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The Bullet Train Star Who Almost Played Cable In Deadpool 2

The 2022 action film "Bullet Train" shares a lot of things with the 2018 superhero sequel "Deadpool 2." For one thing, both films are directed by David Leitch, who is also known for his work helming films such as "Atomic Blonde" and "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw." The two films also share a producer in Kelly McCormick, who also produced the 2021 features "Kate," starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and "Shadow In The Cloud," starring Chloe Moretz and directed by Roseanne Liang. McCormick has also been a longtime collaborator with Leitch.

The two movies, however, almost had one more connection, as a major star in "Bullet Train" was on track to play Cable, the key antagonist of "Deadpool 2" who is a major figure in the pages of Marvel comics. The role ended up being played by Josh Brolin, marking his second antagonistic turn in superhero films, following his work as Thanos in "Avengers: Infinity War" earlier that year. But who was that "Bullet Train" actor who nearly ended up with this role?

Michael Shannon was originally picked for the role

In an interview with IndieWire, "Bullet Train" producer Kelly McCormick revealed that Michael Shannon's casting as White Death indirectly stemmed from Shannon almost playing Cable in "Deadpool 2." She shared that Shannon was the original choice to play Cable, and if it weren't for conflicting schedules, he would have been seen onscreen. McCormick, however, had no regrets, saying that Brolin was so excellent in the role that she had trouble guessing what it would've been like if someone else played the role.

Playing Cable would have put Shannon in a rare category of performers who have done both Marvel and DC films, a list that includes Michael Keaton, J.K. Simmons, and Laurence Fishburne. Shannon's most famous work in superhero films to date has been in the 2013 film "Man of Steel," in which he played General Zod opposite Henry Cavill's portrayal of Superman.

Shannon was far from the only performer David Leitch and McCormick brought back from their time on "Deadpool 2," as "Bullet Train" star Brad Pitt himself also made a cameo in the film, playing the superhero Vanisher. In addition, Ryan Reynolds, who played the titular character in "Deadpool 2," also makes a cameo appearance in "Bullet Train" as Carver.