One of the most interesting – and frustrating – dynamics in the world of comic book movies is character rights. This is obvious in the tense relationship between 20th Century Fox and Marvel. Sony decided to play nice with Spider-Man recently, so did Fox make an effort with Deadpool, too?
At a special Q&A at Fox this past weekend, Ryan Reynolds was joined by co-writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese. Wernick and Reese revealed the thought process that went into including Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead in Deadpool. While Wernick stated that Colossus “…was the perfect foil”, Negasonic Teenage Warhead was a more unconventional choice.
“We were looking down the list of the 400 characters that Fox owns, and NTW jumped out, and we were like, ‘Yes. I don’t care what her powers are. She’s gonna be in the movie.'” – Paul Wernick
Some trouble came when the Deadpool team decided to make considerable changes to her character. Her look and even her powers are completely different from her comic book character. So, to make those changes, Wernick said they had to get special permission from Marvel.
Marvel, being the savvy business people that they are, took advantage of this and proposed a trade. They gave permission for Fox to change NTW’s characteristics, and got the rights to Ego the Living Planet (a Fox property) for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Genius!
This made perfect sense for both parties. Fox got to make their changes to a character that fit the unconventional vibe of Deadpool, and Guardians of the Galaxy got Star-Lord’s father, as portrayed by Kurt Russell. It’s hard to say who came out on top in this swap, so let’s just call it even.
Does this foreshadow closer cooperation between Fox and Marvel in the future? Perhaps. Many of our readers have opined that Fox should just relinquish their movie rights back to Marvel. Therefore, all these characters and stories could properly be absorbed into the super successful MCU. That is probably not the smartest financial move for Fox, so don’t be surprised if it never happens. To add to the tension, Marvel recently shelved the ongoing run of the Fantastic Four comic series.
So, do you think Fox and Marvel should cooperate more in the future, and what direction should Fox take with future X-Men movies?