(SPOILER ALERT: There is a mild spoiler for ‘Black Panther’ below, so proceed with caution.)
It appears that ‘Black Panther’ deleted a brief scene of same-sex flirtation between two of the female warriors of the Dora Milaje, Danai Gurira’s Okoye and Florence Kasumba’s Ayo. In April, a scene was screened for members of the press, including Vanity Fair’s Joanna Robinson, who wrote about the scene:
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.’
This scene is only a tease that hints a possible romance, but it would be slightly in keeping with established in Ta’Nehisi Coates, Roxanne Gay, and Yona Harvey’s ‘World of Wakanda’ comic book series, in which Ayo is in a relationship with a fellow warrior named Aneka, who does not appear in the film. But other than this, Ryan Coogler‘s film doesn’t borrow from the ‘World of Wakanda’ book.
But the scene described doesn’t appear in the final cut of the film. Screenwriter Joe Robert Cole was asked about the omission but he couldn’t offer much insight as he insists that he doesn’t remember the scene.
“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.”
Instead, Okoye is shown to be in a romantic relationship with Daniel Kaluuya’s W’Kabi, and while not a lot of screentime is dedicated to it, it does have significance in the larger story.
There has been a vocal minority of fans who have been pushing for Marvel Studios to include same-sex relationships in its movies. Unfortunately, those fans have longer to wait as ‘Black Panther’ won’t be the film to do so.
‘Black Panther’ hits theaters this weekend!
Source: Screen Crush