Negasonic Teenage Warhead was relatively unknown for casual fans of the movies until she appeared in Deadpool. Her obscurity gave the directors and producers a lot of freedom to recreate NTW — the female superhero in Deadpool — to their liking, which meant they could change her powers from the comic books, change her looks, and change her attitude. One power that NTW was given was the fact that she can transfer the force of an explosion down so she can move upwards.
Brianna Caitlin Hildebrand played NTW as a disaffected sarcastic teen, someone who was sardonic and judgemental, as teens often are. She confronts every situation head-on, and seems to be immune to Deadpool’s humor and sarcasm. But did you know that NTW is the first time a Marvel female superhero was explicitly not interested in boys? Also, that the actress didn’t have to play it because she herself doesn’t like boys? Or the fact that Hildebrand had a real-life crush on Ryan Reynolds when she was young? She also didn’t even know after getting her part that she would be in the same movie as her favorite actor? Well, there’s so much more about who NTW is, which is why we’ve created a list of 20 strange or unknown things about NTW that true fans should know about her.
15. HOW SHE GOT HER NAME
Writer Grant Morrison was a big fan of the New Jersey rock band Monster Magnet. The band had a little-known song called “Negasonic Teenage Warhead” and the writer named his character after that song name. The appeal of the band was that it played very left of center, a sound that was very comic book inspired.
When Dave Wyndorf, the frontman for Monster Magnet found out, he was thrilled: “Grant Morrison, writer, really cool guy, talented guy I’m happy to say. I’m a huge fan of him. All of a sudden, just drops it, names of these X-Men characters after ‘Negasonic Teenage Warhead!’ I completely flipped out.”
14. HER NAME WAS THE REASON SHE APPEARED IN DEADPOOL
NTW was a little-known mutant for the casual movie watcher. However, hardcore comic fans knew her well, but probably never really expected her to hit the big screen. In the world of Hollywood, there were always bigger and better superheroes that executives and producers wanted to focus on. But there is another reason why she is in Deadpool: her name!
That’s right, her handle was over-the-top and perfect for the warped world in Deadpool. Tim Miller (on the left, Producer Simon Kinberg, the director, on the right) said this: “We chose her because we wanted a trainee for Colossus in the film and the writers and I just fell in love with her name. It’s just so out there and so Deadpool.”
13. THE DEADPOOL WRITERS MORPHED HER
Very often, comic-book movies never completely line up with the source material, and hardcore fans are often peeved when this happens. X-Men is an example of this hot mess, and so is NTW in Deadpool. Deadpool got his superhero from the X-Men comics, but the writers completely changed her so that she became a different character. This is proof that you don’t have to stay true to the source material to create something great.
It seems that NTW has some kind of predictive powers or mental manipulation abilities, but in the movie, the writers centered on her one definitive power that they created: her ability to produce explosions, which allows her to be catapulted into a fight or an attack.
12. DEADPOOL WAS A FIRST FOR HER
You may not know that Tim Miller’s first directorial debut was Deadpool. But it was also the first film, besides a web series, for Brianna Caitlin Hildebrand, who plays Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Hildebrand is now 22, but she was only 19 when filming first began for Deadpool. She hit it out of the ballpark for getting picked to play NTW and her once-obscure character is now famous for being a part of the X-Men and Deadpool.
In 2016, Hildebrand was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for the category Choice Movie: Breakout Star. While she didn’t win, she’s still a breakout star of Deadpool, and especially Deadpool 2, where she actually acknowledges (!) and cooperates with Ryan Reynolds’ character.
11. THE ACTRESS WAS CRUSHING ON RYAN REYNOLDS
When asked about what she thought about Reynolds, she admitted that he was her childhood crush. As Hildebrand put it, “[Ryan’s] name is all over the walls of my room, I actually photoshopped myself into a picture with him [during] my freshman year of high school. I was hardcore obsessed so it’s crazy how this all worked out.
“When I auditioned for this film I actually didn’t really have any kind of idea what I was auditioning for, or that he had anything to do with it, but for my call back I was like “Oh my god! What!” So yeah, it’s cool working with him. He’s awesome.”
10. NTW’S POWERS
NTW’s mutant powers were telepathic in the comic books. Just as she had nightmares of Genosha being wiped out, which turned out to be true, she also was endowed with psychic visions of the future. But in the movies, her powers were more destructive, which, as discussed above, means she can produce explosions. Director Tim Miller elaborated: “We thought, well, we’re going to need to make her powers fit with who she feels like she is in the movie…it wasn’t just a simple, ‘oh, I can explode.’
Meanwhile, Screenwriter Rhett Reese said, [“J]ust the sound of the name – ‘Warhead’ – implies to us that she could kind of become a human bomb, and we ran with that. There will be a few people offended by that, but she wasn’t a major enough character that I think we won’t piss too many people off.” And besides, her new abilities are much more in-sync with her name.
9. NTW’S ROLE IN DEADPOOL
The thing about Deadpool is that the character keeps making wisecracks and breaks the fourth fall to comedic effect. But he needs someone who is the exact opposite, who he can bounce off jokes and so that he’s not just some giant nerd in a vacuum. That would be NTW, who plays the straight man to Deadpool and his off-color humor and antics.
So Negasonic Teenage Warhead manages to be the straight man not just for Deadpool but also there is Colossus, who is known for having a deep moral compass and is good-natured. Colossus is important in Deadpool because he alone connected the world of Deadpool to the X-Men universe, which is a good thing in small doses.
8. NTW’S VISIONS
Negasonic Teenage Warhead came from the fictional island nation of Genosha, which you probably know about because it has been embedded in the X-Men mythology. Genosha was a haven for mutants. It was a prosperous country, but its wealth was derived from using mutants as slaves. Whoever was a mutant, the government stripped them of their basic rights and they became the property of the state. The government was so cruel that children who turned out to have the mutant gene were stripped of their free will and were made “mutates.”
During this time, NTW was a goth teen who was haunted by a recurring dream in which all the citizens died due to a mass extermination. The very next moment, the entire country was attacked by Sentinels where 16 million mutants died.
7. A TRADE WAS MADE
Even though Negasonic Teenage Warhead is an obscure character, Marvel couldn’t just borrow her from 21st Century Fox. Instead, a trade-off had to arranged. One would think, given Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s relative obscurity, that securing the rights for her to appear in Deadpool would be easy. But instead, a deal was made between 21st Century Fox and Marvel.
The writers, as we know, wanted to change everything about NTW besides her name, but that was too much for Fox. They needed permission from Marvel, and Marvel allowed that under one condition. In exchange for the total recreation of NTW, Marvel was allowed to use the character Ego The Living Planet from Guardians Vol. 2. The barter ended up working.
6. NTW GOT RESURRECTED IN THE COMICS
As we noted, NTW was created in 2001 when she appeared in an X-Men comic. She was an all-out goth girl, and on top of that, she was a teenager. So you definitely didn’t want to mess with her as she transitions from bratty, sardonic teen to a young woman in Deadpool 2. It was during the international incident in Genosha, which she predicted, where she was taken out, as well as all the other mutants in the country.
Then she had a second life when she was resurrected and, in the process, gained some new powers, like being able to reach into the minds of others. She later found out that Selene had sacrificed her immediately after she was resurrected.
5. THE COMICS MIMICKED THE MOVIE
NTW was resurrected and then reinvented due to her success in the first Deadpool. In kind of a reverse fashion, the comic books changed her attitude and looks and powers so that she could resemble her image in the movie.
That’s why, in 2016, NTW was altered to make her look and act more like the way she was in the movie in the comic Deadpool & The Mercs for Money. So, in this case, the NTW in the comic books matched up with her role and appearance in the movie.
4. SHE TRAINED LIKE RYAN REYNOLDS
If you’re playing a superhero, it’s assumed that before the camera rolls, you start training heavily as you need to be in your best shape to undergo the physical toils that will happen when you start fighting in the movies. You lift, do cardio, learn gymnastic moves and eat right. This was what Ryan Reynolds did before Deadpool. The ultimate goal is to be as flexible as you can be so you can withstand the intensely choreographed fight scenes.
Brianna Hildebrand also did physical training for her role, and her background as a dancer made her lithe and limber for the movie. She said, “I was a dancer before but I had never done any kind of fighting so I was like I should probably look like I can kick someone’s ass. . . I’ve done a lot of boxing, which I really enjoy. . . as well as a lot of sprinting because [her character] runs at things.”
3. SHE ALREADY HAD THE LOOK
During auditions and before she got the part, Hildebrand looked perfect for her portrayal of Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Her entire appearance made her look like she was part of a punk rock band, as well as a goth girl, the very look the producers, writers, and directors were leaning towards.
As she said, “When I auditioned I actually had my septum ring flipped up, so they didn’t know I had it, but they saw it in a picture and they were like ‘Oh that’s really cool.’ I’ve had my head shaved for like a year and I’ve had my piercings for like a year. It’s cool that they loved all of it and cool that they could be useful.” Her look also made it in the script, where Reynolds compared her character to Sinead O’Connor.
2. 2016 WAS HER YEAR
The year 2016 was a very good one for the Texas-born actress. She not only starred in Deadpool, she also made another movie that came out that year. First Girl I Loved, a coming-of-age film, stars Hildebrand as a high school softball player who has a relationship with another girl, the editor of the school yearbook.
The teen drama was widely praised. NBC said the film “is shockingly shaded with a layered realism that generally escapes straight male directors. [the director is male]. His proven understanding of protagonist Anne (Dylan Gelula) and her love interest Sasha (Breanna Hildebrand) comes through in their awkward but adorable early conversations.” Yep, it was a very good year.
1. SHE IS MARVEL’S FIRST FEMALE CHARACTER WITH A GIRLFRIEND
In Deadpool 2, it’s revealed that Negasonic Teenage Warhead doesn’t like boys. Not that anyone cared. Deadpool himself couldn’t give a hoot when it’s revealed to him that his sardonic sidekick is not straight.
When NTW introduces Deadpool to her girlfriend, Yukio, he doesn’t even bat an eye. And while Deadpool and NTW have a brother and sister relationship defined by quips and insults, NTW’s girlfriend Yuki takes a strong liking to Deadpool and has a natural rapport with him throughout the movie.
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