Its Black Panther’s opening weekend in most countries around the globe, and most are overjoyed to finally see the film.
Black Panther is being seen as a pop-culture event that’s a must watch for even the most casual moviegoer. On top of that, critics, and fans who’ve seen the movie within its first two days of release, agree that the film is just. that. good.
But, sadly the film has one note going against it, and that’s the lack of LGBTQ representation.
Of course, this isn’t a scream for representation where there originally wasn’t any. Within T’Challa’s inner circle are the Dora Milaje (his royal guards). Two prominent members of which are a lesbian couple.
Specifically, the character Ayo, played by Florence Kasumba in the movie, is in a lesbian relationship in the comic Black Panther: World of Wakanda.
Then last April, Vanity Fair reported that there was a deleted scene of Ayo flirting with Okoye, played by Danai Gurira. Shortly after, a Marvel representative quelled any talk about that by saying that the two were non-romantic.
Now that the film is out, we can unfortunately share the slight-spoiler that there is no romantic interaction between the two in Black Panther’s breakout film.
In addition, Vulture was able to speak to Kasumba and get her perspective on why her character’s sexuality wasn’t touched on.
The thing is, if the makers would have wanted everyone to see the scene, it would have been in the movie. The final result that we’ve seen, there were a few scenes that have been cut. Different scenes, also. They didn’t make it into the movie for certain reasons, and at that point, I have to say: What their reason is, I can’t tell you, because nobody told me about whether it’s in or not.
But at this point, I personally think people have no idea who T’Challa is, who are the Wakandans, what is Wakanda, where is Wakanda, what is their culture. There are so many important things that had to be told in these two hours. So the focus was on what is so important for T’Challa. What happens after the last movie that we saw. I know all the other scenes that we have also filmed that are not in the movie. People have their reasons why not.
Vulture also asked Kasumba if she would have liked to see her character’s sexuality explored in a future installment.
I’d love to, at some point. Not now, because it’s too soon. At this point, the focus is somewhere else. I started reading World of Wakandatowards the end of filming and I loved reading the comics. I loved reading about, Okay, how do the Doras become Doras? … That’s the whole reason why we had a boot camp [to train for the movie]: In order to be physically able to move as a unit. That was more important. That’s what I’m saying, right? Who is in love with whom and whatever — that was not important in this movie.
Whether or not Black Panther gains a sequel depends on how well the first film does in its opening weekend. Though, with the rabid hype and hysteria circling around the film, we aren’t so worried.