Valkyrie’s queer scene cut from Thor film, says Taika Waititi: ‘We should have just had her kiss her’
Director Taika Waititi has revealed that a queer scene featuring Tessa Thompson’s bisexual icon Valkyrie was cut from his 2017 Marvel debut Thor: Ragnarok.
In an interview with The i about LGBTQ+ representation, the New Zealand filmmaker explained that a scene was shot showing a woman leaving Valkyrie’s apartment in a nod to her sexuality.
The scene ended up on the cutting room floor with Waititi saying “people were just so confused”, admitting it should have been more explicit and that “we should have just had her [Valkyrie] come out and kiss her”.
Despite Valkyrie being unapologetically bisexual in the comics, with her most notable relationship being with archaeologist Annabelle Riggs, her sexuality went unmentioned in the third film of the Thor franchise.
With Waititi’s 2022 follow-up Thor: Love and Thunder, however, giving Valkyrie her chance to express her sexuality was a huge talking point for the team, as actor Thompson explained in an interview with Yahoo Entertainment.
“We talked about it a lot, it was [a] big topic of conversation,” Thompson, who is bisexual in real life, said. “Because I think rightfully there’s this real want in audiences to see characters be very clearly queer of LGBTQIA inside these spaces. And I think it’s hugely important to have representation.”
While the fourth Thor film does confirm that Valkyrie is canonically queer, it takes place during a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment where Waititi’s character Korg points out that Valkyrie is sad and drinks too much because her girlfriend died in battle.
Thompson also explained that she believes defining narrative completely on sexuality “is a way of actually diminishing the humanity of the character”.
Taika Waititi certainly agrees that “we need to talk about it”, according to his conversation with journalist James Mottram. “We need to keep bringing the subject up. It’s gonna be nice when one day we don’t have to say, ‘Oh, tell me about that scene where those two men held hands!’
“I think what is good about it is that we don’t mention it. There is no scene which you expect from all movies or shows at the moment: I have to have this monologue about how it’s OK to be gay! All they do [in Love and Thunder] is just talk about their relationships that happen to be gay,” he continued.
Waititi is notorious for setting the bar when it comes to queer allyship. The award-winning filmmaker is an expert in authentic LGBTQ+ representation, while also starring in the quirky queer pirate series Our Flag Means Death as Captain Blackbeard.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been fairly haphazard when it comes to queer representation. Although it revealed its first same-sex couple in Eternals and revealed that Tom Hiddleston’s character Loki is bisexual, the mega-media franchise has garnered some criticism for queer-baiting in the past.
Meanwhile, in the comics, queer characters are quite literally flying around all over the place. Most recently was the introduction of a trans mutant superhero named Escapade and her genetically engineered pet turtle Hibbert in a special Pride comic for June.
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