Deadpool 2’s queer superheroes are just reflecting real life, say creators
Deadpool 2‘s director has opened up about the film’s quiet inclusion of a gay superhero couple.
The comedy superhero sequel, which stars Ryan Reynolds, pleasantly surprised LGBT fans with the inclusion of a gay relationship between mutants Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna).
The inclusion makes the film the first superhero blockbuster to feature an explicitly gay character, with the rival Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) managing to include zero explicitly LGBT characters in its 19 films to date.
But speaking to Yahoo, the film’s writers and director insisted that they did not set out to break any barriers – and simply wanted to reflect real life.
Director David Leitch said: “[It wasn’t] a statement we were trying to make… I never really thought of it that way.”
“It just felt natural to the material. I’m glad that it is [breaking ground]. I think that I’m really glad that it doesn’t feel like it’s groundbreaking. Maybe we’ve come to a place in society where that just feels natural.”
Writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese agreed.
Wernick said: “It’s everyday life… we ground Deadpool in real life. As outrageous as it is, Deadpool is a very, very grounded movie.”
Reese added: “We didn’t want to make too big a deal of it.”
Fans have speculated that the R-rated 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 on gay content.
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.
By contrast, MCU films are released in countries where film censors do not permit depictions of homosexuality.
Reynolds previously said that the only barrier to a same-sex romance in the sequel would be the character’s love for his current girlfriend.
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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 Deadpool 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.
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.”