‘Deadpool 2’ introduced a slew of new characters and some fans are applauding the depiction of a same-sex romance between the returning Negasonic Warhead played by Brianna Hildebrand and newcomer Yukio portrayed by Shioli Kutsuna.
There has been some confusion as to the identity of Yukio, with some comic readers thinking she is a version of Surge, alias Noriko “Nori” Ashida, who originated as a member of the New Mutants– the team that Negasonic Warhead was stated to be a member of in the first ‘Deadpool’ but who is not in the ‘New Mutants’ movie. Surge eventually graduated to the X-Men, as the leader of the “New X-Men.”
But it turns out that Kutsuna’s Yukio is actually a live-action version of a comic book character named… Yukio.
‘Deadpool 2’ co-screenwriter Rhett Reese stated:
“That’s not right. She’s a super-minor character. The character’s name is actually Yukio, an assassin — but who’s an adult assassin, so we just aged her down. She’s such a minor character, we thought we could pretty much get away with anything.
“And Shioli’s amazing. I really think we have to do her more justice going forward — not as though we did her injustice, but she just didn’t have a lot of screen time. I’d love to explore the Yukio character more.”
Yukio first appeared in the first issue of the first ‘Wolverine’ miniseries in 1982 and later resurfaced in the pages of ‘Uncanny X-Men’ where she befriended Storm. In fact, it was during a freewheeling escapade with Yukio that Storm chopped off her long locks in favor of a mohawk and traded in her “bathing suit” costume and cape for edgier “biker”-inspired clothes. While Yukio still pops up in ‘Wolverine’ comics every so often, she is also considered one of Storm’s best friends and closest allies.
Reese’s co-writer Paul Wernick discussed their process for selecting characters to use in their movies.
“Fox has a bible of all 400-plus characters that they have rights to. We generally, when we’re building out a movie, look at that list, and kind of go through and go, ‘Oh yeah, yes, yes, no, love that name, oh those powers are cool,’ and we build that cast that way. Yukio jumped out at us as just a character we would love to see further explored.”
Yukio previously appeared in ‘The Wolverine’ portrayed by Rila Fukushima. It’s unknown whether or not Reese and Wernick were aware that she’d already been used in a film in a different form. Then again, the same could be said of Colossus. Maybe in true ‘Deadpool’ style, they just didn’t care.
Would you like to see more of Yukio in future flicks?
‘Deadpool 2’ is now playing in theaters and is the #1 movie in the United States.