Marvel's Black Panther cut an LGBTQ+ moment

Megan Davies
Photo credit: Marvel Studios

From Digital Spy

Marvel's Black Panther is one of the good ones – we love it, critics love it, and it's already breaking MCU records.

But it's possible we may have loved it even more if it hadn't cut a scene that could have introduced Marvel's first on-screen gay relationship.

During a screening of early footage from the film last year, Vanity Fair noted that there was one scene that featured Danai Gurira's Okoye and Florence Kasumba's Ayo sharing a brief moment of flirtation, suggesting that Black Panther was taking inspiration from an LGBTQ+ love story featured in the World of Wakanda comic.

Photo credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel later reached out to the publication to say that Okoye and Ayo's relationship in the film was not a romantic one, and that the storyline in the comic was not used as a source for the movie.

And now that the film has finally been released for audiences to enjoy, it's clear that not only is there no LGBTQ+ relationship featured, but also that the scene in question never made it to the film at all.

Speaking to Screen Crush, screenwriter Joe Robert Cole revealed that there was originally an intention of including the World of Wakanda love story in the film, but it was ultimately cut along the way.

"I think the short answer is yes," he said when asked whether it was intended to show Ayo and Okoye in a romantic relationship.

Photo credit: Marvel Studios

"I know that there were quite a few conversations around different things, different directions with different characters, and characters that we may have. We thought, 'Well, maybe we'll work it this way with an arc or work it that way with an arc.'

"The scene you're talking about, I don't remember. I can't remember the exact exchange you're talking about, but I think it was really brief. I'm not sure.

"I know that it was not – there wasn't some major theme through that we were looking to explore with that in terms of the story. We didn't like, pull out a full thread of some theme.

"But your friend quite possibly could be right, or I'm maybe having a brain fart here and just can't remember."

Photo credit: Disney

It's not the first time Marvel fans have been left a little bit disappointed by the franchise's depiction of LGBTQ+ characters, after Tessa Thompson revealed last year that her Thor: Ragnarok character Valkyrie is bisexual, but the film itself didn't actually show it.

"Val is Bi in the comics & I was faithful to that in her depiction," Tessa later clarified on Twitter. "But her sexuality isn't explicitly addressed in Thor: Ragnarok."

And not long before that, James Gunn had hinted at a gay character making their Marvel debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, only to then backtrack.

Somewhat disappointingly, James later revealed that rather than portraying an out character in the film, he meant that none of the characters were explicitly heterosexual.

Black Panther is out in cinemas in the UK now, while it's released in the US on Friday (February 16).

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