'Power Rangers' breaks ground with first queer big-screen superhero

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[Warning: This story contains minor spoilers for the Power Rangers movie]

Power Rangers is breaking down a barrier no superhero movie has before. The Lionsgate reboot of the '90s children's TV show is the first big-budget superhero movie to feature an LGBT protagonist.

During Power Rangers' second act, there's a scene in which the titular heroes learn that the Yellow Ranger Trini (Becky G) is coming to terms with her sexual orientation, with one character assuming she's having "boyfriend problems," and soon realizing that perhaps she's actually having "girlfriend problems." It's a small moment, but one director Dean Israelite calls "pivotal" for the entire film.

"For Trini, really she's questioning a lot about who she is," Israelite tells The Hollywood 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."

Kimberley French; Getty Images

LGBT representation in superhero films has trailed that of comic books, where heroes and villains such as DC's Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Batwoman and Harley Quinn, as well as Marvel's Ice Man, are among high-profile examples of LGBT characters. But so far, when these characters have been translated to the big screen, they have been portrayed as straight. X-Men's Northstar, the first openly gay character from either DC or Marvel, was introduced in the comics in 1992.

Read more: 'Power Rangers': Film Review

Original Blue Ranger actor David Yost, who is openly gay and left the 1990s Power Rangers series after facing harassment over his sexual orientation, praised the new film for its inclusiveness.

"They really stepped up to the plate," says Yost. "I think so many people in the LGBTQI community are going to be excited to see that representation."

See photos of Becky G:

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Becky G
MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 22: Becky G performs on the set of the reality show 'La Banda' at Univision Studios on November 22, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 24: Becky G. performed at the Mega 96.3 FM Calibash 2016 at Staples Center on January 24, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05: Singer-songwriter Becky G performs onstage during The Salvation Army 'Rock The Red Kettle' Concert presented by Mammoth Mountain at Microsoft Theater on December 5, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The Salvation Army)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13: Becky G performs onstage at T.J. Martell Foundation's 16th Annual New York Family Day at Brooklyn Bowl on December 13, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for TJ Martell)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05: Singer-songwriter Becky G performs onstage during The Salvation Army 'Rock The Red Kettle' Concert presented by Mammoth Mountain at Microsoft Theater on December 5, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The Salvation Army)
SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 14: Singer Becky G performs on stage during the 106.1 KISS FM Fall Ball at WaMu Theater on November 14, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)
BALA-CYNWYD, PA - SEPTEMBER 30: Becky G performs at Q102 Performance Theater September 30, 2015 in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bill McCay/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 07: Recording artist Becky G performs onstage at iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina presented by Sprint at American Airlines Arena on November 7, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 18: Becky G at Versace Mansion on December 18, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Thaddaeus McAdams/FilmMagic)
MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 07: Becky G attends iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina presented by Sprint at American Airlines Arena on November 7, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05: Singer-songwriter Becky G attends The Salvation Army 'Rock The Red Kettle' Concert presented by Mammoth Mountain at Microsoft Theater on December 5, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The Salvation Army)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 04: Becky G arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Insidious: Chapter 3' held at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on June 4, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
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In the original Power Rangers series, the Yellow Ranger was played by the late actress Thuy Trang, who is credited as the character for 81 episodes from 1993-94 on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The original character was portrayed as straight.

Power Rangers comes on the heels of Disney's Beauty and the Beast live-action remake, in which Josh Gad plays Disney's first-ever gay character, LeFou. In the sci-fi movie world, last year's Star Trek Beyond revealed that Sulu (played by John Cho in the rebooted Star Trek movie universe), was gay. The original version of the character, played by George Takei, was straight.

Power Rangers opens Friday.

Read more: 'Power Rangers' Alum Amy Jo Johnson Talks Movie Reboot, Relocating to Canada in Trump Era

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