AceShowbiz - Deadpool 2 screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese feared a huge fan backlash over the death of a key character just minutes into the new blockbuster.
Ryan Reynolds reprises his role as cancer-stricken Wade Wilson and his mutant alter ego Deadpool for the sequel to the 2016 film, and one early scene features the fatal shooting of his onscreen love interest Vanessa, portrayed by Morena Baccarin.
Writers Paul and Rhett had initially considered having the movie couple simply break up, but instead decided they needed to kill off her character in order to provide Deadpool with the motivation he needed to embark on a mission to save another young mutant.
However, they knew Vanessa's death would be a risky move so early on in the sequel, and braced themselves for heavy criticism from fans of the Marvel comic book series the films are based on.
"The idea that Vanessa dies, it was a big debate," Wernick tells Heat Vision. "There were points in time through script development and early on that they just broke up. That she didn't die.
"Our fear was: 'Was the audience going to be able to get over the fact that we kill Vanessa in the first five minutes of the movie? A character we built, that relationship we spent the whole first movie developing?' So, we were terrified by it. Especially in a movie that's a comedy. Can you, in one scene, kill Wade's love of his life and in the next scene can you laugh? Can he make jokes anymore?".
Finding the perfect balance between the different emotions proved to be a "delicate dance", but they knew it would pay off in the end: "Our feeling was it was key to really rob Deadpool of his family so that he could then in turn search for this new family that he ultimately finds at the end of the movie," Wernick adds, referring to the X-Force team of mutants.
Despite the duo's concerns about Vanessa's death, fans have been largely positive in their reactions to Deadpool 2, and Wernick is particularly proud of the heartfelt way they handled the two characters' brief reunion in the afterlife.
"The Vanessa-Wade relationship was the emotional heartbeat of the first movie," he explains. "Strangely, despite the fact that we kill her in the first five minutes, it's the emotional spine of the second movie...
"It's a real challenge to make people laugh and also to try to make people cry at the end. That (afterlife) scene really is emotional and it's really beautiful and it makes us happy that it has resonated with audiences in that same way it resonated with us".