There are a lot of surprises in Deadpool 2, a movie that delights in turning audience expectations upside down. None, however, were quite as surprising as who turned out to be the actual villain of the piece, and even after the big reveal, the movie plays it close to the chest as to just who’s playing it.
Spoilers below, so if you don’t want a great joke ruined, have a lovely parting GIF:
OK, maybe not so lovely. Anyway, let’s talk lonely boys and the men who hang out with them.
Russell (Julian Dennison), early in the movie, is told to make friends with the biggest, toughest guy in the Ice Box, the prison where he and Deadpool wind up after he trashes a few cars and Deadpool shoots yet another dude in the face. Russell, during a brawl, sneaks a meal into the maximum security wing and befriends an unseen, but very large and angry, character, who, at the climax of the movie’s giant convoy chase, pulls himself out of the wreckage to reveal he’s X-Men villain the Juggernaut.
Juggy, who knows crappy families and abusive childhoods and is a terrible role model, goes on to help Russell get his revenge on his abuser. But the movie doesn’t reveal the actor: His helmet stays firmly on, his voice is heavily distorted, and he’s only credited as “himself.” Turns out he’s actually two people: Deadpool 2 director David Leitch and Ryan Reynolds.
Leitch, before he became a director, had dozens of credits as a stuntman (and in fact doubled for Brad Pitt five times, which might explain Pitt returning the favor in a hilarious cameo), so he took on the Colossus-fighting and Cable-flinging. As for Reynolds, it turns out he was the face and voice because it was convenient, as Leitch explains to Cinemablend:
It only came out of just the necessity of change, and you’re getting into the post-process, and we’re like, ‘Okay, now we need a face animator actor.’ And I’m in the editing room, and Ryan’s writing alts, and we’re like, ‘I’ll just go do it.’ And then the animators are going to change it anyway.
And the Juggernaut will return; if you pay attention in the final shot, as the newly minted X-Force walks away from a burning orphanage, Juggy is hauling himself out of the pool. And no doubt he will have some words for Colossus, considering his undignified fate in the movie’s big fight. But that’ll have to wait for an X-Force movie.