Marvel Studios has made some important strides in recent years towards better diversity in terms of race and gender, but it’s still got some work to do in better representing the LGBT community in the MCU. Thankfully, president Kevin Feige has stated on multiple occasions that the franchise will feature more gay characters in the coming years and in a new Q&A hosted by the New York Film Academy, Feige has once again doubled down on this promise.
The producer was asked at the event whether he has plans to include more LGBTQ representation in Phase 4 and beyond, “specifically trans characters.” Feige was happy to confirm this with an affirmative answer, even pointing to one movie that’s currently in production which will offer something in this regard.
“Yes. Absolutely, yes. And very soon, in a movie that we’re shooting right now.”
No prizes for guessing which movie Feige’s alluding to here: it’s The Eternals, which is currently shooting ahead of its release in cinemas next November. It’s been known for a while that one of the ensemble of immortal heroes will be portrayed as openly gay, making them the first LGBT lead in the MCU. We initially believed this was Richard Madden’s Ikaris, but the latest intel points to Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos filling the role.
Of course, it was only this year that Marvel finally included an openly gay character anywhere in the MCU (on the big screen, at least). Director Joe Russo dropped by for a cameo as an unnamed man who speaks of his relationships with other men in Avengers: Endgame. There was a lot of backlash over the way this was trumped up as something huge when Russo’s part only lasted a few minutes, but Feige has previously said this was never meant to garner as much attention as it did.
As for trans representation, we haven’t heard that The Eternals or any other upcoming Marvel project will feature a prominent trans character, but Feige’s words seem to assure us that this is coming, too. Which is yet another reason to be excited for the future of the MCU.
Source: New York Film Academy