Deadpool 2 suffered a massive blow earlier this week when a stuntwoman tragically died in a motorcycle crash. The incident has shut production of the highly anticipated superhero sequel down for the foreseeable future and spurred a series of online condolences from big names like Ryan Reynolds and David Leitch. People close to the production are still trying to figure out exactly what went wrong during the stunt, but new reports have publicly identified the stuntwoman as professional motorcycle rider Joi "SJ" Harris.
New information about the accident continues to flow in, but it's obvious that something went wrong on the set of Deadpool 2. SJ Harris was standing in for Zazie Beetz as Domino during her scene, and her motorcycle reportedly accelerated in a moment when it was supposed to slow down. Those close to Harris on the set have said that she meticulously rehearsed the sequence in question, and it remains unclear as to what exactly happened at that moment. However, we do know one thing for certain: because Harris was standing in as a principal character from the film, she wasn't wearing protective headgear at the time of the crash.
Though Deadpool 2 was SJ Harris' first feature film as a stunt driver, she had become a seasoned motorcyclist at the time of her death, as well as the first African-American woman in road racing. Naturally, given her experience, this wasn't Joi Harris' first crash as a professional motorcycle rider. In fact, she often used her social media accounts as a way to show off her experiences as a rider and keep fans in the loop as to the nature of her injuries sustained on the job. Check out one such example from earlier this summer below.
Following her recuperation from that injury, Harris took to social media again only a few days before her death to celebrate getting ready to go back to work. Take a look at the post to see for yourself.
The Deadline report about SJ Harris' death has also raised questions about the work conditions on the set of Deadpool 2. Conflicting rumors have surfaced, with some workers suggesting that the crew has pushed themselves with grueling overtime hours. The studio has officially denied these rumors, and stated that the times people have reportedly been spending on set have been overstated.
The death of SJ Harris is only the latest in a series of accidents that have occurred on the sets of major film and TV productions. Tom Cruise sustained an injury on the set of Mission: Impossible 6 earlier this week, and a stuntman died on the set of AMC's The Walking Dead earlier this summer after sustaining a massive head injury following a fall. By its very nature, the stunt industry puts those who choose to work in that particular field at risk, but these recent incidents have given people an opportunity to ask deeper questions about the precautions that Hollywood is taking on sets.
We will bring you more information related to this situation as it becomes available to us. There's currently no word as to when Deadpool 2 will resume production, but the film is still set to debut in theaters next summer on June 1, 2018.