After spending many, many years in development hell, Deadpool proved itself to be a monster hit. While there were some doubts surrounding the film, specifically the R-rating, it wound up being a big success with critics while also becoming the biggest domestic hit in the X-Men franchise. Naturally, a sequel is on the way, and already we've learned about two key characters who will be joining the madness.

So what is Deadpool 2 going to be all about? Who is going to be involved? What characters will be returning? How will it connect to the larger X-Men universe? We're going to go over all of that in this latest edition of our What We Know So Far guides! Read on to learn everything about the highly anticipated sequel.

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What Is Deadpool 2's Release Date?

Deadpool had a crazy amount of success when it was released with what isn't typically considered a blockbuster release date. Arriving for Valentine's Day weekend 2016, it didn't have much in the way of competition, and, as a result, managed to crush at the box office. As it happens, however, Deadpool 2 won't be one of those sequels that gets a release date in the same window as its predecessor. Instead, Fox is giving the follow-up a major spot in their summer lineup, and are prepared to have the film released on June 1, 2018.

It's an interesting theatrical release for Deadpool 2, partially because it will be part of 20th Century Fox's first year with three X-Men franchise titles. Josh Boone's X-Men: The New Mutants is scheduled to hit cinemas a few months earlier, coming out on April 13, 2018; and the Merc With The Mouth sequel will be followed by X-Men: Dark Phoenix on November 2, 2018.

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What Is Deadpool 2's Rating

Prior to the start of Deadpool's production, the film's rating was one of the most contentious elements of development. Director Tim Miller, writers/producers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and star Ryan Reynolds were all insistent on the comic book feature being R-rated, but this approach was met with resistance by the executives at 20th Century Fox. Eventually a deal was struck that allowed the R-rating in exchange for a smaller budget, but it most definitely worked out in the project's favor, as it is now ranks as the most successful R-rated movie of all time. And if you think they're changing course for Deadpool 2, you're crazy.

The MPAA doesn't actually assign a rating to a film until there is a cut that is ready to head to theaters, but we already know what the filmmakers will be aiming for in the making of Deadpool 2. There will be plenty of bloody violence, plenty of cursing, and maybe even a bit of nudity. Count on it.

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The Director

It was all the way back in back in April 2011 that director Tim Miller was hired by 20th Century Fox to direct Deadpool - and he was ultimately an integral force in getting the movie made. Because of his background in visual effects (he's the founder of Blur Studio), Miller was able to make the Merc With The Mouth solo film for a fraction of the price of a normal superhero feature, and still give it high production values. Unfortunately, creative differences led Tim Miller to walk away from Deadpool 2 in October 2016, and leave Fox and the producers searching for a new name.

The search didn't take long. Only a few weeks after Tim Miller announced his departure, we started hearing rumors about John Wick co-director David Leitch taking the gig (those stories were confirmed in mid-November 2016). Leitch, an experienced stunt man and stunt coordinator, made his debut as a director alongside Chad Stahelski with John Wick, but since then worked on his own solo feature with summer 2017's Atomic Blonde. Much like how Miller brought an expertise in visual effects to the making of the first Deadpool, it's expected that it was Leitch's gifts in the action department that primarily appealed to the more comedy and character-centric talents of star Ryan Reynolds, and producers/writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

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The Story

In this day and age, the first solo movie a comic book character gets is dedicated to the origin story. While it's a bit tired at this point, it does make a good degree of sense given that it's the best way to introduce these super characters to a wider audience. This was the approach taken by Deadpool as well, as the movie told the non-linear tale of how mercenary Wade Wilson went through experimental treatments to cure his cancer and wound up with incredible healing abilities and a revenge mission. Now that that's all out of the way, however, there are an infinite number of possibilities for screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to explore in Deadpool 2.

Because the project is in such an early stage, we really don't know anything about the official plot of the sequel, but two significant presences have been confirmed: Cable and Domino. Both characters are tightly connected to Deadpool, having played significant roles in the issue where he was first introduced (New Mutants #98). Much like the first Deadpool movie, we don't expect that the film will be an adaptation of any one specific comic, but what Cable and Domino bring to the table as heroes should make Deadpool 2 quite interesting (and we'll get into why as we keep going).

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Thanks to Deadpool, now you all know the legendary story of the motor-mouthed, psychotic Wade Wilson (played by Ryan Reynolds). In hopes of continuing a life with his one true love, Vanessa, he chose to undergo experiments that would cure his cancer. Instead, the skin all over his body became incredibly scarred (making him incredibly self-conscious), and he got a stunning healing factor that left him invincible and immortal, turning him into a superhero. At the end of the movie we saw him get sweet, bloody vengeance against those who tortured him, and reunite with his love... so what's next?

Having been one of Marvel Comics' most popular characters of the last 20 years, there is plenty of material from which Deadpool 2 can draw -- and some of it is very, very strange. In his time on the page, the Merc With The Mouth has saved the world from aliens that wish to rid the Earth of free will, stopped a horde of zombified former American presidents, and even found occasion to travel around the multiverse to kill every single version of himself in existence (or at least one version of Deadpool did). As Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick confirmed to CinemaBlend, fans shouldn't expect things to get too weird or complex, but given the characters involved, we should at least expect some degree of bizarreness.

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Cable could be easily described as being one of the more complicated characters from the history of Marvel Comics. First introduced in 1986, he was established as the child of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor (a clone of Jean Grey), and due to machinations involving Apocalypse and Mister Sinister was infected with a deadly techno-virus. With no other options available to save the young Nathan Summers, it was agreed that the child would be sent to the future, where he could grow up with a cure available. Being a mutant with incredible telekinetic and telepathic abilities, he grew up to be incredibly strong (taking on the name Cable) and eventually time traveled to the past in order to try and right the world and prevent a horrific future.

As confirmed in the post-credits sequence of Deadpool, we can expect Cable in Deadpool 2 to exist with a few of his classic attributes -- including a flat top, a bionic arm, and a history of time travel -- and there was months of speculation about the actor who would play him (including Dolph Lundgren, Stephen Lang, Kiera Knightley, Jon Hamm, and more). None of those performers will be playing the part in the upcoming comic book movie sequel, as it was officially announced in April 2017 that Josh Brolin has signed on for the part.

If the thought of Josh Brolin in a comic book movie feels familiar, there's an extremely good reason: he's been in a ridiculous number of them. Not only does his filmography include Jonah Hex, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Men In Black 3, and Oldboy, but he is currently playing the incredibly important role of Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (he already worked on Guardians of the Galaxy, and has been working on his part in The Avengers: Infinity War). Still, Brolin's proven talent has us very excited that he will bring a different energy to Cable that will surprise and delight us all.

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