Deadpool 2 writers respond to criticism of portrayal of female characters in film: We weren't 'consciously sexist'
In the film Deadpool 2, Vanessa is murdered at the beginning of the film, an example of 'fridging' — the killing of a female character solely to forward the development of a male character.
Deadpool 2 may have mostly received positive reviews but the writers have been called out for how they handled the female characters in the recently-released movie.
Paul Wernicke and Rhett Reese, who co-wrote the script with lead actor Ryan Reynolds, said they thought killing off Wade Wilson aka Deadpool's fiancee Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) would come across as a strong motivating factor for the antihero to set out on his journey.
Vanessa is murdered at the beginning of the film, an example of "fridging" — the killing of a female character solely to forward the development of a male character.
Cable's wife and child also face a similar fate as they are murdered to help the character experience catharsis.
Addressing the criticism, Reese told Vulture, "We didn't know what fridging was. We didn't even think about it. And that was maybe our mistake, not to think about it."
The duo also admitted that an early draft had Vanessa split with Deadpool rather than die, but someone pointed out that killing her would drive the character to go full throttle when he has everything taken away from him.
"The thought was maybe we can really, really engender great suffering for him by having his line of work be the thing that costs Vanessa her life," Reese said.
"I would say, in our defence, the only thing that really is important, the only thing that Deadpool cares about, is Vanessa.
"So if you're doing a movie where you are trying to get Deadpool at his lowest, to take away everything from Deadpool at the very beginning, the only thing to really take away from him is Vanessa," Wernick added
He said the decision was not "consciously sexist" as it may appear when the film moves ahead.
"... Cable loses his family as well, but again, the desire was to give a motivation... and have it be a parallel motivation that they both lost their family, and they're both trying to kind of find their way in the world without them."
Reese stated that they are proud of the diverse female characters of Domino and Negasonic Teenage Warhead.
He said that they "definitely made a point of not having this just be a testosterone-fuelled thing".
Deadpool 2 released on 18 May.
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