Kelly Marie Tran would be ‘overjoyed’ for queer Raya and the Last Dragon sequel

Side by side images of actor Kelly Marie Tran and her Disney character Raya from Raya and the Last Dragon

Kelly Marie Tran said she would be “overjoyed” to have the opportunity to work on a queer sequel to hit Disney movie Raya and the Last Dragon

Tran told Insider that it was “f*****g awesome” that she got to play Raya, an intrepid warrior who goes on an epic journey across Kumandra. In the movie, Raya seeks out the fabled last dragon in order to banish evil spirits known as the Druun from the land and save humanity.

The actor said she was proud to play the warrior princess and said she often has to remind herself that “everyone dreams of doing the things that I miraculously got to be a part of”. 

“We’re doing impossible things every day,” Tran said. “That’s more than anything I could’ve ever imagined for my life.”

Tran added she would be interested in working on a follow-up to the film, especially if the sequel focused on a potential queer relationship between Raya and her longtime enemy Namaari (Gemma Chan). But Tran said it wasn’t ultimately her decision if such a project would come to fruition and she couldn’t speak on behalf of Disney or her co-stars. 

“I will speak for myself and say I would be overjoyed to explore that in any sort of sequel in any shape or fashion,” Tran said.

Kelly Marie Tran previously said that she decided that Raya is gay because she felt there are “some romantic feelings going on” between her character and Namarri. 

She told Vanity Fair that Raya is “obsessed with Namaari” and that led her to believe there her character had more than platonic feelings towards her enemy. 

“I think if you’re a person watching this movie and you see representation in a way that feels really real and authentic to you, then it is real and authentic,” Tran says. “I think it might get me in trouble for saying that, but whatever.”

Disney has featured only a few openly LGBTQ+ characters and stories in the past. The filmmaker included a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in the Beauty and the Beast live-action which ‘confirmed’ LeFou’s sexuality in a dance scene. 

Disney decided to cut – and then reinstate – a same-sex kiss from the upcoming Buzz Lightyear origin film, Lightyear

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – which Kelly Marie Tran starred in – featured the first same-sex kiss in the sci-fi francise’s history despite the moment being insanely brief. 

Marvel’s Eternals was the studio’s first film to feature an openly gay superhero, and America Chavez discussed her queer identity and parents in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Earlier this year, LGBTQ+ Pixar staff accused Diney of cutting “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection” from their projects in a damning open letter. 

The letter alleged that Disney corporate reviews “shaved” some of Pixar’s “beautiful stories”, which were “full of diverse characters”, “down to crumbs of what they once were”. 

The workers claimed a vast majority of LGBTQ+ moments in the projects were “cut at Disney’s behest” despite “protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar”.