onscreen for several long minutes, but they go unrecognized by the audience. How’s that happen? Chalk it up to makeup and other forms of movie magic.
For instance, did you know that this movie starred none other than Matt Damon? However, he wasn’t doing any Jason Bourne heroics - instead, he was rambling on and on about toilet paper.
That’s right: in the scene where two rednecks are debating toilet paper and Cable appears, the one giving his toilet paper manifesto is none other than Matt Damon.
There’s a lot of fun background behind this scene: the Deadpool 2 writer Rhett Reese has his own toilet paper manifesto that he offered to Ryan Reynolds, and they decided it had to go in the movie. Damon agreed to the hilarious cameo (his second hilarious Marvel cameo, if you managed to miss him in Thor: Ragnarok), and he appears in the credits as Dickie Greenleaf. This was the name of Jude Law’s character in The Talented Mr. Ripley, which was an identity eventually stolen by Matt Damon’s titular character!
17 Taylor Swift’s cats
If you were to try to track every Easter egg, cameo, and obscure reference in Deadpool 2, you’d probably need an extensive cultural encyclopedia and a whole lot of help - or our list!
For instance, even the most minor things can end up being significant in unexpected ways. Like when we see Deadpool moping around the X-mansion, he’s in decidedly more casual clothes than he normally wears. One of those bits of clothing is a t-shirt with two cute cats on it. You might expect this is just because Deadpool loves cats (actually, he really prefers that old unicorn), but it’s actually a shout out to Taylor Swift.
That’s right: if you look closely at the t-shirt, it has a caption to go with the cute kitties. The caption reads “Olivia and Meredith, Friends Furrrrever.” These are actually the names of Taylor Swift’s cats.
Unless you are a mega fan of Taylor Swift’s life, you probably missed these names and their significance. It’s one of the greatest examples of Deadpool 2 being a film that demands multiple viewings, and even then it’s a certainty that you’ll miss another hilarious Easter egg. Maybe T-Swift can show some love back and record a hit song about Deadpool?
16 Ryan Reynolds
Look, we know what you’re thinking: how can Ryan Reynolds have a cameo in a movie where he’s the star? And how could anybody actually miss Reynolds when he is on a giant screen in front of us for just about every scene? However, Deadpool 2 is a movie where Ryan Reynolds played multiple roles, and all of them are pretty easy to miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Let’s start with the end credits sequence! Despite years of conditioning, some folks still bail on these movies after the credits roll. If that happens, you’ll miss one of the funniest bits: Negasonic and Yukio repair the time travel device, and Deadpool goes back to save Vanessa and Pete. He also manages to destroy himself in some new ways: he shoots the terrible version of Deadpool he played in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and even takes out Ryan Reynolds while he is looking at the Green Lantern script.
If the end credits don't have Ryan Reynolds cameos, he even voices Juggernaut, though his voice is obviously modulated very low.
The credits try to keep this a secret, though, by listing Juggernaut’s voice as “himself.” If you came to this movie for Ryan Reynolds, you definitely got your money’s worth!
One of the best gags from the first Deadpool was our hero commenting on the relative lack of X-Men in the mansion. He wonders why he only ever sees Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Colossus, and then he breaks the fourth wall by speculating that the studio was too cheap to pay for more than two minor X-Men.
That gag continues into the sequel: while Yukio is now hanging around the house, it’s still suspiciously empty - right up until it isn’t! This leads to arguably the best visual gag in the entire movie.
As Deadpool rants once again about the house being empty, we see an open door with many of the X-Men inside. This includes the scene-stealing Quicksilver, whose ability to save the day while listening to awesome tunes was the highlight of both X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse. Like most of the other X-Men that pop up in this movie, he doesn’t really get a lot to do: he just stares out of the open door until Beast quietly closes it.
Still, it was a welcome glimpse of one of our favorite characters, and we’re already excited to see what he can do in the next movie!
14 Nathaniel Essex aka Mister Sinister
After audiences left Deadpool 2, they were hungry to scour the internet and find out about both the Easter eggs in the movie as well as the cameos (hey, that’s why you’re here, right?). Every now and then, though, an Easter egg and a cameo are one and the same. That’s the case when it comes to the Essex House for Mutant Rehabilitation.
Despite the name, it’s actually a house that seems to torment mutants and attempt to control them: Domino survived and escaped, and Russell comes back determined to burn the place down and take out his old headmaster.
While it may just be a fun Easter egg, the name of the place is evocative of a famous X-Men villain named Mister Sinister. When he’s not going by the most obvious name ever, Mister Sinister often goes by the name Nathaniel Essex. To top things off, the Nathaniel Essex of the comics ran a creepy orphanage where he experimented on Cyclops when he was young. Essex became obsessed with Cyclops’ DNA and ended up cloning Jean Grey so she and Cyclops could produce a perfect mutant for his “sinister” purposes. Who was that mutant? Why, it was Cable, of course!
Speaking of Cyclops, he manages to sneak into Deadpool 2 as well. Like the rest of the core X-Men in the movie, he is visible behind a single door in the X-Mansion when Deadpool is wheeling around and ironically complaining about the lack of X-Men inside.
While most of the X-Men in this movie are just fun appearances, it’s very fitting for Cyclops to be in it: the movie glosses over Cable’s origin, but in the comics, he is the son of Cyclops and a Jean Grey clone named Madelyne Pryor.
When Cable (then known as Nathaniel Summers) is infected by a Techno Organic virus, they send him to the future where he can be healed. Perhaps wisely, this movie does not seem to care about the extraordinarily convoluted backstory connecting Cyclops and Cable.
Nonetheless, it’s fun to see Cyclops in this film, as part of the fun of X-Men: Apocalypse was seeing him as a young mutant who is learning to control and even enjoy his new power. It also marks the second time Cyclops actor Tye Sheridan has been in a recent blockbuster, as he was the star of Ready Player One (where, rather hilariously, his face was obscured with a Cyclops-like VR visor most of the time).
12 Alan Tudyk
Alan Tudyk is an amazing and prolific actor. In fact, he’s been in so many things that he’s amassed a true “that guy status”: while not everyone remembers his specific name, almost everyone can remember at least one role he has had - especially if you count all of his voice-acting credits and motion-capture work.
He pops up again in this movie as one of the two rednecks that Cable encounters when he travels to the past.
Tudyk is the one opposite Matt Damon’s character, so he’s on the receiving end of the infamous “toilet paper manifesto” that the other character is laying out.
Even though they don’t share any scenes together, this movie ended up being something of an ersatz Firefly reunion. While he may be known for many different roles, Alan Tudyk will always be a specific character to sci-fi fans: he was Wash on the beloved cult hit Firefly. Vanessa's actor Morena Baccarin also played in that show as the Companion named Inara. Firefly managed to get a single movie, Serenity, to wrap things up, but after that, it’s rare to see a movie with both Tudyk and Baccarin in it, so this was a real treat!
Even the most casual fans of the X-Men movies know that their universe has been rocked by time travel. This created a kind of ripple affect that altered or undid much of what we had seen before. Such changes affected certain characters more than others.
For instance, Nightcrawler: we had previously seen his first meeting with the X-Men back in X-2, when he was an adult who was in full control of his powers. Thanks to the timey-wimey events that started in Days of Future Past, Nightcrawler ends up meeting the X-Men as a teenager, as seen in X-Men: Apocalypse.
Like many of the other X-Men, he pops up in that one brief scene in Deadpool 2. Along with characters like Cyclops and Quicksilver, he is behind an open door that Deadpool doesn’t see as he rants about the lack of X-Men. The scene goes by so quick that it’s easy to miss it entirely, and even for those who did see it, it is difficult to remember what members of the X-Men were present. Nightcrawler, though, is nice and distinctive, and he should stand out very easily if you try to notice him the next time you watch the movie!
10 Black Tom Cassidy
The next character is something of an anomaly on this list. On one hand, it’s difficult to say that many people missed Black Tom Kassidy: this is the character who threatens and abuses Deadpool and is later eliminated by Cable. And Deadpool makes plenty of funny jokes about how Cable must be racist for shooting “Black” Tom Kassidy (a character who was very white). However, what is easy to miss for casual viewers is the real significance of this character, both to the X-Men and to the Juggernaut.
Due to the power-restraining collars, we are never able to see Black Tom use his powers onscreen.
This might be for the best: all he does is shoot blasts of energy out of a wooden stick, which isn’t something that would be visually very impressive. Nonetheless, he has tormented the X-Men for many decades of comics, and he has a special family connection: he is supposed to be the cousin of Banshee, a character we last saw in the 1960s in X-Men: First Class (look, don’t think about the timelines too much).
For the longest time, Black Tom was the criminal partner of Juggernaut, making their imprisonment in the same place make a lot more sense!
Speaking of X-Men: First Class, that is a movie that doesn’t get enough credit for its accomplishments. As you may or may not remember, the movie helped to rejuvenate this franchise after X-Men: The Last Stand nearly ran it into the ground. Part of what made First Class ambitious was that it was a prequel that would have an entirely new cast, meaning director Matthew Vaughn would have to recast some very iconic performers. Ironically, one of the hardest recastings was one that started with that terrible Last Stand.
In that movie, Beast was one of the few bright spots. He was played perfectly by Kelsey Grammar, whose deep and reassuring voice helped to bring a fan-favorite character to life. In First Class, the role is played by Nicholas Hoult, and we see the character in a new way: as someone caught between his humanity and his beastly mutant powers. By the time X-Men: Apocalypse rolls around, he seems pretty comfortable with who he is, and that’s the mutant we see briefly in Deadpool 2.
He is also the most active of the X-Men behind that door, as he ends up quietly closing it while the audience is still trying to process what they just saw.
8 Irene Merryweather
Most of the cameos in this movie are more closely related to Deadpool. And that’s understandable: the movie is focused on him, so it makes sense that the cameos would be focused on him as well. Nonetheless, the other big character of the film is Josh Brolin’s character, and there are a couple of good cameos that are tied directly into his character.
There's one character in the movie named Irene Merryweather, and while her name may not mean much to casual fans, it means a heck of a lot to Cable!
The Irene of the comics is one of those amusing cases of Marvel feeling like a surprisingly insular place. Even though Marvel has an entire fictional world to play with, many characters are in the same relative location and even work the same job. For instance, she’s a bit like Peter Parker and Ben Urich: a New York based reporter who gets caught up in some of the very matters she’s investigating.
In the comics, she is often swept up into the misadventures of Cable, and Deadpool 2 plays homage to this tendency by having Irene appear as one of the reporters covering the carnage happening in the movie!
7 Deadpool 2 Writers
It’s not that uncommon for some of the behind the scenes creators to get an onscreen cameo in the world of Marvel movies. For instance, in Thor: Ragnarok, director Taika Waititi played the voice of Korg, and former Thor director Kenneth Branagh played the voice of an Asgardian transmitting a distress signal in Avengers: Infinity War. It’s only fitting for the Deadpool 2 creatives to get in the mix, which is why the two writers get a great “blink and you miss it” cameo. Naturally, it's one packing some dark humor as well!
The two writers of the movie are Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. They’re not exactly household names, so it’s pretty easy to overlook how they pop up in this film. It actually ties in to the end of Shatterstar: at first, Shatterstar comes off as crazy for claiming to be an alien from Mojoworld. However, when he accidentally lands in a helicopter’s blade, his green blood seems to confirm his story. This is actually a news helicopter, and it has both a pilot and a cameraman. These are the two writers who are referred to in the opening credits as “the real villains.” And it’s true: the passing of all these characters is their fault!
Storm is the latest in a long line of complex X-Men recasting. Her character initially appeared in the first X-Men movies and was played by Halle Berry. Now, Berry is an amazing actress (and arguably better than those early movies deserved), but the films never seemed to know what to do with her besides stick her in a wig and give her terrible lines. How terrible, you ask? Her bizarre bit about what happens to a toad who is struck by lightning is pretty much the stuff of meme legend!
This is why her recasting was so important to fans. Now, the role is played by Alexandra Shipp, and she does a great job at channeling Storm’s younger self. She first appeared in X-Men: Apocalypse, and we ended up getting a pretty complete arc for her, as she goes from Cairo thief to Apocalypse lackey to X-Man in training.
Like most of the other X-Men cameos in Deadpool 2, she appears behind an open door while Deadpool wishes that he could see other X-Men inside the mansion.
Like the others, she doesn’t really say or do anything, but we were just happy to get even one more glimpse of this elemental goddess!
5 David Leitch
When you imagine who making a Deadpool sequel might be difficult for, you’re probably imagining your favorite actors. After they brought such a great movie and vibrant characters to life for the first time, just what the hell were they going to do as an encore? However, one person that really deserves some sympathy would be the director, David Leitch. Not only did he have to create a great movie, but it needed to be as good or better than the first movie, which was directed by Tim Miller. Fortunately, Leitch was confident enough to pull it off - and he was even confident enough to make his own cameo!
Like with the writers, the director of the movie is not a face you are likely to recognize, so it makes it easier for him to appear in a scene and go unnoticed. Still, he decided to hedge his bets and hide in plain sight along with many others.
He plays one of the mutants who is inside the prison truck.
This truck serves as Deadpool’s target because he wants to save his young friend, and it’s also where we get some of our best action scenes. Next time you check out the movie, be on the lookout for Leitch!
4 Hope Summers
Part of what makes Josh Brolin so perfect for the role of Cable is that he nail Cable’s comic book personality. The character is a gruff, no-nonsense warrior from a war-torn future, and Brolin shows us how Cable is essentially hardened to all of the horror he has seen. It turns out that something very specific hardened him, though: it was the loss of his wife and child at the hands of a grownup Firefist. It’s easy to overlook, but the magic of flashbacks gives us a close look at his daughter, Hope.
This is another one of those cameos that will mean a lot more to fans of the comics than casual fans of the movie.
The movie itself doesn’t pay a lot of attention to Hope. Instead, her old Teddy Bear serves as a kind of plot MacGuffin that allows Cable to verify whether he has changed the future and saved her life. However, the Hope of the comics is insanely important: she is not a biological daughter, but instead the first mutant who is born after Scarlet Witch nearly rids the world of mutants. Cable takes her to the future to protect her and essentially raises her as a daughter, and she later comes back in time to help the present day X-Men.
3 Professor X
Of all of the X-Men who have cameos in Deadpool 2, Charles Xavier is probably the butt of the most jokes. For instance, we see Deadpool playing with his equipment on multiple occasions: he tries out Xavier’s telepathy-enhancing Cerebro helmet before accidentally breaking it, and Deadpool wheels around the mansion on what appears to be one of Xavier’s electric wheelchairs. Deadpool breaks the fourth wall again regarding Xavier, noting that the helmet he wore smelled “like Patrick Stewart,” who first brought the character to life in the original X-Men movies.
Ironically, when we see Xavier onscreen in this movie, it is not Patrick Stewart, despite Deadpool name-dropping the iconic actor.
Instead, behind the door in the X-Mansion, we see the younger Xavier that has been played so perfectly by James McAvoy. Through the lens of these movies, we have seen the full extent of Xavier’s character arc: he has gone from optimistic graduate to depressed professor to energized (albeit bald) leader of the X-Men.
With all of the behind the scenes rights negotiations, the next X-Men movie may very well be the last featuring McAvoy, so we were happy to see him sneak in an appearance in this movie, even if it only lasted a moment!
Many of the cameos on this list are big names in some form or another. They might be A-list stars (hello, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon) or they might be highly-recognizable comics universe cameos (like Stan Lee or Cyclops). Some, however, are a little more obscure, like when the movie finds an excuse to bring back a minor character from the first film. That’s why, when he is at his lowest, Deadpool runs into his old frenemy Buck, a fellow patron of Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children where Weasel is the bartender.
If you remember, Buck was a character that Deadpool was trying to eliminate back when he was a non-powered mercenary. This was because Weasel was running a “dead pool” in which patrons could place bets on who was likeliest to lose their life first. Deadpool tried to rig this game by buying drinks for other mercs and making them look like gifts from rivals, provoking potentially deadly fights.
Buck is a character who gets provoked into a fight with Boothe and later harasses Vanessa.
In Deadpool 2, he offers words of wisdom to Deadpool himself, prompting our hero to wish that Buck never gets any more lines in the movie!
1 Hugh Jackman
It’s fair to say that Hugh Jackman is the glue that holds the X-Men movies together. When the very first movie came out, it was his performance as fan-favorite Wolverine that showed fans just how good these movies can really be. Even as the franchise seemed to grow beyond Jackman, he kept showing his importance. He was the surprise headliner of Days of Future Past and basically blew us all away in Logan. Deadpool 2 has a lot of fun discussing Logan’s end in that movie as an inspiration for Deadpool, and if you stick around long enough, you get to see Jackman himself!
The mid-credits scene of this movie involves Deadpool using the repaired time sliding device to alternately save people who have died and wreak havoc on other versions of himself. This includes terminating the version of Deadpool featured in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In fact, future Deadpool shows up at a point where past Deadpool was confronting Wolverine, so with a little bit of movie magic in the editing studio, the old footage lets Deadpool see his inspiration one more time. Re-used footage or not, it’s always great to see Hugh Jackman bearing claws and playing Wolverine!
Did we miss any other cameos in Deadpool 2? Let us know in the comments!