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 the Merc With The Mouth is bringing two key characters from to comics to join him in 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.

What Have We Seen From Deadpool 2?

Well, after months of teases we finally have a full trailer for Deadpool 2 that shows off just how nutty the second installment in the franchise is going to be. And, we wouldn't have it any other way! The trailer finally explains the story for the film, along with giving us a good look at some new characters.

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 early summer lineup, and are prepared to have the film released on May 18, 2018.

It was set to be an interesting theatrical release for Deadpool 2, partially because it would have been part of 20th Century Fox's first year with three X-Men franchise titles. Josh Boone's The New Mutants was scheduled to hit cinemas a few months earlier, coming out on April 13, 2018, but was recently pushed to February 22, 2019. The Merc With The Mouth sequel will still be followed by X-Men: Dark Phoenix on November 2, 2018.

Of course, the big news with the Deadpool 2 release date is that it puts the film in direct competition with Solo: A Star Wars Story, which drops a week later. We can see in a few months how these two films battle it out in the theaters.

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: 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, an abundance of cursing, and maybe even a bit of sex and nudity. Count on it.

The Director

It was all the way back in back in April 2011 that director Tim Miller was hired 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 value. 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, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

The Story

In this day and age, a hero's first solo film is typically 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 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.

Two significant presences were confirmed for the sequel pretty early on: 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. The basics of the plot for Deadpool 2, though, were quite a secret until the late March 2018 debut of the trailer. In it, we were shown that Deadpool will be trying to stop Cable, who's arrived from the future, from killing a child with some awesome mutant powers. In his efforts to keep the kid alive, Deadpool will get help from friends old and new, as he'll be relying on assistance from members of the, newly formed, X-Force.

Deadpool

Thanks to Tim Miller's Deadpool, now all of you know the legendary story of the motor-mouthed, sociopathic Wade Wilson (played by Ryan Reynolds). In hopes of continuing a life with his one true love, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), he chose to undergo experiments that would cure cancer that had spread to every vital organ in his body. Instead, the horrific treatments designed to turn him into a mutant led to the skin all over his body becoming incredibly scarred (making him incredibly self-conscious), and it activated a stunning healing factor that left him both invincible and basically immortal. 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 26 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. Case in point:

Cable

Cable is a character who possesses one of the most complicated backstories in all of Marvel Comics. First introduced to the world in 1986, he was retroactively established as the child of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor (a clone of Jean Grey), and due to machinations involving the villainous Apocalypse and Mister Sinister he was infected with a deadly techno-virus. With no other options available to save the baby (named Nathan Summers), it was agreed that he would be sent to the future where a cure was 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. Now that we know he's come back to our time in Deadpool 2 to put a stop to a young mutant, it's possible that the child leads to the very future Cable is desperate to change.

After months of speculation, it was officially announced in April 2017 that Josh Brolin has signed on to play the part of Cable in Deadpool 2. And if the thought of the Oscar nominated-actor being 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.

The first official image of Cable in Deadpool 2, featured above, was released in August 2017, and has earned wide-spread fan approval. Die-hards were hoping for a metal arm, a cybernetic eye, a gigantic gun, big muscles, and a whole lotta' pouches, and that's exactly what the movie is delivering. We still have some big questions about the teddy bear attached to his hip (as seen in this image), but we'll patiently wait for something this exciting.

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