Are you one of the people who thought Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was missing a gay kiss? Well, you’re very perceptive because there was one in the original script, but it was ultimately removed from the film.
Deadline recently published the full script, which was called by its working title at the time: Summer Break. The kiss would’ve been between Ayo (Florence Kasumba) and Aneka (Michaela Coel). In the script, Ayo offers to reconcile with Aneka and reinstate her to her former Dora Milaje position, and then the two share a kiss.
In the final version of the movie, the two still have a relationship, but Aneka kisses Ayo on the forehead instead of the lips. Even that was edited out of certain international versions of the film to comply with local censorship laws.
Marvel has been dipping its toes into the world of introducing gay characters in its properties, with most relationships being implied over being explicitly revealed. There are some exceptions. The first openly gay superhero in a Marvel movie was Phastos from Eternals.
In a deleted scene in Thor: Ragnarok, we find out that Valkyrie had a girlfriend at some point, which is confirmed in Love and Thunder. Interestingly, another scene featuring Ayo being attracted to a woman was cut from the first film, according to IndieWire.
There was a scene where Ayo flirted with a female general played by Danai Gurira that ultimately didn’t make it into the film.
“If the makers would have wanted everyone to see the scene, it would have been in the movie,” she said. “What their reason is, I can’t tell you, because nobody told me about whether [that scene is] in or not.”
Ayo has a queer storyline in the comics, one of which was written by Roxane Gay.
“It was particularly thrilling to be able to write black queer women into the Marvel universe,” Gay said in an interview The Advocate. “I’m proud of the work I did and love hearing from black queer women about what the comics mean to them.”