The character, played by Brianna Hildebrand in Fox’s R-rated superhero movie, had psychic abilities in the comics. But director Tim Miller and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick revealed during Deadpool’s marketing campaign that they wanted Negasonic to have powers more suited to her kick-ass name. Before they could make that change, however, they had to ask permission from Disney’s Marvel Studios.
According to Wernick during a Q&A (documented by The Playlist), Marvel gave the okay, but they in turn had to give them something. He explained:
Kurt Russell[’s Ego, the Living Planet] in the new Guardians movie was the character that Fox swapped with Marvel to [change] Negasonic Teenage Warhead powers.
It’s interesting because, according to Marvel’s database, Ego’s first comic book appearance was in a “Thor” comic from 1966, but the planet’s origins are linked to a “Fantastic Four” comic from 1981. Given this new tidbit, it confirms Ego was a Fox property, since the studio owns the cinematic rights to the “Fantastic Four” and “X-Men” characters.
Editor’s Note: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn confirmed the character trade over social media:
Haha yes that’s true. I don’t think Fox knew what a big piece of the cosmic universe puzzle he was going to be (and I had no backup ). https://t.co/Z19dDwvKgV
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) November 14, 2016
The update also provides another intriguing layer to the mysterious relationship between Fox and Marvel. Have there been more discussions of character swaps and crossovers than have been reported? Fox is in a bit of a transition period with their movie superheroes — the Fantastic Four reboot failed miserably and the X-Men franchise could potentially lose Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender. (As Lawrence previously put it, if one goes, they all go.)
Then Fox announced a batch of X-Men-rooted television shows, including Legion. And they’re all being co-produced with Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb, the same guy who produces Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Defenders series on Netflix for Marvel. I always wondered if there was an exchange of goods with this scenario. Perhaps the Fantastic Four will be heading into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although, in that scenario, my guess is Disney would tap that property more for their villains (Galactus, Doctor Doom, the Skrulls, etc.)
Disney made headlines with Sony when they struck a deal that would allow Spider-Man to join the Avengers, and in exchange, Disney would produce and co-finance the solo Spider-Man films. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that a similar deal was struck with Fox.