Marvel is reportedly unhappy with actress Tessa Thompson and the three-way kiss she shared with director Taika Waititi and singer Rita Ora. The three were reportedly on the balcony of Taika Waititi’s home in Bondi, Australia. Waititi and Thompson are in Australia filming Thor: Love and Thunder. Previously, they worked together on Thor: Ragnarok. Tessa Thompson plays the role of Valkyrie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While enjoying each other’s company on the balcony, it appears that the paparazzi snapped some photos, documenting several kisses. Insiders from the set are claiming that Marvel is mad about the photographs since it doesn’t well support the family-friendly Marvel brand. They’re saying Tessa Thompson may be in trouble with the studio.
Marvel is owned by Disney, which may help shed light on the type of brand they’re trying to build with the Marvel movies. According to what insiders have told The Daily Telegraph Australia, the studio is aware that Taika Waititi has a reputation for being a “party animal”. While they were trying to work with that, they are unhappy with the fact that the pictures of Tessa Thompson kissing these two do not mesh with the family-friendly image that Disney, and Marvel, are trying to maintain. They say that Taika Waititi has been reprimanded, though they’re not sure to what level. It’s unclear what Marvel is doing about Tessa Thompson.
Meanwhile, Twitter is congratulating Tessa Thompson on having an excellent start to her summer. (If you wanted to split hairs about it, she is in Australia, where it is currently the start of winter.) At the same time as the three-way kiss, a photo of her kissing model Zac Stenmark appeared online. It was reportedly taken earlier that same day. The Twitter conversations are all full of congratulating her, jealousy, and speculating on just how great of a time Tessa Thompson has been having.
Of course, while these Twitter posts are fun and put Tessa Thompson and the three-way kiss of scandal into a positive light, that may not be what Disney and Marvel want to see. The more attention is drawn to these photos, the more it affects the branding for Thor: Love and Thunder, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe at large, and the more trouble Thompson and Waititi may be in with the studio.
Tessa Thompson has always been flirtatious and fun on panels. She’s made jokes with Brie Larson that have gained the pair momentum with fans, who are hopeful they’ll see the two in a project together soon, possibly for Marvel. After her appearance in Ragnarok in particular, which received a lot of praise, many have wanted to see more of her character. Apparently, a scene was cut from Endgame where she shared a kiss with Thor. In Ragnarok, a scene was cut that would have established her character as bisexual.
As of yet, neither Taika Waititi, Tessa Thompson, or the studio have made any public statements about the kiss. At this point, it’s expected that they won’t. Thompson may be reprimanded behind the scenes, and it won’t do her career favors if studio executives are concerned about her behavior affecting their branding, but unless something else happens, it appears they’re all being publicly silent and waiting for this to blow over.