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Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok ‘cut out’ same-sex romance

Nick Duffy November 1, 2017
(YouTube Marvel Entertainment)

(YouTube/Marvel Entertainment)

Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok left the MCU’s first explicit gay moment on the cutting room floor.

Tessa Thompson played Asgardian warrior Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok, which was released last month.

Following the release of the film, the actress revealed that the character was bisexual, faithful to her portrayal in the comic books.

(YouTube/Marvel Entertainment)

She said: “She’s bi. And yes, she cares very little about what men think of her.

“What a joy to play!”

However, the film itself did not explicitly confirm her interest in women on-screen.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Thompson revealed she had filmed a scene which more directly confirmed her sexuality.

The actress revealed that she convinced the film’s director Taika Waititi to include the shot, which featured a woman walking out of Valkyrie’s bedroom.

But it was left on the cutting room floor as the film was trimmed down, “because it distracted from the scene’s vital exposition”.

There was one brief moment that made the final cut which was potentially suggestive of a same-sex lover, when (spoilers!) a flashback showed Valkyrie devastated by the death of a fallen female comrade.

Thompson said: “There’s a great shot of me falling back from one of my sisters who’s just been slain. In my mind, that was my lover.”

She added: “There were things that we talked about that we allowed to exist in the characterization, but maybe not be explicit in the film.”

(YouTube/Marvel Entertainment)

(YouTube/Marvel Entertainment)The actress added that she hoped the character returns in a future film where her sexuality is more explicit.

Despite featuring hundreds of characters across 17 blockbuster films to date, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has never featured an explicitly LGBT character, despite many in the source comic books on which the films are based.

Valkyrie was bi in all-female comic book Fearless Defenders.

The comic sees thr hero come to this world to join forces with Misty Knight – also featured in Netflix’s Luke Cage and The Defenders – and Dr Annabelle Riggs.

And she and Annabelle kiss in the same issue in which Valkyrie saves her life.

Dr Annabelle Riggs and Valkyrie (Fearless Defenders)
Dr Annabelle Riggs and Valkyrie (Fearless Defenders)

 

(YouTube/Marvel Entertainment)
(YouTube/Marvel Entertainment)

The blockbuster films are marketed globally, and in the past it has been alleged – by Ryan Reynolds no less – that LGBT content has been kept out to appease some international markets.

Ryan Reynolds, who plays pansexual superhero Deadpool, recently hinted that major US film studios avoid putting gay characters in blockbusters due to fears of alienating overseas audiences.

The actor starred in last year’s superhero hit Deadpool, smashing box office records for an adult-rated film with the comedic take on superhero movies set in the X-Men universe.

Deadpool was shown flirting indistinctly with both men and women, though he didn’t get any same-sex action in the film.

The comic book character is said to “do anything with a pulse”, while director Tim Miller and Reynolds have described their version of the character as “pansexual”.

Speaking to Variety this week, Reynolds suggested there would not be much resistance to giving the character gay sex scenes in the upcoming sequel – because the film was already banned in China over its vulgar content.

Asked about fears that a gay storyline could alienate overseas audiences, Reynolds replied: “That’s not really a problem for us, because we were banned in China. We were rated ‘f**k you!’ in China.

“I think [his interest in men] could be played up more. He’s an outsider in every way, shape, and form.”
deadpoolinline

Deadpool was denied a release by China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), citing graphic violence, nudity, and bad language.

Reynolds added that the only barrier to a same-sex romance in the sequel would be the character’s love for his current girlfriend.

He said: “The only thing that you have to consider going forward is, ‘Are we being faithful to the canon that we nurtured and created?’

“One of those things is that Deadpool is in love with Vanessa. Deadpool isn’t in love with Vanessa just because she’s a woman.

“He’s in love with Vanessa because he loves her.”

Screenwriter Rhett Reese added: “Most comic book heroes have been heterosexual or homosexual. We find that interesting and groundbreaking. I hope it can evolve into something a little more.”

Earlier this year, Marvel launched a new comic led by America Chavez, a queer Latina teenager with lesbian parents.

The comic, called America, prompted an outpouring of support from readers who were overjoyed to finally see an LGBT Latina superhero lead her own comic.

(YouTube/Marvel Entertainment)
(YouTube/Marvel Entertainment)

However, Marvel also moved to quash speculation that two warriors in the upcoming film Black Panther will be in a lesbian relationship, sparking accusations of erasure.

Fans had hoped Valkyrie would be the first explicitly LGBT superhero in a big, blockbuster film.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 10: (L-R) Actor Tessa Thompson, Director Taika Waititi, Actor Chris Hemsworth, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios, Alan Horn, Actor Cate Blanchett, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO, Bob Iger, Actors Mark Ruffalo and Tom Hiddleston at The World Premiere of Marvel Studios' "Thor: Ragnarok" at the El Capitan Theatre on October 10, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
(Getty)

The news follows rival company DC creating genderfluid comic book superhero Doctor Endless earlier this year.

Last month, DC announced that Russell Tovey will be flying the rainbow flag in a new TV series, as he takes on the part of The Ray.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 10: Actor Tessa Thompson at The World Premiere of Marvel Studios' "Thor: Ragnarok" at the El Capitan Theatre on October 10, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Disney)
(Getty)

The actor, who is gay, will star in American channel CW’s Arroverse crossover, alongside Supergirl, Arrow and The Flash in the all-star superhero series.

In March, it was revealed that Power Rangers would feature the first ever gay superhero in a film.

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16: Honoree Tessa Thompson accepts award onstage at ELLE's 24th Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration presented by L'Oreal Paris, Real Is Rare, Real Is A Diamond and CALVIN KLEIN at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 16, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for ELLE)
(Getty)

The reboot of the 90s TV show and film series saw Trini, the Yellow Ranger, struggle with her relationship with another girl in the film’s second act.

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