The mutant mercenary Domino, as played by Atlanta’s Zazie Beetz, steals almost every scene in Deadpool 2, according to our review, but she isn’t on anybody’s list of the most famous X-Men. So who the heck is Domino?
Neena Thurman is a mutant weapons expert and mercenary who is often linked to Deadpool through a mutual acquaintance: Nathan Christopher Charles Summers, or Cable. Under her alias Domino, she was introduced in the early ‘90s as a member of X-Force, Cable’s mutant paramilitary group. Bringing her to screen was a welcome challenge for Deadpool 2’s creative team.
Let’s talk about her powers
Like a lot of her peers (Wolverine, Deadpool, Sabertooth, to name a few), Domino is the survivor of a bunch of unethical (some might even say mad!) scientists who were trying to create the perfect weapon. After her scientifically abused past, she turned to mercenary work, which put her in contact with Cable, who frankly deserves an entire very confusing episode of Issue at Hand all of his own, the time-traveling secret son of Cyclops and Jean Grey.
So, Domino has all the talents and skills you would expect of an expert mercenary or secret agent. But, more importantly, she also has “probability powers.”
She exudes, at all times, a subconsciously activated field that alters the probability of occurrences in her line of sight in her favor. This means that whenever she is stressed, excited or focused on something, things will go improbably well for her, and improbably poorly for her opponents.
She’s supernaturally lucky.
Making Domino’s lucky power work on screen
In practice, this means whatever a writer wants it to mean — and Deadpool 2 uses it in a pretty cool way. Domino’s fight scenes are characterized by cascading Rube Goldberg-like effects that always turn out in her favor. But the road to her effortless combat wasn’t immediately obvious to the folks behind the movie.
“She was such fun character to write, and she wasn’t as hard to write for us as it was to visualize,” screenwirter Paul Wernick (Zombieland, Deadpool) told Polygon, “in the sense that her superpower is luck. How do you make that cinematic? And that was actually [director David Leitch’s (Atomic Blonde, John Wick)] brilliance, to put that up on screen and to actual actually visualize it, so that it does feel like a very intentional superpower [even though] you don’t have lasers coming out of the eyes.”
Leitch himself told Polygon that he was inspired by the Final Destination films in crafting the visual manifestation of Domino’s abilities. Superpowers, he said, are a shortcut to fight scenes that feel different from every other action movie out there.
“As you explore as a fight choreographer and performer,” Leitch said, “you design action sequences for movies all the time. And they generally feel stale, because everything feels like it’s been done, but [Deadpool had] the gift to be presented with these interesting powers and problems to solve.”
In the film, Domino’s luck even bleeds out into the rest of her life, not just her fighting style. She’s a character who instinctively goes with the flow, because why not? Everything always turns out right for her anyway. That may suit her well when the nascent X-Force movie gets off the ground — the production is rumored to start filming this fall — provided, of course, that Beetz is invited back to the role.