X-Force Creator Rob Liefeld Calls Josh Brolin's Cable a 'Dead On' Adaptation

"The Man Called Cable could not have been more fully realized," Liefeld says.

by | February 7, 2018 | Comments

When artist Rob Liefeld first brought his concept of a futuristic super-solider to Marvel in 1989, he always suspected his character, The Man Called Cable, would find his way to the big screen. But he also imagined it would take more and less time than it ultimately did. As seen in today’s trailer for May’s Deadpool 2, Cable has taken the form of actor Josh Brolin, bringing a surprising amount of Liefeld’s character to the screen a good 20 years before the artist’s worst-case scenario.

“I remember we went to see Spider-Man in 2002,” Liefeld told Rotten Tomatoes. “Stan Lee was 79 [at the time]. I told my wife that Cable would be in a movie by the time we were in our seventies.”

After seeing the trailer this morning, his wife reminded him of his prediction.

“She said, ‘You beat it before you hit 50!'” he said.

But he also admitted he had always hoped Cable would be in the pictures by his 30s.

Josh Brolin as Cable in Deadpool 2 screenshot (20th Century Fox)

The character, whose real name is Nathan Summers, first appeared as Cable in the March 1990 issue of Marvel Comics’ X-Men spin-off New Mutants. The title, like other X-Men offshoots at the time, could not hope to match the sales juggernaut of the mothership, the best-selling comic book on the market for most of the 1980s.

“They offered me X-Factor,” Liefeld recalled.

That book reunited the original X-Men under a new team name, but Liefeld was reluctant to take the reins after the creative team of Louise Simonson and Walter Simonson, who had introduced key characters like Apocalypse during their tenure.

“I would not have made the same impact,” he said.

Marvel’s other long-running X-Men spinoff, New Mutants, was lagging behind and ready for a creative shake-up. Liefeld had an idea to transform the title. His pitch was for a new team leader: a pragmatic man of action who mixed the extreme ends of mutant freedom represented by Professor Xavier and Magneto, both of whom had previously shepherded the team. But remembering his own fascination with Wolverine in the early ’80s, Liefeld also cloaked the character in a lot of mystery and a ton of cool design features.

“He is a solider from the future, and when you look at him, you say, ‘Yeah, he looks like he’s from the future.’ He has scar over one eye, a glowing eye, and a cybernetic arm,” the artist said of the design, which quickly inspired fans and a subsequent generation of artists. “I was following the path of Wolverine before me, which was the mystery… and [Cable] has multiple layers of mystery.”

Josh Brolin as Cable in Deadpool 2 screenshot (20th Century Fox)

In his first appearance, he inserted himself into a prison to take on a team of mutant terrorists. To Liefeld, they key feature on display was “relentlessness,” a feature he also saw in the new trailer, which establishes the dynamic between the cinematic Cable and Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds).

Taking control of the New Mutants, Cable quickly led them away from the school trappings of earlier X-Men days to the combat zones he was more accustomed to. By 1991, New Mutants was replaced by a new title to reflect the change in the team dynamics. X-Force became a hit with its mixture of cool characters like Cable, pranksters like Deadpool, and a dedication to trickling out details of their histories at a measured pace. Cable, was “immediately in toys and in cartoons” and has been “part of the firmament of Marvel” ever since.

And Liefeld expects those elements of Cable that thrilled comic readers in the early 1990s will thrill audiences when Deadpool 2 debuts in May.

“The dynamite is about to go boom!” he said with glee. “The audience for the film is being introduced to him the way the audience in the comics was, and it’ll be great to see how they go for that ride.

“He’s walking into the world of Deadpool, who is openly mocking him,” he explained. “Their chemistry has always been great. In the comics, Deadpool was the wiseass to offset the straight-man Cable was. And now, Cable’s the straight-man [in the film] to offset the wiseass. I love it.”

Josh Brolin as Cable in Deadpool 2 screenshot (20th Century Fox)

Visually, Liefeld said Brolin’s look is “dead on,” right down to the inclusion of dark strands in his white hair, a design element that debuted in New Mutants #87, but which Liefeld pulled back on to indicate the character’s aging process.

“They told me they did it so there’s room to go more silver in the next movie,” he said, thanking make-up designer Bill Corso and his team for making that extra effort to honor the character’s original look. Liefeld did admit, though, that Brolin’s Cable has a “cooler hairstyle” than the character’s original late ’80s do.

“Look at that jaw! Look at that grimace!” he added. He also praised Brolin for getting the “gym-rat, muscle-bound” physique of the character right. “He met the task. He became Cable.”

Josh Brolin as Cable in Deadpool 2 screenshot (20th Century Fox)

“I had a pretty good instinct that it would hit the spot,” Liefeld said of today’s trailer. “And the beautiful thing about social media is the instant feedback. It’s nice to know the instincts are still good.”

“And it wouldn’t be a Deadpool trailer if it didn’t have a skit in the middle!” he added. “Playing with action figures — that’s our language!”

But he also pointed out that between the two trailers — and their skits — the film has only revealed 50 seconds of its running time.

“You have a minute, tops, of a two-hour film, which means the confidence they have in the film is tremendous,” he said. “The Man Called Cable could not have been more fully realized and sold to the audience [than he was] today. And there’s so much more to come.”

Deadpool 2 arrives in theaters on May 18.

Tag Cloud

The Academy deadpool President Lifetime Christmas movies Awards Tour Schedule Peacock PlayStation dceu razzies Kids & Family YA Martial Arts foreign LGBTQ movies Sundance Now Black History Month Legendary medical drama Fox News festival Year in Review National Geographic australia ID Ghostbusters Sundance Dark Horse Comics Winter TV doctor who universal monsters Creative Arts Emmys parents A&E Television Critics Association Star Trek based on movie Awards Musical rotten movies we love Mindy Kaling WGN TNT TV renewals dramedy WarnerMedia finale Premiere Dates TruTV Mary Tyler Moore Crackle scorecard BBC One Starz Western Broadway Trivia Columbia Pictures ABC Signature james bond Mary poppins emmy awards Sundance TV composers name the review miniseries Reality Competition spanish language Summer hist FX on Hulu new star wars movies game show sitcom docudrama The Walt Disney Company zombies Superheroe telelvision Super Bowl Apple DC Universe E3 SXSW sports justice league casting japanese Photos cancelled TV shows video on demand 4/20 rt archives vampires Lionsgate See It Skip It GIFs latino Superheroes CBS halloween tv Nat Geo discovery saw BET Awards stop motion aliens crime thriller Red Carpet binge Captain marvel unscripted documentary romantic comedy tv talk Interview Exclusive Video cults nbcuniversal mockumentary crime drama Ellie Kemper 24 frames SundanceTV IFC south america die hard prank ratings science fiction Discovery Channel 2018 joker football scary movies christmas movies cars APB Polls and Games jamie lee curtis festivals Epix The CW Film Festival cancelled TV series 71st Emmy Awards DGA MTV Esquire revenge women Classic Film Watching Series Best and Worst Comic Book Shudder E! Crunchyroll Endgame police drama FOX Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Pop sequel serial killer hispanic comics monster movies hollywood Sony Pictures VH1 Vudu Masterpiece MCU Tarantino Character Guide TCA Awards political drama comiccon Pirates Country El Rey Britbox indiana jones Podcast TV One popular ABC all-time Extras biography Family Music Trophy Talk archives Fox Searchlight BAFTA supernatural Song of Ice and Fire documentaries CMT animated FXX Mystery sequels franchise canceled TV shows Christmas RT History best adaptation Countdown Netflix Christmas movies 2021 Academy Awards zombie GoT streaming Syfy CW Seed Marvel Television Disney Plus 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards 93rd Oscars Box Office indie Shondaland remakes free movies Ovation ABC Family period drama First Reviews OneApp elevated horror Hallmark 007 thriller nature travel Elton John Star Wars 2016 anthology black OWN heist movie cops independent The Arrangement Fall TV stand-up comedy boxing Rom-Com HBO Max video cartoon SDCC Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt natural history TCM kids superman HBO Go CBS All Access Musicals breaking bad satire docuseries Anna Paquin series harry potter VICE classics DC streaming service DC Comics spain Animation Trailer Paramount Plus Marvel Tumblr romance high school Video Games Marvel Studios RT21 concert critics space witnail GLAAD PaleyFest psycho green book Spike sag awards Valentine's Day Travel Channel TCA 2017 Binge Guide cancelled television Sneak Peek werewolf 2017 2015 VOD Paramount Network Oscars dragons Biopics Election Cartoon Network The Walking Dead blockbuster book DirecTV Television Academy cooking A24 Funimation blockbusters Acorn TV boxoffice slashers Avengers Baby Yoda crossover Pop TV TV chucky Hear Us Out teaser Set visit Cannes Opinion The Witch historical drama 2019 toy story Holidays jurassic park Comedy Central Lifetime batman trailers BBC America disaster Chernobyl technology blaxploitation reviews golden globes TBS stoner Quiz king kong 99% godzilla Disney streaming service YouTube Premium Logo twilight italian Marathons halloween American Society of Cinematographers Nickelodeon Emmys Black Mirror Turner Comedy USA Network singing competition Fantasy Bravo Nominations Film Disney fast and furious Emmy Nominations Rocketman ESPN adventure comedies canceled films Reality crime rotten what to watch french television true crime Showtime cats Disney+ Disney Plus 21st Century Fox criterion Amazon Prime psychological thriller superhero laika a nightmare on elm street social media Writers Guild of America transformers Action versus First Look YouTube LGBT Tomatazos Rocky pirates of the caribbean Pixar spy thriller hidden camera IFC Films Mary Poppins Returns ITV theme song ViacomCBS toronto news Amazon Studios talk show Apple TV+ cancelled Pride Month Walt Disney Pictures dc zero dark thirty Certified Fresh USA Warner Bros. Heroines FX book adaptation fresh game of thrones kong politics CNN spanish BET dogs rom-coms spinoff Horror Calendar movie Rock Sci-Fi Netflix Freeform Grammys Spring TV reboot Hallmark Christmas movies Lucasfilm History Hulu war YouTube Red Winners directors 20th Century Fox San Diego Comic-Con golden globe awards 72 Emmy Awards Amazon dark Tubi mission: impossible Turner Classic Movies Pet Sematary Toys HBO mutant Disney Channel robots Comics on TV Arrowverse award winner screen actors guild cinemax facebook asian-american worst movies Holiday Adult Swim MSNBC Thanksgiving kaiju children's TV obituary child's play TCA BBC NYCC Paramount 45 Mudbound PBS 2020 screenings spider-man TLC Infographic comic books diversity Spectrum Originals Cosplay Stephen King worst strong female leads TCA Winter 2020 quibi New York Comic Con Apple TV Plus Alien X-Men Food Network Women's History Month Drama Brie Larson TIFF Universal nfl TV Land ghosts anime comic AMC venice The Purge Teen NBC Amazon Prime Video renewed TV shows richard e. Grant