‘Deadpool 2’: Let’s Talk about That Marvel Supervillain Cameo

     May 21, 2018

deadpool-2-juggernaut-explained

Big ol’ steamy spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn’t seen Deadpool 2 yet.

While the best part of Deadpool 2 is obviously Deadpool himself, the 20th Century Fox antihero sequel does boast a rather impressive supporting cast of characters. Some of them walk the line between superhero and supervillain, super-powered and super-delusional, and even alive and, well … dead. But there’s one Marvel Comics character who’s pretty tough to miss, and no we’re not talking about the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo for The Vanisher.

We’re speaking, of course, about the Juggernaut (bitch). Yep, good ol’ Cain Marko himself arrived in the sequel to shepherd in the third act of Ryan Reynolds‘ fourth-wall-breaking follow-up. And it wasn’t just in a nod to Vinnie Jones‘ portrayal of the character in the 2006 mess that was X-Men: The Last Stand, despite Deadpool doing his best to “fix” the Fox Marvel movie-verse with time-traveling executions; Juggernaut actually played a vital part to progressing the plot. So if you missed out on Marvel Comics, never saw the 90s animated X-Men series, or slept through his appearance in the aforementioned live-action film, allow me to explain just what the Juggernaut’s all about.

In Deadpool 2, the villains of the piece were hell-bent on rounding up misbehaving mutants and, if they proved too volatile for the super-shady Essex Academy to handle, shipping them away to a secure facility known as the Ice Box. (If this is an actual Marvel Comics reference and not just a nod to its frozen location, it’s a really deep cut.) In said Ice Box, the captured and depowered Deadpool and Firefist (Julian Dennison) become aware of a “monster” kept in the facility’s most secure section, a massive subterranean vault of sorts. While I was seriously hoping for an actual monster from Marvel lore, or even a bizarro X-Factor hero like Strong Guy, what we got was the Juggernaut, something sharp-eyed fans thought was a solid possibility thanks to this brief scene from the film’s marketing material:

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Image via 20th Century Fox

Yep, that’s the Juggernaut, alright! In speaking with CBR, screenwriter Rhett Reese confirmed that “Ryan Reynolds ended up voicing Juggernaut, if you didn’t know that. That was Ryan’s voice as the Juggernaut, and he did the facial capture for him. I don’t know how they did the physical mo-cap — I don’t think that was Ryan.” Reese and co-writer Paul Wernick share fan sentiments that the Juggernaut was treated unfairly on the screen, so he made his way into this sequel to sluggernaut it out with Deadpool’s pal Colossus.

Reese continued:

“We committed to it pretty early on, because he’s never been done justice until now. We always wanted to see a CG Juggernaut, so we finally got that. We also really needed to balance the scales in act three, between Deadpool and friends and little Firefist who has cool powers, but we needed to make it a fair fight. What greater force of nature than Juggernaut? It also gave us a chance for him to fight Colossus. Two big behemoths going at it in act three is never a bad thing.”

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Image via Marvel

While I’m of the opinion that Colossus still hasn’t really been done justice on the big screen either, that’s besides the point. You probably have some questions about how and why these two metallic behemoths are the way they are to begin with: Colossus is a mutant with the ability to transform his skin into an organometallic substance, granting him invulnerability and increased strength, though we never get to see him in human form in the Deadpool franchise. Juggernaut, on the other hand, is a massive mountain of a man who possesses superhuman strength and durability, and is virtually unstoppable once he builds up momentum. His metal helmet has nothing to do with those powers. Instead, it grants him protection from the incredible mental prowess of his step-brother, Charles Xavier. (Comic books!)

Way back in the 60s, Marko became the Juggernaut when he discovered a ruby in the temple of the mystical entity Cyttorak. Wisely, Deadpool 2 avoided any of this magical nonsense and simply let the Juggernaut wreak havoc in the city after busting out of the prison train. While this movie version didn’t power either the Juggernaut or Colossus up to full, comic-book strength–think, throwing buildings around with reckless abandon–fans did get a decent slobber-knocker of a fight in the final act. In the comics, however, Juggernaut partners with Black Tom Cassidy and was once stabbed in the eyes by Shatterstar; there are nods to these relationships and events in Deadpool 2 even if they’re not direct translations. What’s important to remember is that Juggernaut is nigh unkillable and heals incredibly quickly, which explains how he was able to pull himself out of the electrified water at the end of the movie. Did you miss it? Well that’s a good excuse to go back and watch it again! Not only does it reassure comic book-lovin’ kiddos that the Juggernaut is alive and well (a theme that Deadpool 2 seemed to embrace, unless you were a throwaway villain/hero/henchman), it allows him to return in a follow-up film if they choose to do so.

On that note, our own Steven Weintraub had a sit-down with director David Leitch and asked, in addition to many other burning questions, if Juggernaut was really dead:

Leitch: No. Watch the right corner of the screen at the end of the movie, as they’re walking away. We need that Juggernaut franchise, c’mon! We set up a world for him!

 

Was that one of these things that was scripted the whole time, or the studio was like, “We need him to survive…”? 

 

Leitch: No, I think that was actually me. I just thought we should bring him back and make sure he’s poppin’ out.

 

For more of our coverage on Deadpool 2 be sure to get caught up with these recent write-ups:

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