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Why Black Panther Cut Its Rumored Gay Romance

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Why Black Panther Cut Its Rumored Gay Romance

We reported last year that Black Panther was likely going to be the first Marvel movie to feature a lesbian romance. A number of critics were shown an early scene from the movie that heavily suggested this would be the first Marvel movie to feature an on-screen relationship between gay characters. Danai Gurira’s Okoye and Florence Kasumba’s Ayo were said to be romantically involved, with the relationship taking inspiration from the World of Wakanda comic. However, this never made it to the final cut, arriving in theaters this week. Now, screenwriter Joe Robert Cole has addressed the rumored lesbian romance that doesn’t appear in Black Panther.

Joe Robert Cole co-wrote Black Panther for Marvel, so he would know just how prevalent this gay storyline may or may not have been in an earlier version of the script. He might also know why Marvel Studios ultimately decided to lean away from this. However, Cole’s response in a recent interview when asked about including elements from the World of Wakanda storyline were pretty cagey, though he’s willing to admit they originally had intended that. Here’s what he had to say.

“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.’ 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.”

Marvel Studios has broken a lot of ground in terms of blockbuster filmmaker over the years, but they’ve definitely been shy about including anything even remotely controversial, such as featuring openly gay characters on screen. Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie was intended to be bisexual in Thor: Ragnarok, but this was really not presented in the movie, even though the actress played the character that way. Just for some context, here’s a description of an early scene from Black Panther that was described by Vanity Fair’s Joanna Robinson, which features between the two members of the Dora Milaje.

“In the rough cut of this Black Panther scene, we see Gurira’s Okoye and Kasumba’s Ayo swaying rhythmically back in formation with the rest of their team. Okoye eyes Ayo flirtatiously for a long time as the camera pans in on them. Eventually, she says, appreciatively and appraisingly, ‘You look good.’ Ayo responds in kind. Okoye grins and replies, ‘I know.'”

While many Marvel fans are likely going to be disappointed this gay storyline didn’t ultimately make it into the movie, Black Panther still looks like it’s going to be a resounding success. The movie has been met with near-universal praise by critics thus far and looks like it’s going to rake it in at the box office. Joe Robert Cole’s comments to Screen Crush do reveal that Black Panther could have been even more groundbreaking though.

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QUEEN OF SOUL ARETHA FRANKLIN DEAD AT 76

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QUEEN OF SOUL ARETHA FRANKLIN DEAD AT 76

 
Aretha Franklin, known for having one of the greatest voices in music history, and for hits like “Respect,” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” … died Thursday after a long battle with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Aretha passed away in her Detroit home where she was under hospice care. She’d been in failing health for many months and she was down to 86 pounds. One source told us he was informed more than a week ago that Aretha could go at any time.

She was surrounded by friends and family when she passed. Her family released a statement, saying, “In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family.”

She had appeared incredibly frail in recent years, and rarely performed live. Her most recent appearance was last November for Elton John’s AMFAR event.

Aretha’s career is just incredible. Born in Memphis in 1942, her family eventually relocated to Detroit where she began singing in her father’s church. She was such a powerhouse gospel singer, she landed a Columbia record deal in the early ’60s.

Her string of chart-topping hits began with her Atlantic Records deal in 1967.

Aretha’s achievements in the late ’60s were remarkable for any artist, but especially so for a black woman in the midst of the Civil Rights movement. She held the record for the most entries on the Hot 100 list of any female artist for nearly 40 years, only to be dethroned in 2017 by Nicki Minaj.

She won 18 Grammys and was the first woman ever inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Aretha delivered a powerful rendition of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” — while wearing that unforgettable hat — at Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.

Throughout her career, Aretha was known for delivering incredible one-off live performances, including at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors show where she sang ‘Natural Woman’ in honor of the song’s co-writer, Carole King.

The Queen of Soul was 76. She is survived by her 4 sons.

RIP

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25 Hidden Secrets in Teen Titans Go! To The Movies

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25 Hidden Secrets in Teen Titans Go! To The Movies

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5 Actors Who’ve Been In Marvel, DC AND Star Wars Movies

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5 Actors Who’ve Been In Marvel, DC AND Star Wars Movies

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