So that would mean Weapon XI, a mysterious character not described in the Marvel Comics but featured as a primary villain in X-Men Origins: Wolverine is one and the same with Deadpool. Uh oh. They had been listed as separate characters on IMDB with Weapon XI played by actor/martial artist Scott Adkins.
Early buzz online were that Adkins was also listed as a stunt double for Ryan Reynolds which led many to believe that Weapon XI is simply Deadpool after his augmentations from experimentation. From that point on he would be played by Adkins purely for stunts. This could be done because the actor is unrecognizable with the makeup and scarring/markings on his body. It's also reported that the character's mouth is sewn shut at that point so they wouldn't need Reynolds' voice.
But, Adkins isn't listed as Reynold's stunt double - At least, not anymore.
Jeffrey C. Robinson is currently listed as doing his stunts. On top of that, Adkins was reportedly on set for at least 12 weeks of shooting and speculation are that it's because he's playing a significant character of his own. This supports some of the fanbase's belief that Weapon XI and Deadpool are separate characters.
In the new trailer, that character (Deadpool/Weapon XI?) has a massive presence and tons of action scenes. We get to see closer shots of his face and what appears to be him emitting a laser blast from his eyes… that or something similar is hitting him in the face (definitely not the case). Now I'm really confused - How can they be the same character, appear like that and now fire lasers from this eyes... how is any of this related to the Deadpool character?
Take a look at these shots from the new trailer:
What is going on here? Are those black lines on baldy supposed to be scarring?
I think the only reason we were given this new trailer so soon after the three 60-second TV spots just a few weeks back is to appease a lot of the online concern about the movie and its characters but I don't think it's doing the job. Overall, the trailer is not significantly different from the last full trailer and it includes most of the same scenes and narration while subbing in more detail for characters whom I think the fanbase are concerned with – mainly, these three:
1. We got a little more information on Cyclops and a hint for the story surrounding him – It appears as if he was called out as a mutant (by a teacher at the school?) and Sabretooth was sent to bring him in on behalf of Weapon X.
2. Strangely, we also got to see some closer shots of Deadpool and one of him using what appears to be Cyclops' optic blast power (if that is in fact, Deadpool and not Weapon XI). Could they have altered his ability for the movie to one where he absorbs other abilities? Could he possibly get the healing ability from Wolverine and the optic blast from young Cyclops? In the previous trailers we did see him have what looked like blades coming from each arm (evidence of that here). Or, is that Weapon X who was created/modified with DNA of other mutants that they've been collecting (i.e. Cyclops).
3. They intentionally presented us with a close-up of Gambit with his new augmented black and red eyes (one of the things I mentioned before here) among a few more action sequences and several scenes giving us some new sound effects for when he uses his power.
So, for my star mutant, my checklist is coming together nicely (So far…):
- Trenchcoat - Check
- Quarterstaff - Check
- Throws cards - Check
- Glowing effect on charged weapons – Check
- Sound effect on charged weapons - Check
- Trademark eyes – Check
- Cajun Accent – Still waiting!
Again, the one thing they’ve yet to disclose in any of the promotional material is this character talking. To me, his most important character trait is his slick dialogue and awesome accent – He is the “Ragin’ Cajun” afterall. Fox's marketing department has graciously shown us a lot of him so far... but not quite enough.
In conclusion, we know the movie version of Gambit has all the parts of his character from the Marvel comics (forgetting timeline implications) so far except the one most important: his voice. We also have a better idea of the story surrounding the involvement of the future leader of the X-Men, Cyclops. And lastly, we don’t really know what’s going on with Deadpool, his powers, or whether or not he’ll sport the classic costume from the Marvel Universe.
Will fans accept this incarnation of Deadpool if that's who it is? Will they accept Gambit without his accent? I have trouble with both of those.
What are your thoughts and theories? Does anyone out there have a clearer explanation?
X-Men Origins: Wolverine opens May 1, 2009 and I'll be there.