Deadpool 2 Writers Explain Their Decision To Kill Vanessa

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By now, most audiences coming into a Deadpool movie know to expect a darker, bloodier, more subversive take on the superhero genre than your average blockbuster, but if there’s just one moment in the recent Deadpool 2 that proved genuinely controversial, it would surely be the death of Vanessa.

The killing of Wade Wilson’s fiancée at the start of the Merc’s last film was condemned in some circles as an example of the “fridging” trope, in which a female character is killed solely to further the male hero’s story. Nonetheless, writers Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds and Rhett Reese continue to defend their inclusion of this tragic plot turn, claiming to settle on this route after much discussion.

“A huge, huge debate for years — for three years since we started developing this script in June of 2015 — [was] what to do with Vanessa,” Wernick says in the home release commentary track. “Deadpool works when you take everything away from him.”

While less violent alternatives were indeed considered, the trio eventually made up their minds that the more extreme option served as the most fitting set-up for the journey they had planned for Reynolds’ character.

“We had versions where they broke up, and she left him, instead of dying,” Reese says.

“But ultimately I think this is the only version that really works,” Wernick explains. “I think by taking everything away from him at that moment, it drives the character for the rest of the movie.”

Another factor that reportedly influenced the team’s final decision was the difficulty of creating emotional stakes for a character that’s more liable to invite annoyance than compassion.

“And he’s the merc with the mouth. It’s a lot, and you need to position him in a way that the audience can sympathize with him, and that’s hard to do without taking, like you said, everything away from him,” Reynolds says. “So, we were sort of left with this option, and we’re so glad we did it ‘cause it drives the whole film.”

“It’s just really f—ing dark, you know? And it’s something that we have to juggle and be very sensitive about, is the kind of the waves the ton that these movies take,” Wernick adds. “It’s dramatic and funny and heartfelt, and so it’s a delicate dance.”

Regardless of whether killing Vanessa was the right decision or not, the film eventually reversed the move in a characteristically cheeky post-credits sequence, in which Wade travels back in time to prevent his partner’s death. The doors are therefore open for Morena Baccarin’s character to play a part in the upcoming X-Force movie. But until then, you too can also journey back in time to the events of Deadpool 2, with the film now available on Digital and coming to Blu-ray and DVD on August 21st.

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