Ryan Reynolds’ action-comedy blockbuster Deadpool 2 has hit theatres, and while the sequel is mostly designed to generate laughs, there’s a sombre dedication tucked into the ending.
Harris, better known as Joi or S.J. Harris, died when she was thrown from a motorcycle while performing a stunt during filming at Vancouver’s Jack Poole Plaza on Aug. 14, 2017.
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It was the first stunt role for the professional motorcycle racer from Brooklyn, N.Y.
Production was temporarily stopped in the wake of the tragedy and Deadpool star Reynolds took to social media to share how the entire crew was “heartbroken, shocked and devastated.”
“My heart pours out to — along with each and every person she touched in this world,” Reynolds wrote.
Actor Zazie Beetz, who plays the role of Domino in the film, and for whom Harris was performing the stunt, also posted a message of condolence following the crash.
“I know that what I feel is nothing compared to what her loved ones, friends and family are feeling,” Beetz wrote.
“My heart and my love goes out to her and them all.”
Fellow stunt performer Emerson Wong told ET Canada last year that Harris was brought onto the film “last minute,” when the original stunt double for Beetz was unavailable.
She had previously earned repute as the first African-American woman to be licensed in professional motorcycle track racing.
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A preliminary report from WorkSafeBC into the fatal crash found that Harris had successfully completed the stunt several times during practice runs, but she lost control of the bike during the first shooting of the scene.
“The stunt driver continued driving beyond the planned stopping spot on the stairway landing and continued to drive down a second ramp built over the bottom stairs and across the roadway,” reads part of the redacted report.
She was thrown from her Ducati Hyperstrada 939 when the bike hit a curb and propelled through a plate glass window.
It was the first fatal stunt on the set of a B.C.-filmed movie since a stunt performer’s parachute failed to deploy during filming of the movie Firestorm in 1996.
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