As successful as the MCU has been, there’s traditionally been something of a backlash against the franchise’s reliance on casting white men as their leads. It wasn’t until 2018’s Black Panther, for instance, that we got a Marvel movie based around a black superhero. Captain Marvel then followed in 2019, offering the franchise’s first female-led picture.
We’ve previously heard from Kevin Feige on multiple occasions that he promises to make the MCU a more inclusive place moving forward, with a more diverse range of heroes expected to be entering the universe in Phase Four and beyond. We Got This Covered is now hearing though that one consequence of this new approach might be that the studio is looking at reimagining characters depicted as white in the comics.
Earlier today, we reported that Marvel may cast a person of color in the role of Nova on the big screen. The reason for this we’ve been told is that the studio is hoping to avoid any complaints that they’re delivering yet another white male superhero in the franchise. It’s important to note, however, that the key word here is “may,” as we don’t know for sure what their decision will be.
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Given that Marvel reportedly feels this way, it’s possible that there may also be plans to cast other heroes portrayed as Caucasian on the page with people of color. Or at least, that the studio will be more colorblind in the future when hiring their lead actors. This is nothing new for the franchise, though, particularly in the Thor and Spider-Man series. Think Idris Elba’s Heimdall, Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, Zendaya’s MJ and Jacob Batalon’s Ned.
From the new projects coming up over the next few years, it certainly sounds like Feige and co. are moving away from white male leads in almost every instance. Shang-Chi will star the MCU’s first Asian protagonist, The Eternals has Angelina Jolie and an expected gay leading character and, of course, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is currently filming.
Expect more concrete info on the upcoming shape of the MCU from Marvel‘s Hall H panel at Comic-Con this coming weekend.