There was a sobering loss in the world of film production this week, as a stuntwoman tragically died due to her work on Deadpool 2. The performer Joi ‘SJ’ Harris was actress Zazie Beetz’ double as the mutant Domino, and she passed away just a few days ago after being seriously injured while filming the highly anticipated sequel. While the stunt performer’s identity was originally kept under wraps for the victim’s family, more information has been released regarding the onset tragedy. And now Beetz herself has taken to social media to mourn and acknowledge Joi Harris, saying:
On Monday we tragically lost one of our own — Joi ‘SJ’ Harris. My heart has been breaking the past two days and I have been searching what to say or do. I know that what I feel is nothing compared to what her loved ones, friends and family, are feeling. My heart and my love goes out to her and them all. The cast and crew send peace, healing, and their deepest condolences.
This lovely tribute came from Zazie Beetz’ personal Instagram page. Rather than typing it up, she took pen to paper to make her tribute to Joi Harris a bit more personal and touching. And it makes sense that Beetz would feel especially emotional, as Harris was there specifically to double for Domino in the more dangerous stunts. Earlier this week, Ryan Reynolds posted a tribute of his own, although it was a bit less attached, as they were still protecting Harris’ identity at that juncture.
Joi Harris’ death is just the latest in a recent slew of onset tragedies, in both TV and film. AMC’s The Walking Dead recently had its own stunt gone wrong, as a stunt performer fell 25 feet from a balcony to the concrete ground. After just a few days in the intensive care unit, John Bernecker succumbed to his injuries and passed away. The Walking Dead took a few days break before continuing production, similar to what they’ve chosen to do over at the Deadpool 2 set.
The final chapter of the Resident Evil franchise also garnered a ton of attention for a tragic accident that killed a crew member. Ricardo Cornelius died when a Humvee got loose and pinned him against it. And in contrast to the previously mentioned incidents, Cornelius was not a stunt performer but a regular crew member on the set.
We also can’t forget how The Maze Runner star Dylan O’Brien suffered a massive accident when filming The Death Cure. Luckily he was able to recover, but there have been an alarming amount of onset injuries and deaths as of late. It’s unclear if more CGI should be used to avoid putting performers in dangerous situations, but that possibility will no doubt be explored by film studios.
Our thoughts are with Joi Harris’ family at this difficult time. Deadpool 2 will eventually arrive in theaters on June 1, 2018, and will hopefully contain a tribute to Harris.