Earlier this month, the Hollywood community were given an unwanted reminder how dangerous the stunt game can be when Joi Harris lost her life on the set of Deadpool 2. The tragedy halted production on the blockbuster sequel, leaving the cast and crew to ponder their next step.
While reports from the police and investigators have been looking into the details of the incident, THR managed to obtain first and second hand accounts of a crash that should never have taken place. According to those close to the film, producers failed to heed the warnings of the people working alongside Harris, fearing an accident was just around the corner.
An Awful, Inevitable Death That Should Have Been Prevented
With the mood on set upbeat leading into the incident, all people around Vancouver were seemingly consumed by was catching a glimpse of an action sequence here or a new character there. Once the glass shattered and Harris was left motionless on the ground, Deadpool 2 had stopped.
One stunt performer opened up to the publication, explaining that they were in training with the 40-year old the day before. Despite Harris' credentials as a professional racer, she had never once been working on a film set before this experience.
"She was improving, but I was watching her and, oh my God, I thought, ‘It’s just a matter of time before she crashes into a wall or runs somebody over,’" they remarked.
Veteran stunt coordinator Conrad Palmisano discussed the problem, having experience as a second unit director on movie sets before. Speaking to those in the know at Deadpool 2, he outlined how some decisions in the board room would ultimately end in anger and regret.
Casting African American Zazie Beetz as Domino, the filmmakers wanted someone to closely fit her aesthetic profile. This saw Harris hired, overlooking other candidates who were less of a Beetz resemblance but more crafted as a stunt professional.
"The stunt coordinators caved to the pressure," Palmisano argued. "All the stunt people could do was take it to their higher-ups. They’re going to follow their chain of command."
Fellow Female Stunt Pro Abandons D2 After Oversight
A preliminary report on the incident recalled how Harris would lose control of her vehicle. Without any motion picture preparation, the driver's mistake could be put down to a combination of human error and lack of experience.
"(She) 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," wrote the report. "(She) was thrown off the motorcycle and propelled through a plate-glass window of a building."
As if that information was not damning enough, one of Harris' female colleagues foresaw the tragedy. This would end in her walking away from the Marvel set for good.
"I cringed every time she went out," they said, "Like, when is she going to crash?" This is why she will not come back? "They were warned, yes!"