“None of this would be possible without the work done by queer artists and authors who fought so hard for this representation”
BY YAIZA CANOPOLI. IMAGE WIKIPEDIA.
Catherine Hardwick, the director famous for bringing the Twilight series to the big screen, has just been announced as the director of upcoming Heathen – an adaptation of the (very) queer comic book series of the same name.
Written and drawn by Natasha Alterici, the series follows Aydis, a Viking lady who is exiled because of her sexuality and decides to fight Odin in response – a bold move considering he is the king of Asgard and one of the most powerful gods in Norse mythology. (She’s got it though…)
In 2017, Catherine Hardwicke was also announced as the upcoming director of a TV adaptation of the beloved book series The Raven Cycle. A paranormal fantasy series by Maggie Stiefvater, it follows a group of teenagers as they unravel prophecies, hunt down a dead Welsh king and discover some friendly ghosts along the way. The usual, you know.
So, from Twilight – a film series that is perhaps the epitome of heteronormative content, and which guided me and many others on our path to problematic fan fiction and a warped understanding of romance – Catherine Hardwick is now diving, head first it seems, into queer content.
We soon found out that Kristen Stewart was on our team, of course (something I found oddly liberating to witness). It’s almost as if all of us queer kids who obsessed so much over Twilight, only to then come out and wonder what we found so compelling about a toxic, heterosexual, vampire relationship, were absolved.
If Kristen Stewart can be queer and a Twilighter, so can we!
Catherine Hardwicke’s involvement in these upcoming queer projects adds another rather satisfying layer to this turn in the Twilight cast and crew’s gaze. Hardwick’s turn to queer content is not unique, of course.
Maggie Stiefvater, author of The Raven Cycle, is another good example. First she sprinkled some queer representation into the final books of the series, and now she’s publishing a whole (and very exciting) trilogy centred on the major queer character of the previous story.
Another example from young adult fantasy is author Leigh Bardugo, who introduced queer representation into the later instalment of her Grisha trilogy – and then swept fans off their feet with the lovely queer representation in her spin-off Six Of Crows duology.
Rick Riordan, who writes middle-grade fantasy (and so caters to an even younger audience), slowly began including queer and otherwise diverse characters into his novels after his Percy Jackson series, starting off with one minor queer character and now finishing off a trilogy whose protagonist is the very bisexual Greek god, Apollo.
Mythology is, of course, a fitting medium for queer retellings, most of the ancient myths being queer in one way or another – but it is still satisfying and (sadly) surprising to see stories such as Riordan’s and of course Heathen enter the mainstream sphere.
It’s certainly satisfying to see first Kristen Stewart, and then Catherine Hardwicke, delve into media that isn’t so heteronormative, bringing the queering of young adult fantasy full circle in a way – it is not just the new books, films, and TV shows that are being queered, but the beloved stars from our own teenage years that are finally joining in on the LGBTQI fun (it’s okay to fangirl over Twilight now, right?)
None of this would be possible, of course, without the work done by the queer artists and authors who fought so hard for this representation and now it seems, we finally have it all around us.
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