Ryan Reynolds has said that he and the crew of ‘Deadpool 2’ are ‘devastated’ following the death of a stunt driver in a motorcycle accident on the film’s set in Vancouver.
The stunt performer has been identified as Joi ‘SJ’ Harris, who was not only the first African-American female professional road racer, but was also appearing in her first movie.
Production has been shut down, with no word from the studio when it may start again.
Reynolds, who plays the mercenary Deadpool in the Marvel Comics movie, made a statement on Twitter.
Director David Leitch added that he is ‘deeply saddened by the loss of one of our stunt performers today. No words can express how I and the rest of the Deadpool 2 crew feel about this tragedy. Our thoughts are with her family, friends and loved ones in this difficult time’.
In a further statement, 20th Century Fox said yesterday: “We are deeply saddened by the accident that occurred on the set of ‘Deadpool 2’ this morning. Our hearts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of our crew member during this difficult time.”
A source told Deadline that the stunt had been rehearsed for two days prior to the accident, and had been performed five times before filming.
Witnesses said that Harris lost control of the motorcycle and crashed through a plate-glass window.
A stunt driver has died on the set of Deadpool during a stunt on a motorcycle. VPD & @WorkSafeBC investigators are at the scene.
— Vancouver Police (@VancouverPD) August 14, 2017
According to Deadline, Harris was not wearing a helmet for the stunt, because the character of Domino in the film, played by Zazie Beetz, doesn’t wear one in the scene either.
It’s the second death of a stunt performer in the US in little over a month.
On July 12, John Bernecker died from head injuries after a fall on the set of AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’, the first stunt-related death in the US in 17 years.
It also follows the horrific injuries sustained by stuntwoman and motorcycle specialist Olivia Jackson, who lost an arm in a crash on the set of ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’ in 2015.