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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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Celebs

Who Won Season 14 of the Voice?

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 Who Won Season 14 of the Voice?

Who won last nights, Season 14, of the Voice? In a rather shocking finale, BRYNN CARTELLI won season 14 of the Voice, making her the youngest contestant to win the competition.

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Are John Cena and Nikki Bella Back Together?

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Are John Cena and Nikki Bella Back Together?

Just over a month ago we revealed that WWE Superstars John Cena and Nikki Bella broke up ( you can click here to find out why Nikki Bella broke up with John Cena.)

Since their break-up both John Cena and Nikki Bella have been on a media frenzy, one for her reality TV show, and the other for his blockbuster movies.

John Cena has made it clear in these interviews, that he will stop at nothing to win Nikki Bella back, and it looks like it actually worked.

John Cena and Nikki Bella are finally back on the road to reconciliation!

A source told us that “they’re basically back together.”

“They both got a wake-up call once they canceled the wedding, and they both realized they could fix what was broken,” the source revealed.

“They never stopped talking,” a source told People Magazine. “Other than the actual wedding weekend, when they took some space, they have been talking.”

John had made it clear on NBC’s “Today” show that he wanted to have a family with Nikki and still wanted to marry her. If you watch Total Divas or Total Bella’s than you already know that this is exactly what Nikki wanted to hear.

“He has poured his heart out to her, and she was more than ready to take him back once she heard what she needed to hear,” the source from People Magazine added. “He’s been saying and doing all the right things.”

As seen below, TMZ spotted the couple in San Diego over the weekend, and it looks like we may see the power couple together again real soon for good!

 

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Andy Serkis’ ‘Mowgli’ Trailer: A Darker Look At ‘The Jungle Book’

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Andy Serkis’ ‘Mowgli’ Trailer: A Darker Look At ‘The Jungle Book’

With this morning’s trailer debut of Andy Serkis’ Mowgli, we now have a trailer for every major Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc. release for 2018 except for Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s A Star Is Born and James Wan’s Aquaman. I’m guessing we’ll get a Star Is Born trailer (the film opted to forgo Cannes in favor of the more Oscar-friendly Fall festival circuit) attached to Ocean’s 8 in early June. That Aquaman trailer will drop, I dunno, sometime next month with Incredibles 2 or Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom or with July’s Ant-Man and the Wasp just before SDCC?

Either way, this darker, PG-13 variation on Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is going to have to justify itself 2.5 years after Disney beat them to the punch with a pretty acclaimed and $996 million-grossing version of the iconic story.  Yes, this one is presumably more faithful to the original book than the Disney toon, the 1994 Stephen Sommers actioner or Jon Favreau’s animated/live-action hybrid from 2016. But at the end of the day, it’s still another live-action/animated action drama set in the same general world and stemming from the same source material.

It’ll be an uphill battle, even if this does turn out to be essentially a Jungle Book movie with the tone, mood and flavoring of Matt Reeves’ recent Planet of the Apes sequels. To be fair, this looks pretty spectacular from a purely visual point-of-view. And the animal cast, including Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Eddie Marsan and Naomie Harris among others, is pretty impressive if not quite as conventionally star-studded as Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Walken and Idris Elba. If not for the fact that we just had a variation on this movie from a different studio two years ago, this one would probably be looked at as a much bigger deal.

But this isn’t 1998 where audiences necessarily want two loose copies of the same movie in a short period of time. Heck, even in 2013 there was only room for one “Die Hard in the White House” movie, as the underrated but overbudgeted White House Down fell to the cheaper and nastier Olympus Has Fallen. Of course, a 2.5-year difference is different than a six-month (or less) span between movies. So will audiences feel that enough time has passed in between Jungle Book movies, even if this one does look pretty neat and does feel closer in spirit to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes than Walt Disney’s (occasionally somber and arthouse-ish) Jungle Book adaptation?

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