For the past year or two, there’s been much talk from the bosses at Marvel Studios about their plans to improve representation in the MCU, and sure enough, it sounds like Kevin Feige and his team are staying true their word.
According to a source close to We Got This Covered, the future of the Marvel franchise will be heavily focused on diversity, female characters and LGBT representation. In particular, we’re told that the production house is very keen to correct the imbalance after so many of their movies have been led by white male superheroes.
On top of that, it’s said that the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will introduce (or at least plant the seeds for) a new line-up for the team that will reflect the studio’s continuing focus on representation. And lastly, we’re hearing that the new X-Men, when they eventually enter the MCU, will also be more diverse than their Fox predecessors.
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Of course, we’ve already seen Marvel begin to diversify their line-up in the last couple of years with the release of Black Panther and Captain Marvel. And seeing how both of those films crossed the billion-dollar mark at the global box office, it’s not hard to see why the franchise would continue in this vein.
Sure enough, Marvel’s Phase 4 kicks off with the second female-led film of the franchise, Black Widow, which is scheduled for release on May 1st, 2020. Then later that same year, Chloé Zhao’s The Eternals will introduce the MCU’s first openly gay superhero in the form of Richard Madden’s Ikaris. After that, 2021 will see the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which is set to serve as the first MCU movie with an Asian lead.
Finally, Marvel Studios is scheduled to offer one more female-led Phase 4 film with Thor: Love and Thunder, before Black Panther 2 launches the next phase in 2022. Beyond that, the schedule gets a little hazy, but if all we’re hearing is true, then this recent focus on diversity will likely be the new norm for the franchise.