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Last year’s Disney-Fox merger meant that we may be seeing a lot of familiar superheroes showing up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the first time. Disney now owns the film rights to legendary characters such as the X-Men and Fantastic Four.

These characters have already had their own series of films, but now it appears as though they’ll be incorporated into the MCU. 

One fan-favorite character who can also now show up in the MCU is Deadpool. While the “Merc with a Mouth” showing up to fight alongside the Avengers would be a welcome sight to most comic book fans, it may not happen. The answer to why could rest with actor Josh Brolin

Josh Brolin’s character in the MCU

Josh Brolin
Josh Brolin | Mat Hayward/Getty Images

In the MCU, Brolin portrayed the most influential and powerful villain of all, the Mad Titan Thanos. While he’s featured in what amounts to cameo roles in multiple MCU entries, he’s the focal point of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

In these films, Thanos is attempting to collect all the Infinity stones to give himself the ultimate power to do anything he pleases. It’s his goal to eliminate half of all life in the known universe. He’s initially successful after defeating the Avengers. 

In Endgame, the Avengers return to go back in time to collect the Infinity stones and undo Thanos’s snap. Though they kill him in the current timeline, a past version of Thanos comes to the present and attempts to stop them. While the team has to sacrifice Black Widow and Iron Man in the process, they are able to undo the snap and defeat Thanos once and for all. 

Brolin drew rave reviews for his performance. While there have been numerous great portrayals of comic book villains, few have loomed as large over a movie franchise as Brolin’s Thanos did. That wasn’t the only comic book character he played, however. 

Josh Brolin’s character in Deadpool

In Deadpool 2, Brolin plays the time-traveling antihero Cable. In the film, Cable is traveling to the past from the future to execute the younger version of the man who kills his wife and son. At the time this happens, Deadpool is attempting to protect the young boy as he has yet to turn evil. In the end, Deadpool convinces Cable not to kill the boy and the two end up as somewhat begrudging allies. 

Brolin’s Cable is an entirely different character from Thanos — while he may seem cold-hearted and stoic, he’s at his heart a good person which he proves in the end.

His straight-laced, no-smiles approach contrasted quite hilariously with Ryan Reynolds’ goofy, fourth-wall shattering version of Deadpool. The two made for an interesting team that will likely be revisited in future films. 

Fans would be on board with this team-up returning, but it may complicate things for yet another comic book movie scenario playing out. 

Is Josh Brolin the reason Deadpool might stay out of the MCU? 


Why Disney Isn’t Going to Let Deadpool Go to Waste

In a Reddit thread discussing Brolin’s turn as Thanos, one fan speculated on why it might be odd to see Deadpool show up in the MCU: 

“its weird that he played cable in the fox xmen universe*, but played thanos in mcu.. especially if they’re considering migrating ryan reynolds as deadpool into the mcu. at some point every major actor is going to have some role in the mcu.”

Brolin playing two characters in the same universe would be odd, but not unprecedented. Mahershala Ali played Cottonmouth in Netflix’s Luke Cage series and will also play Blade. The double casting could make for some hilarious comments from Deadpool as well — as noted above, the character often breaks the fourth wall.

Deadpool even referred to Cable as “Thanos” in Deadpool 2. The Thanos-Cable conflict may keep Deadpool out of the MCU, but if all parties want it to happen, it’s not likely.