Deadpool 2 finally brings queer superheroes to the big screen with same-sex romance
Deadpool 2 is finally here – and reports of a same-sex romance in the film were true.
The film, released on Tuesday, brings back Ryan Reynolds as everyone’s favourite dirty-talking, R-rated superhero.
Brianna Hildebrand makes a comeback as moody teenage mutant Negasonic Teenage Warhead, but this time she’s very much not alone.
Early in the film, the X-Men character introduces her new girlfriend – the badass mutant Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna).
Without getting too spoilery, the pair hold hands on-screen and explicitly confirm that they are dating, and Deadpool himself remarks that they’re a cute couple.
The pair don’t have the most prominent role in the plot, but their existence has earned the film praise.
The inclusion marks an incredible accomplishment for the film and the superhero genre.
Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, meanwhile, has thus far failed to portray a single explicitly LGBT character across any of its 19 big-screen releases.
It is likely that Deadpool, which is already banned in many overseas conservative markets due to its violent and sexual content, had less reason to worry about abiding by international censorship standards.
Reynolds previously confirmed as much, saying of his own character’s sexuality: “That’s not really a problem for us, because we were banned in China. We were rated ‘f**k you!’ in China.
“I think [Deadpool’s sexual interest in men] could be played up more. He’s an outsider in every way, shape, and form.”
Deadpool was denied a release by China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), citing graphic violence, nudity, and bad language.
Reynolds added that the only barrier to a same-sex romance in the sequel would be the character’s love for his current girlfriend.
He said: “The only thing that you have to consider going forward is, ‘Are we being faithful to the canon that we nurtured and created?’
“One of those things is that Deadpool is in love with Vanessa. Deadpool isn’t in love with Vanessa just because she’s a woman.
“He’s in love with Vanessa because he loves her.”
Tim Miller and Reynolds have described their version of the character as pansexual. Deadpool 2 also introduces the superhero Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), who is bisexual in the comics, but his sexuality was not explored on screen.
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Screenwriter Rhett Reese added: “Most comic book heroes have been heterosexual or homosexual. We find that interesting and groundbreaking. I hope it can evolve into something a little more.”
Brianna Hildebrand, who plays Negasonic, is also out in real life.
The star filmed an It Gets Better video in 2016, explaining: “I knew from pretty early on that I liked both boys and girls.
“Growing up in a fairly religious household I knew not everyone would be as comfortable with who I was as who I was, and it wasn’t until middle school that I realised how many people would feel the need to put a label on me, and throughout high school I really struggled with that. I didn’t know which group I belonged to.”
She added that “the idea of putting a bisexual, lesbian or pansexual label on myself [feels] extremely limiting.”
Hildebrand previously starred in 2016’s First Girl I Loved, which portrayed the story of two teenage girls wrestling with their sexuality and attraction to each other.
Speaking at the time she said: “I could not tell you how rewarding it feels to be a part of a movie that feels so close to home for me, and personal, and really tells my story. It’s a really amazing feeling.”