In a mere two days before its premiere, 'Power Rangers' director Dean Israelite just dropped a bombshell that might jeopardise opening night in Malaysia - one of its lead characters is gay
The character in question is the Yellow Ranger a.k.a. Trini Kwan (played by Becky G), whom Israelite said will have a small but "pivotal" moment in figuring out her sexual orientation
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Israelite revealed that there is a scene in which the titular heroes learn about Trini's sexual orientation, with one character assuming that she's having "boyfriend problems", only to eventually realise that it's actually "girlfriend problems".
"For Trini, really she's questioning a lot about who she is," Israelite explained.
"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."
The modern reboot of the classic '90s TV show will be the first big-budget superhero movie to feature an LGBT protagonist, in addition to having one of the most racially-diverse leads on the big screen
Original Blue Ranger actor David Yost, who is openly gay, praised the new film for its inclusiveness, saying, "They really stepped up to the plate. I think so many people in the LGBTQI community are going to be excited to see that representation."
Yost, who is openly gay, left the 'Power Rangers' series in 1996 after facing constant harassment from the production crew over his sexual orientation.
Elsewhere, on the Internet, the new plot development has also been met with quite a bit of excitement:
On the other hand, it has also been revealed the Blue Ranger a.k.a. Billy Cranston (played by RJ Cyler) is autistic, giving the character more depth and in line with the movie's grounded and more realistic approach
In an interview with Screen Rant, Cyler explained why it's an issue that is not treated lightly by the actors involved:
"I knew that it was my job to show, you know, that people that are on the spectrum are just regular people, literally, just how we talk, how me and Becky [Becky G, Yellow Ranger] talk, they feel the same way, they have the same emotions, they wanna be loved, that want people to love, they want relationships they want, you know, connections, and it’s just like I was really excited to be able to play that ’cause I know it means so much to so many people, ’cause all of us are affected by it… and it’s something I feel like we needed to have in this movie to be honest."
'Power Rangers' is slated to be released on Thursday, 23 March in cinemas nationwide
Do you think the reveal of an LGBT character in 'Power Rangers' will lead to further censorship before it is screened in Malaysia? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.