Earlier this morning, Ryan Reynolds and Rob Liefeld revealed the first looks at Josh Brolin as Cable ahead of his formal debut in 2018's Deadpool sequel. Liefeld, of course, co-created Cable back in 1990 with Louise Simonson for New Mutants #87, helping rocket Liefeld to popularity though X-Force and on to Image Comics, Youngblood, and more.
With Liefeld taking part in this reveal today - and actively talking with fans on social media has the news spread -Newsarama called Liefeld at his California home to find out what he thinks about the reveal, what else he knows about the costume (and that teddy bear), and his overall impressions of how that kid from The Goonies who is best known for getting tied up with cables, becomes Cable
Newsarama: Rob, you’re having a busy day I imagine. What’s going through your head right now?
Rob Liefeld: I’m so excited. Excited for myself, for the studio… But I’m excited most of all for the fans. There’s no one more important than the fans. And I count myself one of them – I paid to see Deadpool a few times myself.
We want to be entertained, and I think Fox - between Deadpool and Logan - have absolutely earned the respect from fans in regards to taking it seriously. They’re now adapting the comic books in the best way possible.
Nrama: Can you say how long you’ve had that photo you ran on Instagram before you published it?
Liefeld: I don’t sit on anything. As soon as I got it, I ran it.
I had seen conceptual stuff awhile back, but as far of these images everyone saw it a couple seconds after I first did.
I get it. In today’s world, everything needs to be on lockdown.
I sing the praises of make-up designer Bill Corso especially for Josh Brolin’s Cable. Bill is the reason Ryan looked as good as he did as Deadpool, and Bill's also worked on Blade Runner 2049, Kong: Skull Island, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I knew Cable was in great hands.
He even came to me with questions about certain looks – “What about this? What about that?” He had great questions, and everything was thought-out thoroughly, especially the scar on Cable’s face.
Nrama: These two images seem to have all the quintessential bits of your vision for Cable: the scar, the twinkle in the eye, the cyborg arm, the big gun, and the pouches. How do you feel about them adhering so close to your original vision?
Liefeld: I agree, it’s spot on.
Speaking for myself, my social media has had a seismic event this morning with this Cable reveal.
People have to understand… whenever I go out to a restaurant or something, and people notice me and talk comes to Cable, everyone was a bit nervous about a live-action portrayal.
Let’s go all the way back to Michae Keaton being Batman. I was just getting into the business then, and I remember everybody freaking out. From then to now with these kinds of things, some of that is earned, but part of it is just in the DNA of what fans have grown accustomed to.
Cable was a concern. Everyone was dying to see this. The concept art for Brolin’s Cable matches exactly up with this photo today. I haven’t had any qualms.
Josh looks so good. Grizzled, a five o’clock shadow, a weathered face.. he hits all of the high notes.
And some people may not realize it, in or out of comic books…. But Cable is a giant character in comic books. We can’t underscore the comics he starred in or carried, or the peaks he achieves. I saw the fortunes of a book change the second he was put on the page. Cable is the last “biggest” character who’s come out in comic books; if anyone has an argument about someone else, you’re going to lose. I was talking to someone at another publisher, and they said Cable was the face of the 1990s. I got to thinking about that, and he’s up there.
For me, I worship everything from the 1970s. I adore the stuff I grew up on. I worship Namor in the blue costume. For people who grew up in the 1990s, they adore Cable and Deadpool. If Fox could get those right, it’s a victory – and thankfully, they did. They just nailed it.
And remember, that’s just with these two static images. Not a video, not a clip, not even a poster.
I’m just excited for the guys and girls making this movie.
Nrama: When you created Cable, Josh Brolin was best known as Brand from The Goonies. Could you ever have imagined it would all turn into this?
Liefeld: I saw The Goonies at the Orange County Cinemadome with my cousin.
And you gotta remember, Josh’s dad James Brolin is super-famous. My mom was in love with him on Marcus Welby, M.D. It’s so weird that my mom’s crush had a son, and now he’s playing a character that her son created.
I grew up on Marcus Welby, and Josh’s career too. Two years ago when Sicario hit, I came out of the theater like a man on fire for how much I loved that movie. It was one of those movies I wandered into, and it blew my nuts off. Going back, No Country For Old Men… He nailed it. To get a guy who’s that accomplished for this role is something – and then he transforms himself for the role.
Chris, I gotta tell you – this past year has been a roller coaster. At one point, one of my friends at Fox was telling me that I “have no idea” how many men from 30 to 50 had contacted them for the Cable role. Some of the names mentioned kept me up at night – “I hope this guy doesn’t get the job. Please, please no. Please not him.”
And I, like you, heard all sorts of rumors. At a party, an agent came up to me about an actor they represented, wanting a meeting. I told them. Sorry, I can’t help you. I don’t handle casting.”
So look, that journey to get to today gave me a lot of heart palpitations. When you understand how much everyone loves Ryan as Deadpool, and how everyone believes he’s perfect – he has set that high bar for how great Cable has to be. And Fox did it. Josh did it. Everyone has a sigh of relief.
It’s great to see these images today and how well-received they have been. If you look at the cyborg arm, it looks different – it’s not Colossus’ arm. [Laughs] if you look at my first year drawing Cable, the look of his arm changed. I figured if his arm was cybernetic, it could open up, change, be added to with attachments. Seeing Brolin’s arm here, and I understand the thought process.
When Josh came out at D23, I remember reading how Josh Brolin was in his Cable look, but promoting Thanos. That dude gets to be Cable and Thanos in the same summer. I don’t know if anyone else has pulled something like that off. Two giant Marvel icons, through different studios, less than one month apart.
Nrama: All the while, this whole time the Cable casting has been going on, I have in the back of my mind… “potentially, probably, whomever is chosen to be Cable will also be Stryfe.”
Liefeld: Wait, we can talk spoilers? [Laughs]
Yes, that’s obvious – it comes with the dinner. For those who don’t know, pick-up New Mutants #100.
Nrama: One thing I noticed on the Cable photo you posted was a teddy bear on his belt. In comic books, that is something from his adopted daughter Hope Summers. Can you say anything about that – either something you know, or just speculation from seeing it for the first time this morning?
Liefeld: Seeing it, I have to believe he took it from Deadpool.
Nrama: Last question for you then, Rob. You said you just got the image this morning. I imagine school is in for your kids, but have you had a chance to show it to any of them yet?
Liefeld: School starts next week here, but my daughter already left for soccer camp.
I almost put this on social media, but I’ll tell you here. My oldest son was upstairs this morning and I guess found the image online when it dropped, and he was shocked he didn’t hear me screaming downstairs. He came down about a half an hour later and I was over here sort of kicking and flailing, and he said “Dad, I’ve never seen you this excited – but I expected to hear you.”
I was speechless, but pointed at my iPad. I was literally so excited I was like a super energetic mime.
Within 20 minutes, my younger son – he’s fifteen – said “Hey dad, I think you’re overdoing it. I really think you’re overdoing it.”
I smiled and said “OK.” Everything I do embarrasses him. But he walked away.
My response to him was “Ok. I can’t argue with you. But I’m not going to stop.” The cat’s out of the bag. You’ve now seen Cable, you’ve now seen Deadpool. We’re ready to rock. I’m thrilled to see the response, and I put it exactly on par of how people reacted to seeing Ryan for the first time as Deadpool for Deadpool – the internet blew up that day, and I haven’t experienced that kind of shock again until today.
I’m sitting here in my garage looking at everything. I have nine boxes devoted to just Cable and Deadpool toys; still in their packaging. Sometimes I take them out for photos to post on social media. But now 27 years from when I created them, I’ve got 27 Cable toys, 27 Deadpool stories, but next year they’re going to be able to get it on in real life. Fans who have loved the comic books, the statues, the video games.. Their favorite way to consume it is through the movies, and the reaction to Brolin as Cable is a great omen.
There’s more cool things to see. I’m just telling you, the next weeks and months to come are going to be very exciting. But I don’t expect to see any kind of video of these characters, like a trailer or something, for months.