Saturday, April 13, 2024

‘We’re all queer,’ according to Taika Waititi

Though many fans expected the recently-released Thor: Love and Thunder to be the queerest Marvel movie yet, thanks to its bisexual lighting and the fact that Natalie Portman said the film was “so gay” in response to being asked how gay it was at a screening in London. It didn’t hurt that the director is Taika Waititi, who also put out the recent gay hit, Our Flag Means Death.

Unfortunately, thanks to the old Disney curse, the reality of the movie’s queerness was a lot more tame, limited to a hand kiss for Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie and director Taika Waititi’s character Korg falling for another male of his species at the end of the film. Despite that, Taika Waititi has been actively pursuing more queer storytelling, as we’ve seen with recent pirate drama Our Flag Means Death. In an interview with Out, Waititi got into his reasoning.

“We’re all queer,” he told Out. “Just to varying degrees of where we are on the [sexuality] spectrum I think. I think, innately, humans have all got some degree of queerness in them.”

Though Love and Thunder’s queer representation may not have been as overt as fans might have wanted, Waititi was excited to bring it to Thor.

“With Thor, it’s great to be able to finally get Tessa’s character, and my character as well, where we’re both queer,” he told Out.

Korg and Valkyrie carry the LGBTQ+ torch for this film, and do actually push the envelope pretty significantly for a Disney film. The pair have explicit conversations around same-gender relationships, with Korg’s species actually procreating via same-gender breeding.

That said, Waititi credits Our Flag Means Death for being the project that pushed him to “queer icon” status. According to his interview with Out, he even checks out fanart and fanfiction of the show.

“I never really imagined it. I mean never imagined it [being a queer icon],” he told Out. “No, it just wasn’t something I imagined, but what drew me to Our Flag Means Death was the love story between Blackbeard and Stede.”

Ty Galiz-Rowe

Ty is a freelance games writer and esports expert.