Up until now, Marvel Studios has unfairly glossed over homosexual characters and LGBTQ representation.
Take Thor: Ragnarok as an example. Early on in the threequel’s development, director Taika Waititi had carved out an explicitly bisexual scene for Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, only to cut said scene during post. And to a lesser extent, Black Panther skated around a potential lesbian romance between two members of the Dora Milaje. So what gives, Marvel?
Why is it that LGBTQ characters are left by the wayside in favor of straight leads? Diversity for diversity’s sake is one thing, but after 20 movies in the space of a decade, the MCU has arguably overlooked gender representation, perhaps on the belief that movies featuring openly gay characters wouldn’t sell as well when compared to those that don’t.
All of this was presented to Marvel boss Kevin Feige during a recent press junket for Ant-Man and the Wasp, which went a little something like this:
The Playlist: When are we getting a Gay, Bi, LGBTQ, out character in the MCU? Is it even in the works?
Kevin Feige: Yes.
The Playlist: That’s the answer?
Kevin Feige: Yeah, that’s the answer.
The Playlist: It’s not someone we’ve seen yet, I’m guessing?
Kevin Feige: Both.
The Playlist: Both?
Kevin Feige: Both ones you’ve seen and ones you haven’t seen.
Valkyrie is undoubtedly the LGBTQ character we’ve seen before, though Kevin Feige stopped short of divulging too much information about the studio’s future plans.
They’ll likely remain under wraps until the so-far untitled Avengers 4 touches down next year, but if nothing else, fans can at least feel encouraged that Feige has vowed to address the apparent lack of diversity within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It doesn’t have to be anything particularly extravagant or indulgent, either, simply by acknowledging a character’s sexuality will Marvel be able to challenge the outdated narrative that gay characters don’t belong in a Hollywood blockbuster.