The Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently getting a lot of praise for offering up Black Panther, their latest critically-acclaimed movie which has a cast that almost entirely consists of black actors and actresses. Yet, while the film is making strides in diversifying the MCU, there’s still a worrying lack of LGBT characters in the franchise. It turns out Black Panther could have helped out in this area as well – if one scene wasn’t cut, that is.
Last April, Vanity Fair reported that the movie would include a brief moment of flirtation between Danai Gurira’s Okoye and Florence Kasumba’s Ayo, suggesting a romance between the pair similar to the World of Wakanda comic book. Oddly, though, this sequence is nowhere to be found in the theatrical cut of Black Panther.
While talking to Screen Crush, writer Joe Robert Cole was asked whether there was ever any intention to develop a romance between the characters and why the aforementioned scene was removed. The scribe did go so far as to confirm that, yes, the hints at a romance were intentional, but he was unable to talk about why it got the axe.
“I think the short answer is yes. 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.’”
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Continuing on, he said:
“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.”
This will likely be a huge disappointment to many Marvel fans, as Black Panther is now the second MCU entry in a row that’s removed a scene which confirmed one of its characters as either gay or bisexual. Tessa Thompson previously revealed that Thor: Ragnarok was supposed to feature a moment where a woman exited Valkyrie’s bedroom, alluding to the comic book character’s sexuality. But that, too, got cut. Sadly, it looks like we’ll now have to keep waiting for LGBT representation in the MCU.
Black Panther arrives in US theaters on February 16th.