They don't call her a Golden Girl for nothing. According to the Deadpool commentary track Bea Arthur image cost the producers of the blockbuster Fox film $10,000.
The 10k payment did not go to Arthur's estate (Bea passed away in 2009) but it came in the form of a donation to an undisclosed charity. Currently the film sits second in the yearly box office listings with 363 million dollars and another 400 million internationally, so what's 10,000 between friends?
The story behind getting Bea Arthur's image into is another story all together. It was 2 Guys and a Pizza Place that got it done according to the Hollywood Reporter:
When pre-production on the movie began, it was Reynolds, also an executive producer on the film, who reached out to TV set designer Daniel Saks, 51, one of Arthur’s two sons, for permission to use her image.
Says Saks: “I was on Dharma & Greg on Stage 21 at Fox when Ryan was on Stage 20 doing Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. He was always a nice guy, and the fact that it was him gave it more weight with me and my brother, Matthew. We thought, ‘Why not?’”
Deadpools love of Bea Arthur famously knew no bounds, from spray painting her name on the side of ships to screaming it at the TV - like Deadpool it could not be stopped. Again, THR reports from an interview with Deadpool's Fabian Nicieza:
"When I started writing the monthly Cable & Deadpool series in 2004, it had been the first time I'd written Deadpool in 10 years, so I wanted to recapture his voice immediately, as well as his loneliness," explains the 54-year-old Nicieza, a longtime Arthur fan who can sing every word of the Maude theme song.
"So the opening of Cable & Deadpool No. 1 is Wade sitting alone in his apartment watching TV for multiple days straight. During one panel, the TV is talking about naming 'The World's Sexiest Woman' and he shouts out, 'Bea Arthur!' It turns out to be Halle Berry and that upset Wade to no end," Nicieza says.
One can hope that with the amount of money that Deadpool has brought in we'll see a lot more of Bea Arthur in the sequel (oh c'mon guys, not in that way...).