Deadpool: Josh Brolin reveals why he preferred playing Thanos over Cable

Josh Brolin as Cable in Twentieth Century Fox’s DEADPOOL 2. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.
Josh Brolin as Cable in Twentieth Century Fox’s DEADPOOL 2. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox. /

Josh Brolin says playing Cable in Deadpool 2 felt more like a “business transaction” than playing Thanos did.

Everyone has their reasons for not liking or thinking Fox’s cycle of X-Men films were lackluster – outside Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine and the two Deadpool movies, that is. Most would agree those were exceptional.

Some of the franchise’s stars, however, including actors from the Deadpoolshave their complaints. Count Cable actor Josh Brolin as one, just not for the reason you might think – something he explained as a guest on acclaimed cinematographer Roger Deakins’ Team Deakins podcast.

Brolin revealed working on Deadpool 2, essentially a comedy, was hard for him because he had to find a balance to bring the funny. He described the experience as “a business transaction.”

"“Deadpool was hard. Even though it was funny, it was harder… That was more of a business transaction, it was more, ‘We need to make this like this’, which I didn’t feel that way with Avengers.”"

Playing Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, Brolin felt freer as a performer and found muses for his portrayal of the Mad Titan in greats like Marlon Brando.

"“I mentioned Brando in Apocalypse Now, this guy who is very elusive and insane but what he is saying makes sense and is poetical… I started seeing the parallel which I liked for me. I loved being able to resort to a film like Apocalypse Now when I was doing something like Avengers.“"

Thanos became more real and organic for Brolin based on that character research. “The more I watched it, the more I realized this is a real guy,” he observed. “This is not a big purple guy, this is a guy with insides and cells and feelings. Then it became fun.”

He later remarked that was the difference being directed by the Russo brothers. Clicking with them is easier because they are cinephiles as “they would constantly go back and reference Scarface or Dog Day Afternoon” because “they knew what to throw out there to bring it back into something inspired.”

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Thanos is arguably Josh Brolin’s most “inspired” performance as a comic book character. He has been in several adaptations outside the Marvel sphere of properties and the oeuvre is a mixed bag. Brolin starred in MIB 3, Sin City: a Dame to Kill For, the based-on-a-manga Oldboy remake, and Jonah Hex.

The last two were pretty bad flops and Jonah Hex almost killed any chance of Brolin giving superheroes another go before he landed Thanos, a role that might not actually be done for in the MCU despite the very definitive finale of Endgame. 

Cable might time-jump his way into the mix as well. Deadpool/Cable creator Rob Liefeld has said Brolin is interested in playing the time-traveling antihero again, in a solo film no less.

Meanwhile, Deadpool 3 might seem like it stalled but, by plenty of accounts, it’s still in the works with Kevin Feige producing.

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Are you surprised by Brolin’s thoughts about playing Cable and Thanos? Do you hope he is willing to make one more “business transaction,” this time in the MCU? Leave us your comments and be sure to check back for more on the futures of Deadpool and Cable in the movies.