Deadpool 2 has received loads of backlash online since its release this past weekend, mostly in reference to the handling of Vanessa in the film. All of the uproar has caused writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to speak out in defense of their decisions.
WARNING: Major Spoilers ahead for Deadpool 2! Continue reading at your own risk
At the beginning of Deadpool 2, Wade Wilson's loving fiancee, played by Morena Baccarin, was killed off by some thugs, and used as motivation for Deadpool's actions throughout the film. As many have pointed out, this is a massive example of "fridging," a term coined by comic writer Gail Simone that refers to a female character being used as nothing more than a plot device for one of her male counterparts.
Reese and Wernick spoke to Vulture about the issue, and said that they didn't have any idea that fridging was even an issue.
“I would say no, we didn’t even think about it. And that was maybe our mistake, not to think about it. But it didn’t really even occur to us," Reese said. “We didn’t know what fridging was."
One of the major defenses of this decision from Reese and Wernick, along with plenty of people online, is that the decision was reversed in the post credits scene of the film when Deadpool went back in time to save Vanessa.
“We always had in our back pocket that we could always bring [Vanessa] back if necessary,” Reese said. “So, we ran with that. And maybe that’s a sexist thing. I don’t know. And maybe some women will have an issue with that. I don’t know. I don’t think that that’ll be a large concern, but it didn’t even really occur to us.”
Wernick added that the entire reason for that plot device was just to show how important Vanessa actually is to Wade. “I would say, in our defense, the only thing that really is important, the only thing that Deadpool cares about, is Vanessa,” he said. “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.”
“I know it wasn’t consciously sexist,” Wernick adds. “It may appear that way as the film progresses and Cable loses his family as well, but again, the desire was to give a motivation to both Cable and to Deadpool, 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.”
Outside of Vanessa, the film was filled with very progressive and inclusive female characters.
"I also think we definitely paid attention to trying to fill the movie with a diverse group of strong female characters, interesting, different female characters,” said Reese. “Whether it’s Domino, or Negasonic Teenage Warhead — and Vanessa, herself, obviously, is certainly that. So we’ve definitely made a point of not having this just be a testosterone-fueled thing.”
How do you think Deadpool 2 handled the women in the film? Let us know in the comments.