Bend It Like Beckham, the 2002 film that could’ve been a queer classic, may be making amends.
The movie follows Jesminder Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) as she tries to balance tradition and her dreams of playing soccer on a national team, despite her parents’ reservations because of her gender. Keira Knightley, who starred in the film opposite Nagra, told Pride Source that she would be interested in doing a Bend It Like Beckham sequel that the film’s queer fans deserved.
There were rumors of an earlier version of the script where Jess and Jules (Knightley) do end up together. When it was mentioned that so many people in the queer community were rooting for them to be a couple, Knightley responded: “Fuck yeah! That would’ve been amazing. I think they should’ve been too. I think that would’ve been great. We need a sequel.”
Upon learning that filmmaker Gurinder Chadha originally envisioned Bend It Like Beckham as a lesbian love story, Knightley told The Advocate in 2014, “This is the first I’ve heard of it, but that would’ve been exciting. It also would’ve meant a lot to so many young gay people. I’d love to see Jules and Jess get together. Hey, maybe we can do a sequel and make it happen!”
The Pride Source interview also explores Knightley’s upcoming film Colette. For her, one of the things that made Colette special was the connection between female actors and gay directors: “I think that there’s that quality of having to fight for your space and fight for your right to be who you feel you are and fight for your voice. So yes, I think there’s a similarity in those two aspects, and one I think, probably, Wash identified within the story of Colette.”
Would you be down for a queer Bend It Like Beckham sequel?