Despite initial hesitation from filmmakers to say so during the film's initial release, it looks like Pixar's 2021 animated flick Luca, was, in fact, almost going to have an explicitly queer character.
According to a recent report from Variety, two unnamed sources working at the Disney-owned animation studio confirmed that there were indeed discussions about whether Luca and Alberto's human friend in the film Giulia (played by Emma Berman) was going to be queer, but the reason it didn't end up happening in the final version of the film was that they couldn't figure out how to include her character's sexuality in the film without giving her a love interest.
"We very often came up against the question of, 'How do we do this without giving them a love interest?'" one of the sources told the trade. "That comes up very often at Pixar."
If you haven't seen the film yet, Luca is basically a quintessential coming-of-age story about an Italian teen sea monster named Luca (Jacob Tremblay) who runs away to the surface world with his bestie and fellow teen sea monster Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer, who came out as bi shortly after the film's release in 2021). With themes that include keeping secrets from the ones you love, running away from home to be your most authentic self, and hiding your identity from society, there's a lot in Luca that LGBTQ+ people can relate to, but the thing that REALLY had fans all over the world fawning over the cute animated flick was the definitely the dynamic between the two main characters. Unfortunately, none of the tangible romantic chemistry between Luca and Alberto was ever made official, and Luca director Enrico Casarosa explained that while making the film's two lead characters gay was definitely a possibility, he ended up wanting to make the film about a "pre-romance" part of many children's lives.
"In my first picture, I realized we hadn't done kids being kids, so that was kind of part of me thinking about that. It's also specifically a little bit pre-romance," Casarosa told Out last year. "That was something that I was interested in as well because there's just that moment that maybe we're not thinking about boyfriends and girlfriends yet, which is really more about friendships."