Major tentpoles like “Avengers: Endgame” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” were celebrated by their directors ahead of release for including gay characters, and yet both films relegated these much-touted characters to the sidelines. One cough-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in “Endgame” features a nameless gay man talking about losing his boyfriend, while “Rise of Skywalker” features a seconds-long gay kiss between a secondary character and her nameless partner. So much for breakthrough LGBTQ representation in major Hollywood blockbusters.
“The New Mutants” looks to buck this trend when it opens in theaters August 28. Writer-director Josh Boone and actress Maisie Williams touted back in March that “New Mutants” featured a gay love story. The difference between this film and something like “The Rise of Skywalker” is that the gay characters in “New Mutants” are two of the main characters: Rahne Sinclair (Williams) and Danielle Moonstar (Blu Hunt). Boone referred to the gay love story as “sort of the spine and focus of some of the character-driven stuff in the film.”
Boone has been doubling down on his comic book film’s LGBTQ representation this week in the lead up to the long-overdue theatrical release of “The New Mutants.” As the writer-director told JoBlo, “It has a gay love story, probably the first one at Disney for sure and like one of the first superhero movies that really has one that’s an integral part of the plot and story and the whole thing hangs on it.”
Boone is making it clear that “The New Mutants” makes good on a promise “Rise of Skywalker” failed to meet, and he takes aim at the J.J. Abrams-directed “Star Wars” sequel in an interview with Too Fab. Boone calls “The Rise of Skywalker” gay kiss “the most embarrassing” example of queer representation, adding, “It was just somebody in the background and [the filmmakers] were like, ‘We’ll put out articles as if this is something you should pay attention to.'”
“I’m a big Joss Whedon fan, I’m a big ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ fan. They did this in the ’90s already, but they did it on television,” Boone continued about having two main characters who are queer. “We didn’t put this in to be confrontational or really even in a calculated way, it just happened naturally. We wrote it because the characters in the comic have like an intimate telepathic connection and it just sort of felt like the right thing to do, and it was more of a gentle thing and a coming of age thing than it was a sexual thing.”
Boon concluded, “I hope this would reach some people and for young women out there who are gay and don’t see representation in a big movie, it’s like, you guys can dress up at Halloween and hold hands and be them and that’s awesome.”
“The New Mutants” opens in theaters August 28 from Disney and 20th Century Studios.