For the number of jokes that Deadpool made at the expense of Hugh Jackman, the X-Men, and the entire Marvel Universe, you’d think that either everyone over in Marvel land had a great sense of humor and approved everything, or they were all super pissed after the fact.
As it turns out, though, Marvel didn’t give or deny permission for anything. Well, almost anything. Since Deadpool was a Fox movie, they were free to use all the characters Fox owns. So they didn’t have to get any of their references or jokes approved, no matter how disparaging.
The one exception, as it turns out, was for a major fan favorite character: Negasonic Teenage Warhead.
According to screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese in a recent episode of the Q&A podcast, they wanted to put her in the movie, but not necessarily as written. Because as the writers admitted, they pretty much just chose to put the character in the movie because she has a fucking rad name. In the comics, though, her powers are all mental abilities like telepathy and illusion.
But invisible brain powers weren’t really Deadpool’s jam. The writers wanted to make her “into a literal warhead because we thought it was funnier.” To change a superhero’s powers, though, is different than making a Hugh Jackman joke. And that was the only time anyone from the film had to ask Marvel’s permission for anything.
“It was the one thing we needed Marvel’s actual approval on, that they had to reach out for,” said co-writer Paul Wernick. “[Director] Tim [Miller] has a relationship with [Marvel President] Kevin Feige and I think he went straight to Kevin because all the lawyers, you know, it gets messy with the lawyers.”
And thank Xavier the studio gave their blessing, because Negasonic Teenage Warhead is one of the very best elements (if not straight #1) of Deadpool, no matter her powers. It’s hard to imagine the movie without her, if Marvel wasn’t willing to give her more visually impressive characteristics and she’d then been scrapped.
Because sure, Deadpool is great on his own. But this girl is one hell of a foil.