Everything you should know about the deadly X-Force before ‘Deadpool 2’

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20th Century Fox

  • The X-Force makes its big-screen debut in this weekend’s “Deadpool 2” as a team that Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool recruits to protect a young mutant from Josh Brolin’s Cable.
  • A spin-off movie is being developed that will be directed by “The Cabin in the Woods” director Drew Goddard.
  • In the comics, the X-Force is an aggressive antithesis to the X-Men, and has grown to use lethal force to handle threats throughout the years.

Don’t get it confused with the X-Men. The X-Force, which makes its big screen debut in “Deadpool 2” this weekend, isn’t afraid to get a little dirty.

So it makes perfect sense for the team to get the live-action treatment in this R-rated sequel to 2016’s surprise hit “Deadpool.” In “Deadpool 2,” Ryan Reynolds’ Merc with a Mouth recruits a ragtag team to protect a young mutant from Josh Brolin’s time-traveling assassin, Cable.

But once the lights go up in the theater on “Deadpool 2,” that won’t be the last time audiences will see the X-Force. Fox is currently developing a spin-off “X-Force” movie (don’t worry, Reynolds is set to return) and “The Cabin in the Woods” director Drew Goddard is on board to direct.

Reynolds recently described the movie to Collider as an “ensemble” where Deadpool can “just be part of the team” – though he did confess that while there is “a storyline that everyone’s happy with,” there isn’t a script yet.

It remains to be seen how the looming Disney-Fox deal could affect the “X-Force” movie, but Reynolds isn’t concerned: “I would assume that it’s just gonna be business as usual, but f— if I know,” he told Collider.

While the spin-off movie could be a couple years away, it’s worthwhile to have a basic idea of what the X-Force’s comic book history entails before seeing “Deadpool 2.”

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“The Uncanny X-Force” (2010)
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Marvel comics

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE X-FORCE

The team was created in 1991 by writer Fabian Nicieza and artist Rob Liefeld as a sort of reaction to the X-Men; whereas the latter were guided by moral righteousness, the X-Force had little holding them back from getting the job done by whatever means necessary.

While Deadpool will be leading the X-Force in “Deadpool 2” against Cable, the team originally consisted of Cable as one of its members in the comic books. It was also originally a rebooted version of the New Mutants team (the New Mutants is getting its own movie next year).

The team has gone through various rosters since its debut, and was typically portrayed as mutant misfits that didn’t quite belong with the X-Men. It has generally consisted of more aggressive characters compared to the X-Men, and that “aggressive” premise has taken on a more extreme meaning in recent years.

In 2008, X-Men leader Cyclops formed a secret X-Force that acted as a black-ops style team and used lethal force to handle threats. This team included Wolverine, Wolfsbane (which “Game of Thrones” star Maisie Williams will play in “The New Mutants” movie), X-23 (played in “Logan” by Dafne Keen), and Warpath (who was a founding member in the comic books).

That team was rebooted in 2010 as “The Uncanny X-Force,” and added members Deadpool and Psylocke (played in “X-Men: Apocalypse” by Olivia Munn).

There’s not currently an X-Force comic book being published by Marvel.

The “X-Men” franchise has already used, or will use, a lot of characters from the X-Force comic books. As mentioned, Wolfsbane will debut in “The New Mutants” next year, along with a character named Cannonball played by “Stranger Things” star Charlie Heaton. Cannonball was a founding X-Force member in the comic books.

But “Deadpool 2” won’t be lacking. Most notably, Domino – another founding member – will make her screen debut played by “Atlanta” star Zazie Beetz. Lewis Tan will also play another X-Force original member Shatterstar.

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