The upcoming Power Rangers reboot will feature a Ranger coming to terms with not only her new powers but also her own sexuality, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The character, Trini—played by Becky G—is the yellow ranger, and while Trini was portrayed as straight in the original series, things are different in the 2017 version. "For Trini, really she's questioning a lot about who she is," director Dean Israelite told the Reporter. "She hasn't fully figured it out yet. I think what's great about that scene and what that scene propels for the rest of the movie is, 'That's OK.' The movie is saying, 'That's OK,' and all of the kids have to own who they are and find their tribe."
It looks like Trini's sexuality only gets addressed in a small scene, when a character makes a passing comment about her "girlfriend troubles." It's apparently a small aside in a film that's otherwise about five teens battling evil, but it's a big step forward in the superhero genre. Gay characters have been a staple of comic books since 1992, when Northstar, then in the Marvel comic Alpha Flight, was the first gay hero in print. But still we haven't seen any gay characters in the dozens of movies put out by DC or Marvel in the past. Last year's mega-hit Deadpool was criticized for turning an "omnisexual" character straight. Now we have the Power Rangers to thank for ending that dry spell.
This news comes on the heels of the "exclusively gay moment" touted by director Bill Condon in Disney's blockbuster Beauty and the Beast. It turned out to basically just be the villain's henchmen LeFou dancing with another man at the end of the movie. The moment was met with criticism from both sides. Some gay critics thought it "did more harm than good" and one theater in Alabama pulled the movie for religious reasons. In Russia, the film was slapped with an "adults only" rating because of the moment, and Malaysian censors edited it out of the film.
The "gay moment" and the controversy surrounding it didn't really hurt ticket sales, since Beauty and the Beast took in $350 million in its first weekend at the box office. Israelite can only hope that his movie does as well when it drops March 24.