JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM Contributes To A Frustrating Hollywood Trend
***Full Disclosure: I have not seen the film yet. I am basing this off the remarks given by Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom star Daniella Pineda***
Did you know Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series is gay? Did you know that Lando from Star Wars is pansexual? Did you know that Admiral Holdo from The Last Jedi is bisexual? What about Trini from the latest Power Rangers movie? Did you know she is a lesbian? If you didn’t, that isn’t your fault. All of these things were said after the fact. It has happened in other movies like Beauty and The Beast, and Thor: Ragnarok as well. They were said in off hand comments, or interviews and were never actually part of the story, or part of the character. It is a slap in the face to LGBTQA people everywhere who should be able to see people like themselves represented on screen in a non-cliched way.
With the release of every huge blockbuster comes another opportunity to right this wrong. But instead, the trend continues.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom comes out in the U.S. this week. It has been out overseas for a while now. Daniella Pineda plays a character named Zia Rodriguez. Zia is a lesbian, but you wouldn’t know that by watching the film. In an interview with Build (via Yahoo), Pineda reveals the line that was cut.
“I understood why they cut it — for sake of time. It’s me and Chris Pratt and we are in a military vehicle with all of these mercenaries,” she told Build. “I look at Chris and am like, ‘Yeah. Square jaw. Good bone structure. Tall. Muscles. I don’t date men, but if I did, it would be you. It would gross me out, but I would do it.'”
That is no more intrusive of a line than the one in featured the first trailer for Fallen Kingdom, of Chris Pratt’s Owen telling Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire “So what are you dating like an accountant now? Ventriloquist? You love a dummy.” If you can throw a questionably demeaning line like that in there for the sake of a joke, you should certainly have time for deeper character development too.
Pineda was a fan of her cut line.
“It was cool, because it was a little insight into my character,” she said of the missing dialogue.
Pineda is right. It is no different than a straight character doing the same thing, which is said to give the character depth and allows the audience to know them a little bit better. Off hand comments don’t even have to be about relationships. It can be something as simple as “Wow, that’s a nice car, I’ve never owned anything that nice,” which tells you a lot about the character. Cut “for sake of time” sounds fishy to me. Say that line out loud. See how long it takes you. They couldn’t spare mere seconds to flesh out a character a little bit more?
So here we are again, learning about a character through an interview, instead of the natural course of the story. It is baffling as to why we keep ending up back here.
As mentioned above, I have not seen the film yet. I will go on Friday. So I will reserve completely judging this until then. But this is all too common trend in Hollywood that needs to end. Not to mention what a wasted opportunity this was for some great PR, considering it’s Pride Month– so proudly featuring an LGBTQA character would’ve been welcomed with open arms. But instead, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom becomes part of the problem. Movies, even the most fantastic and farfetched ones reflect our real world in one way or another. Having that aspect of their characters only mentioned in passing, off-screen during an interview, is the epitome of “One step forward, two steps back.”
I’m not alone in thinking this. It was a topic recently discussed on The Revengers Podcast, as the trio discussed their thoughts about the way Solo was handling Lando’s sexuality.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom opens this Friday in the U.S.