Warner Bros.’ upcoming Birds of Prey is already making history before it even hits theaters, as the expected blockbuster is going to be the first major superhero film to feature a prominent gay character.
Black Mask, the movie’s main antagonist, will reportedly be portrayed as homosexual. Though his sexuality is never explicitly stated, multiple sources have told We Got This Covered that the sexual tension between him and fellow villain Victor Zsasz will be palpable and the way he acts in general makes it pretty clear that he’s gay.
It’ll be interesting to see how fans react to this alteration of the iconic bad guy. While it’s true that some have been begging for a gay character in the DCEU for years, others are decidedly less open-minded. Less than a month ago, one particular viewer edited all of the women and pro-LGBTQ elements out of Avengers: Endgame. With that in mind, this move by Warner Bros. will definitely be met with at least some level of controversy from less tolerant folks, but the majority should be happy to see progress being made onscreen.
Still, some will question whether or not those in charge decided to go far enough with Black Mask’s sexuality. For example, plenty of fans were thrilled when they heard Avengers: Endgame was going to introduce the MCU’s first gay character, only to be disappointed when they saw how minimal the role actually was. The same thing happened when the 2017 live-action Beauty and the Beast remake claimed LeFou was a homosexual, but only showed him dancing with a male in one brief scene. Those in favor of Black Mask’s sexuality shift will surely be hoping that Birds of Prey doesn’t make the same mistake.
In any case, the early reaction to Ewan McGregor’s performance as the LGBTQ bad guy has been overwhelmingly positive thus far. Some have even gone so far as to call him “one of the best villains in a superhero movie ever.” That’s certainly high praise, given the pantheon of all-time greats that have already played evil roles in comic book flicks before and hopefully, his portrayal in Birds of Prey can pave the way for other comic book movies to include more gay characters in the future.