20th Century Fox
Warning: Contains minor spoilers for Deadpool 2
Deadpool 2 is as irreverent as you might expect, but like the first movie, there’s a lot of heart under its flippant exterior.
The 20th Century Fox movie has also quietly become one of the most diverse and inclusive superhero films we’ve ever seen. The cast includes a mixed-race Domino (played by Zazie Beetz), a delinquent Māori mutant (Julian Dennison)… and an LGBTQ+ couple.
All eyes were on X-Force member Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), who is gay (or possibly bisexual) in the comics, but it was Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) who is revealed to have a girlfriend – the electricity-powered fellow mutant hero Yukio (Shioli Kutsuna). This isn’t a part of the plot, or even treated as something more noteworthy than anything else going on with the film’s cast. They’re just there.
Admittedly, Yukio is played as a bit of a ‘cute Asian girl’ stereotype who doesn’t do much more than giggle and say hi to Deadpool, but the film still does what no movies in the MCU or DCEU or any other U have had the guts (if this really is a thing that takes ‘guts’) to do.
It’s not like the MCU’s erasing of brief moments vaguely alluding to the queerness of Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) or Okoye (Danai Gurira); Yukio is explicitly identified as NTW’s girlfriend. And then the plot moves on because it’s no big deal – or wouldn’t be if more mainstream movies embraced diversity.
20th Century Fox
Even Deadpool and Colossus’ kind-of-flirtation, which is treated more as a joke, is pretty progressive in terms of what other studios are doing. Can you imagine Disney explicitly alluding to Captain America and Bucky being in love, or Warner Bros acknowledging the inherent queerness of Bruce ‘I’m too brooding and tormented for a girlfriend’ Wayne?
“20th Century Fox and Marvel have finally given countless moviegoers around the world what they’ve longed to see – LGBTQ superheroes in a relationship who protect the world together,” said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Negasonic and Yukio’s storyline is a milestone in a genre that too often renders LGBTQ people invisible, and should send a message to other studios to follow this example of inclusive and smart storytelling.”
Deadpool 2 does right by NTW and Yukio by embracing their queerness as part of its story – not making it the subject of the story. No tearful comings-out here. The film features characters of all different types without ever making a big deal out of it. Hollywood movies – and we’re not just talking superheroes here – could learn a lot from its example.
Deadpool 2 is out now in the UK and will be released on May 18 in the US. Book tickets here.