'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' director JA Bayona explains why 'lesbian reveal' scene was cut

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom became the latest film to join a frustrating Hollywood trend earlier this year when it emerged that a lesbian character reveal had been cut from the film.

Daniella Pineda – who plays paleo-veterinarian Zia Rodriguez in the movie – revealed the excised detail on her character at a Yahoo Entertainment-moderated chat at Build Series Studio back in June, noting that while it “wasn’t relevant to the story, it was a little glimmer into who she is”.

The ensuing discourse on the cut from disappointed fans came as a shock to Fallen Kingdom director JA Bayona, who confirmed that the scene in question was ultimately a little too long; “The whole thing came as a surprise to us. We always thought of Zia as lesbian. And then the scene where she was actually talking about it… it was a very long scene and it broke the pace of the whole movie so we decided to cut it”.

Zia challenges Ted Levine’s Ken Wheatley in Fallen Kingdom (Universal Pictures)
Zia challenges Ted Levine’s Ken Wheatley in Fallen Kingdom (Universal Pictures)

Although Bayona’s explanation is understandable from a filmmaking perspective, Fallen Kingdom joins a growing list of blockbuster films – including Disney’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Beauty and the Beast and more – that have chosen to downplay LGBTQ representation rather than make it clear cut.

It’s a missed opportunity to break major ground on a large scale and have a memorable, positive impact on an underrepresented minority.

For his part, Bayona maintains that “what was important was that the role is in the movie and what she is representing is totally there in the film”, which implies that there are clues to Zia’s sexuality if the viewer looks hard enough. But we shouldn’t have to.

Thankfully Zia was able to avoid becoming Dino-fodder and made it all the way to Fallen Kingdom‘s end credits so there’s a good chance she’ll be back for the trilogy capper, currently scheduled to hit cinemas in 2021. Here’s hoping when Jurassic World 3 rolls around writer-director Colin Trevorrow makes her sexual orientation more explicit, and that those scenes are included in the final cut.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is now available on Digital HD and Blu-Ray.

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