Rumours about the Fight Club star's involvement in the forthcoming project first emerged last week (ends24Mar17), when leaked concept art appeared to show the actor kitted out as Cable.

Now Deadpool 2 director David Leitch has confirmed Brad was interested in making his Marvel debut alongside Ryan Reynolds - and he even screen tested for the role, but the timing of the production just didn't work out.

"We had a great meeting with Brad, he was incredibly interested in the property. Things didn't work out schedule-wise," Leitch revealed to ComicBook.com. "He's a fan, and we love him, and I think he would've made an amazing Cable."

Michael Shannon has since emerged as a frontrunner to land the part, and Leitch has made it clear the Man of Steel star would be a great catch.

"I think, Michael Shannon, that name speaks for itself, he's an incredible actor and he can accomplish anything," the director told JoBlo.com. "I'm passionate about him as an actor and, look, he would make an incredible Cable.

"If that happens, I would be through the roof (happy) that I get to work with another incredible actor. I can't say that it's going to happen, because we're looking - the list is what the list is. But, yeah, I have nothing but great things to say about him and I'm a huge, huge fan."

If Shannon signs on, he will join fellow franchise newcomer Zazie Beetz, who has been cast as mutant mercenary Domino.

Deadpool 2 is expected to begin shooting this summer (17) in Vancouver, Canada, ahead of a projected 2018 release.