In the past fourteen months, Marvel Studios has introduced the first black and female leads to the MCU. And given the successful box office runs of both Black Panther and Captain Marvel, it comes as no surprise to hear that producer Kevin Feige has no intention of straying from the studio’s plan of improving diversity in the superhero saga.
In an interview with LA Times, the Marvel Studios head argued that this progress is true to the spirit of the late Stan Lee’s comics and his “Stan’s Soapbox” columns, which he used to discuss social and racial issues.
“We’re just the stewards, the current stewards, of these characters, that he and his co-creators brought together — and all of them were created in that spirit of those Soapboxes,” Feige said. “That was very much what Stan’s worldview was, and that’s what those movies represent.
“Because that is — how do I put this — it’s the right way to be. It is the way the world should be. And one the great things about the movies is you get to showcase the world that you want to reflect and the way you want the world to be. And that’s what he did with these characters.”
The $760 million earned globally so far by Captain Marvel indicates that the filmgoing public is ready to see a more diverse array of groups represented in superhero cinema, and that seems to be exactly what Marvel Studios intends to bring us in the coming years.
After the release of the MCU’s second female-led film, Black Widow, Marvel is heavily rumored to be introducing the franchise’s first gay lead with next year’s The Eternals. After that, the planned Shang-Chi movie seems on course to bring us the saga’s first Asian lead in 2021, which is also expected to be the year that Black Panther 2 hits theaters.
Though Marvel’s longterm plans seem hazy, Feige last year claimed that the majority of superheroes in the MCU will soon be female, while executive vice president of production Victoria Alonso has previously acknowledged the lack of major Latin characters in the franchise. Apparently, we can expect some official announcements later this year, but in the meantime, Captain Marvel will be returning to our screens with the release of Avengers: Endgame on April 26th.