Ryan Reynolds set the entertainment world on fire the other day when he released photographs on his Twitter account of Josh Brolin in his full Cable costume for the upcoming Deadpool 2. One was a close-up of the bulked-up actor showing off his cybernetic enhancements, while the other was a more encompassing shot: giving us a full view of his entire getup.
One especially curious detail about his post-apocalyptic garb, however, unassumingly hung down his side. Amidst all the leather and guns, there was a ratty-looking teddy bear. The hulking bruiser might be strapped to the nines with heavy weaponry and ready to take down the toughest mutants in any timeline, but he evidently refuses to do so without a certain childhood companion by his side.
Since the photos’ release, the internet has been ablaze with theories about what significance this obvious addition to his costume might mean. Will Cable be played more for laughs than we’d already assumed he’d be? Would he confront his deadbeat dad Cyclops over being abandoned in a dystopic future timeline?
After mulling the question over myself, one theory sticks out to me as the most plausible: requiring the least suspension of disbelief and making the most sense with the X-Men film universe’s recent bought with alternate timelines (between both [easyazon_link identifier=”B00KIGRRRU” locale=”US” tag=”tvovermind00a-20″]X-Men: Days of Future Past[/easyazon_link] and Logan). Cable’s backstory has been rewritten from the hopelessly convoluted mess from the comics, to where he now comes from the same dystopic future that we last saw in [easyazon_link identifier=”B01LTIBWTE” locale=”US” tag=”tvovermind00a-20″]Logan[/easyazon_link].
In the comics, Cable is the present-day son of X-Men Cyclops and Jean Grey. When danger necessitated that he be hidden away for a time, he was sent to a dystopic future universe. Officially designated Earth-4,935 — and unofficially referred to as the Askani Timeline, after the mutant freedom fighters battling against the megalomaniacal Apocalypse’s rule — there he was raised as a mutant soldier in a desperate, unending bid for survival and freedom.
He had one of his eyes and arms replaced with cybernetic prosthetics, and also became infected by a techno-organic virus (which can be seen in the production photo creeping up the side of his neck). He ultimately traveled back in time to the mainstream Marvel Universe (Earth-616) shortly after his child self was sent forward in time.
Understand, this is an insanely convoluted backstory for anybody, let alone a character who has to be introduced — alongside other franchise newcomer Domino — in a fast-faced, action-comedy romp. There is no feasible way to introduce older versions of characters we just met in [easyazon_link identifier=”B072KJFPYW” locale=”US” tag=”tvovermind00a-20″]X-Men: Apocalypse[/easyazon_link], give them a child, watch them send it off in a future dimension where he lives a full life well into adulthood, before coming back and confronting his parents for their God-awful parenting decisions. If they hope to keep this movie to any kind of manageable length — not to mention keep the spotlight on Ryan Reynolds’ title character — it needs to be streamlined into something workable into a 90-minute feature film.
This is, of course, where Logan comes into play. We’ve already explored this dystopic future in depth. We know exactly how terrible a place it is to live for mutants: how they are constantly hunted down, experimented on and terminated by their Human counterparts. We’ve seen it bring powerful Mutants low and tear their families apart.
And we know that it isn’t all that far into the X-Men’s future, either. Logan is set in 2029: just 12 years into our future. The last main-series X-Men movie — Apocalypse — took place in 1983 and saw Cable’s eventual parents meeting for the first time as teenagers. Given a few years to date, marry, settle down and have young Nathan, and he would be well into his adult years by the time the events of Logan come to pass.
Rather than being sent into the future, only to return moments later as a full-grown adult, he would live through the increasingly horrific events of the timeline in real-time. He would grow into adulthood in a world that hates and fears him. He would lose his parents tragically (perhaps in the cryptically referenced “Westchester Incident”) and sell his services as a soldier-for-hire in a desperate bid for survival in the new world order. And, finding a means of traveling back in time — perhaps to undo the events that caused this timeline, much like Wolverine did in Days of Future Past — he would take it.
Zapped blindly back in time to around the events in question, it would undoubtedly be his mission to meet up with his young parents in the present day. Maybe he believes that the X-Men can help prevent the world from going down the drain a second time. Maybe he wants to warn them of their pending deaths and undo his personal tragedy. Or maybe it’s just a son’s desperate desire to see his parents who, for him, have been dead for years.
So how does this tie in with the mysterious bear strapped to his side? That’s simply what he had on him the day he became an orphan: one lingering token of a childhood ripped from him when his parents were killed in front of his eyes. Perhaps, if he timed his backwards leap just right, he can show them that it’s the same exact bear that they gave to his younger self, if perhaps just a little worse for wear.
Doubtless, however, he will not accomplish this goal, at least in the confines of this movie. The focus is, after all, going to be on Wade Wilson, and the events of the film will doubtless distract Cable from his stated mission in coming back in time in the first place. Certainly, though, it will be a plot thread to unravel at some later date, after we’ve gotten more accustomed to this version of Scott Summer and Jean Grey.