‘Deadpool 2’ Writers Explain the Controversial Decision to Kill Vanessa

Deadpool 2 screenwriters Ryan Reynolds, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have elaborated on making the “really f—ing dark” and ultimately controversial decision to kill Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) in the early moments of the Marvel-inspired blockbuster.

“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.”

“Exactly. He’s got to be the underdog somehow,” Reynolds adds.

Wernick says the creative team “debated forever” over the decision to have Wade’s future baby mama be gunned down in his apartment, concerned it would be “too dark to start the movie off.”

“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.”

The loss plunges the violent mercenary into a deep depression, resulting in hopeless suicide attempts — despite his always-on healing factor, capable of healing even the most gruesome of wounds.

“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.”

Vanessa’s devastating death is eventually reversed when Wade gets his hands on the just-fixed time travel device brought from the future by metal-armed mutant Cable (Josh Brolin), who brings the device with him from the future when he jumps back to the present to eliminate Rusty Collins (Julian Dennison) and prevent a disastrous future.

Director David Leitch defended Deadpool 2 against accusations of “fridging” in an interview with ComicBook.com, saying, “It’s Deadpool’s movie, and you need to take everything away from him to humanize him.”

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“He can be grating and he can be sort of offensive and he can be all these things,” Leitch says. “But you need an emotional hook that grounds the movie that we can go on this journey with this character and experience Deadpool.”

Deadpool 2 is now available to own digitally ahead of its Aug. 21 disc debut.