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Brolin, best known to comic book fans for his portrayals of purple-skinned villain Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and the Liefeld-created time-traveling mutant mercenary Cable in Deadpool 2, was once considered to play a gruff and grizzled Batman in the Zack Snyder-directed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice before that role went to Argo star Ben Affleck in 2013.
“I didn’t have conversations about it, but Zack, that was part of his idea. It just didn’t turn out,” Brolin told The Huffington Post in 2013. “It’s OK. It is OK. You know, another scenario might have worked better, but I’m happy for Ben.”
Speaking on the “global reaction” to Affleck’s casting that summer, Brolin said he was sympathetic to the vitriol aimed at Affleck in the wake of the then-controversial news.
“I just feel for anybody who gets lambasted at that level,” he said. “I want him to kick ass and I want everyone to love it and kind of eat their words.”
In addition to returning as Thanos in May’s Avengers 4, Brolin has since inked a four-movie deal with X-Men and Deadpool producers 20th Century Fox to return as Cable in subsequent X-Verse entries, including an X-Force spinoff re-teaming him with Deadpool 2 co-stars Ryan Reynolds and Zazie Beetz.
Speaking to ComicBook.com during San Diego Comic-Con, Liefeld said “good buddy” Brolin is “really excited” about the future of his X-Men character and X-Force, now being readied by writer-director Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods, Bad Times at the El Royale).
“When he’s sitting there next to me at a meal or when he hops in my car and goes, ‘Can you take me up the street to the gym?’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, let’s go,’ he’s like, ‘I just want to tell you, I’m really excited about X-Force,’” Liefeld said.
“He said, ‘Rob, I’m really excited about my arc, I’m really excited about what my character goes.’ People then go, ‘What did he say?’ I don’t pry further. He just told me that he’s really excited about X-Force and he’s really excited about what his character does, and really excited about revisiting Cable, and he feels that Cable has a bigger arc. And that’s what I was told, and I didn’t dig any deeper, I’ll take him at his word.”
Affleck, meanwhile, has long been at the center of speculation and rampant rumors he’s out as Batman as the star has yet to be confirmed for future entries in Warner Bros.’ DC Films universe.
Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes) is now developing The Batman. X-Force has yet to claim a release date.