Last year, Marvel fans wondered whether Black Panther would feature a lesbian relationship between two members of the Dora Milaje after reports came out that the superhero film would borrow a few scenarios from the World of Wakanda comic book series by Ta-Nehisi. Though fans looking for an big-screen lesbian relationship had their hopes raised after hearing about Okoye and Ayo flirting in a scene in the film, Marvel decided to cut off hopes for the scene saying the relationship wouldn’t be a subplot in Black Panther.
Speaking in an interview with Screen Crush, Black Panther co-writer Joe Robert Cole explains why the decision was made, confirming that scripts for the film had initially featured a romance between the Dora Milaje members Okoye and Ayo.
“I think the short answer is yes. I know that there were quite a few conversations around different things, different directions with different characters, and characters that we may have. We thought, ‘Well, maybe we’ll work it this way with an arc or work it that way with an arc.’
The scene you’re talking about, I don’t remember. I can’t remember the exact exchange you’re talking about, but I think it was really brief. I’m not sure. I know that it was not – there wasn’t some major theme through that we were looking to explore with that in terms of the story. We didn’t like, pull out a full thread of some theme. But your friend quite possibly could be right, or I’m maybe having a brain fart here and just can’t remember.”
Based on Cole’s response, it seems like Okoye and Ayo’s romance might not have a major spotlight in Black Panther, but instead a few scenes hinting at a spark between the two. Such a shame that Marvel had to cut off the arc entirely and go with a different relationship instead.
Black Panther premieres on February 16, 2018.