Wizards of Waverly Place Boss Regrets Not Exploring Stevie & Alex’s True Relationship

Wizards of Waverly Place Alex and Stevie

The Wizards of Waverly Place showrunner Peter Murrieta recently expressed regret over not exploring the true nature of the relationship between Alex (Selena Gomez) and Stevie (Hayley Kiyoko) in the Disney sitcom.

Murrieta, who shepherded The Wizards of Waverly Place‘s first three seasons, lamented that the romantic slant of the Alex/Stevie dynamic wasn’t more explicit in an episode of the Wizards of Waverly Pod podcast. “I wished we could have played more with what was quite obvious to a lot of us, which was the relationship between Stevie and Alex… We weren’t able to in that time, but it was pretty clear to all of us what that relationship was,” he said. “That would have been fun. Disney Channel has had characters [who were openly LGBTQ+], and they did it, but we got as close as we could. Pretty close. It was pretty much right there.”


Related: Disney Boss Admits Theme Park Pricing Is Too Expensive

As noted by Murrieta, Disney has made significant strides in how it approaches representation in its film and TV projects since The Wizards of Waverly Place wrapped up in 2012. A recent example of this is the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Not only is the upcoming movie headlined by a Black actor, Halle Bailey, but it also tackles its source material from a more modern angle. Bailey touched on this in a recent interview, citing The Little Mermaid remake’s updated portrayal of its protagonist, Ariel. “[W]e’ve definitely changed that perspective of just her wanting to leave the ocean for a boy,” she said.

Peter Pan & Wendy Director Discusses Tiger Lily

Disney also has another live-action retelling of one of its animated classics slated to premiere in 2023, Peter Pan & Wendy, and like The Little Mermaid, it has overhauled outdated aspects of its cartoon predecessor. Specifically, Peter Pan & Wendy will present a revamped version of warrior princess Tiger Lily that more sensitively incorporates the character’s Native American influences. “There was nothing from the past that we needed to hang on to when it came to Tiger Lily,” co-writer/director David Lowery said in a recent interview. “The version of the character in the movie, who is so strong and vibrant, it’s incredible.”

Related: UPDATE: Victoria Alonso’s Lawyer Refutes Claims She Was Fired From Marvel Due to Amazon Film

The studio hasn’t entirely avoided negative headlines on this front, however. Notably, former Marvel Studios producer Victoria Alonso recently alleged that she was fired from the Disney subsidiary over her vocal criticism of Disney’s response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Neither Disney nor Marvel Studios have publicly commented on Alonso’s claims at this time.

All four seasons of The Wizards of Waverly Place are currently streaming on Disney+.

Source: Wizards of Waverly Pod, via YouTube


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