Hollywood is praised for championing an array of progressive issues and welcoming people of all walks of life- particularly gay people. However, to attract the broadest audience possible, some studios concealed the sexuality of many famous characters.
Yes, these LGBT characters were turned straight when they were adapted to the big screen. From the novels and comic books where they were first imagined, these characters were either gay, bi or somewhere in between, but were turned straight for the movies!
Here are some startling examples.
1. Louis and Lestat- Interview with a Vampire
In the famous book by Anne Rice, Louis (Brad Pitt) and Lestat (Tom Cruise) indulged in many sexual activities, but in the movie, their sexuality was barely explored. Indeed, the film barely resembled Anne Rice's racy novel which had a complicated intimate relationship between Louis and Lestat at its heart.
Alas, Hollywood probably felt a gothic movie involving two vampires played by Crusie and Pitt was enough of a lure to get bums on seats.
2. Brick Pollitt- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Paul Newman was one of Hollywood's first male sex symbols, as evidenced in his steamy performance In Cat on a Hot Tin Roof among others. In it, he plays a heavy-drinking Brick Pollitt, a husband who refuses intimacy with his wife. Owing to Newman's palpable masculinity, audiences were none the wiser to Pollitt being nothing more than a high-tempered, heterosexual male. How wrong they were.
Sure, the movie sees Pollitt as a heterosexual man struggling to come to terms with his innermost feelings, but if the film really wanted to do the Tennessee Williams play justice, it would have explored his sexuality in more detail. Still, in 1950s Hollywood, gay relationships on-screen were unheard of, so this isn't surprising.
3. Paul Varjack- Breakfast at Tiffany's
In the famous adaptation of the Truman Capote novel Breakfast at Tiffany's, George Peppard plays a male escort who sleeps with women, yet it's doubtful- given its period- that Varjack's clients would solely be women.
In the book he is described as a male prostitute who doesn't care what sex he sleeps with.
The Catwoman movies haven't had the best of luck in recent years. Even the acting prowess of Hallie Berry was unable to give fans what they wanted, and one of the main reasons this may have been the case was because of how far studios subverted from the character's sexuality.
In the comics- just like the movies- Catwoman and Batman always had an attraction. Yet Catwoman's character in the comics is bisexual, but neither Michelle Pfeiffer or Halle Berry's incarnations were given the slightest chance by writers to reflect this which is unfortunate as this could have added more depth to their characters.
5. Alan Turing- The Imitation Game
This well-received movie about the brilliant mind of the British WWII code cracker Alan Turing was a runaway success at the box office. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, it was well known that Turing's sexuality as a gay man led him to be stigmatized and cut off from many strands of British society despite his immense achievements in the war effort.
In the book the movie is based on, it delves deep into Turing's sexuality and writes in detail how badly Turing was treated despite everything he'd done to help change the course of modern history.
6. Ruth Jamison- Fried Green Tomatoes
While the lead character in Fried Green Tomatoes, Ruth (Mary-Louise Parker) spends most of the movie trying to get over the death of her ex- husband, the film doesn't go by the book as her friend Idgie is supposed to have a physical relationship with her.
In Fannie Flagg's famous book, it's made clear that Ruth and Idgie share a physical bond and are more than the friends the movie projected them to be.
7. Mystique- X-Men
Despite the attractive character of Mystique reprised by both Rebecca Romijn and Jennifer Lawrence in the movie adaptations, not once have screenwriters explored the bicurious feelings the blue-skinned mutant is supposed to feel.
If the films really wanted to be true to the X-Men comic books, then Mystique would be portrayed as bisexual. And Mystique's bisexuality seems fitting considering she can shape-shift into any person any time of any day.
8. Celie Johnson- The Color Purple
Steven Spielberg did a great job adapting Alice Walker's esteemed novel, and Celie and Shug even shared a kiss in the well-received movie. However, Whoopi Goldberg, who plays Celie, is believed to have dismissed the kiss as being unrelated to two character's relationship in the book.
In Walker's masterful piece of fiction, Celie and Shug's relationship manifests itself into a physical one as well as one of friendship.
9. The Narrator- Fight Club
Chuck Palahniuk's masculine novel involves many homoerotic themes, so much so that it was almost beyond laughable when the movie- although great in its own right- didn't allude to the narrator's fixation with the male form.
The only time the movie hints at this is when its narrator and protagonist (Edward Norton) beats Jared Leto's character to a pulp because he "wanted to destroy something beautiful."
10. Deadpool- Deadpool
Ryan Reynolds did a tremendous job in bringing his passion project about the sardonic superhero Deadpool to life, but if there's one criticism of Reynold's vision, it's that he didn't touch upon the character's same-sex feelings.
In the movies, he is in a heterosexual relationship and only jokes about "gay play." But in the comic's story, the writer Gerry Guggan doesn't seem to have the same vision. He even tweeted that Deadpool is omnisexual. In other words; he's bisexual.
Unfortunately, that didn't come across on screen.