Some casting what-ifs make sense once you hear them; others are utterly mystifying. This new revelation from producer Kelly McCormick falls in to the latter category. When discussing the cornucopia of cameos in this weeks very fun Bullet Train with Indiewire, McCormick let slip that Michael Shannon (who includes a small role in Bullet Train because the movies big bad) was originally said to be cybernetically enhanced, time-traveling heavy Cable in Deadpool 2.
Both Bullet Train and Deadpool 2 were directed by McCormicks creative (and life) partner David Leitch. And apparently the Michael Shannon-as-Cable rumor have been around for a time but hadnt been confirmed as yet.
He actually almost was Cable, the producer told Indiewire. Then there is some kind of hiccup conflict at the last minute, and we just finished up reconnecting with this one and felt really lucky that was the role for him. Because Josh [Brolin] was so excellent as Cable, I cant even imagine [what that could have already been like].
Its true Brolin bulked up, almost unrecognizably, for Cable in Deadpool 2 and along the way brought an iconic comic book character (from the X-Men mythology) become more active. The movie finished up making nearly $800 million worldwide.
In Bullet Train, Shannon plays The White Death, a notorious Russian crime lord who has increased to power in japan underground and contains several connections with the many killers and criminal types on a runaway bullet train (including Brad Pitts Ladybug). While his role is bit more than a protracted cameo, Shannon makes the the majority of the role, fully inhabiting the type in a manner that only he could.
Bullet Train has gone out now.