Jurassic World: Dominion will introduce the decades-old franchise’s first openly LGBTQ character as confirmed by the movie’s co-star DeWanda Wise. Wise will play pilot Kayla Watts in the new film alongside franchise stars Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing and Chris Pratt as Owen Grady.
Wise, familiar to audiences for her roles in She’s Gotta Have It and The Harder They Fall, recently spoke out to ComicBook.com regarding the importance of representation in tentpole blockbusters and confirmed that Kayla was indeed bisexual and would be portrayed as such.
“It’s important, and it’s also important to me that we continue to expand the conversation beyond looking for the kiss. If you’re queer, you’re queer … I said what I said. All the time. You don’t turn it off. It doesn’t matter if your partner’s in the cockpit with you. It just is a statement of being. So that was one of the things just in her DNA, in her dino DNA, ensuring that she is who she is. Kayla is bi, and that’s just, it is what it is.”– DeWanda Wise
The franchise faced a degree of backlash following 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom when it was revealed that Daniella Pineda’s character Dr. Zia Rodriguez was revealed to be gay in a scene that ended up on the cutting room floor — ostensibly for reasons of time but perhaps thankfully because the reveal was itself revealed to be eye-wincingly ham-handed.
One can hope that Wise’s Watts is afforded a bit more dignity and the ability to just exist.
Wise will join not only Pratt and Howard but also characters from the franchise’s original film played by returning actors Sam Elliot, Laura Dern, B.D. Wong, and Jeff Goldblum.
Jurassic World Dominion hits theaters on June 10.