As Deadpool continues its reign atop the box office, much has been made of the film’s supporting cast of colorful characters that were drawn into the world of Ryan Reynolds’ mouthy mercenary over the course of his bloody, irreverent adventure. One of the most memorable of the bunch was Negasonic Teenage Warhead, an angsty teenage mutant with powerful telekinetic abilities who’s partnered with steel-skinned superhero Colossus of the X-Men.
Portrayed by Brianna Hildebrand, Negasonic was a surprising addition to the Deadpool cast when Hildebrand’s casting was announced, and the evolution her character experienced behind the scenes is just as interesting as her on-screen role in the film. Concept artist Joshua James Shaw recently shared some of the early illustrations of Negasonic as she was initially envisioned for the film, as well as some images depicting how she morphed into the character that appeared on the screen.
Shaw posted the concept art on his website, and offered some explanation of both the original idea for Negasonic and how Deadpool director Tim Miller shifted the visual approach to Hildebrand’s character.
“It turns out I was going overboard with the goth look for NTW and Tim wanted us to do a pass of her in a suit close to what [comic book artist] Josh Middleton designed for his New Mutants covers,” recalled Shaw. “Then the costume department would put together something over the suit to give her the goth look.”
“I’ve learned over the years that some directors care about the source material, and you can guess which ones don’t,” he added. “Fun Fact: Tim goes to the comic store just about every week and leaves with a PILE of comics!”
The end result was a costume that more closely resembled the look of the X-Men team in the comics and — to some degree — what a modern-day version of the team would be likely to wear. Given that the current X-Men movie continuity is still unfolding the past, the uniforms worn by Negasonic and Colossus might be the first indication of what we can expect when the characters in X-Men: Apocalypse finally begin having adventures in the present time. (X-Men: Apocalypse is set in the early ’80s.)
There’s more concept art featuring Negasonic on Shaw’s website, as well as some that depicts the evolution of Deadpool’s costume, too. The images — along with Shaw’s commentary — provide a fascinating look behind the scenes at one of this year’s most surprising (and successful) superhero movies.