Earlier this month, a report emerged stating that The Eternals would feature the MCU’s first openly gay male lead, and while we’ve yet to receive any official confirmation on the matter, this was hardly the first indication we’ve seen that Marvel Studios intends to address the lack of LGBTQ representation in their films.
Last November, for instance, executive vice president of production Victoria Alonso pointed out in an interview with the BBC that “the gay community has not been represented whatsoever,” adding, “I’m gay, so I can tell you that I would long for that.” And earlier this week, at the Captain Marvel premiere, Alonso spoke once more on the matter, telling Variety that the time is right to bring a gay superhero into the mix:
“The world is ready. The world is ready.”
As for whether or not The Eternals will be the film to take this first step, Alonso remained predictably tight-lipped on the matter:
“We are going to cast the best Eternals cast that we can and when we’re ready to announce it we promise we will.”
Nonetheless, Alonso continued to reaffirm that Marvel Studios is thoroughly committed to diversity:
“Why wouldn’t we be? Why wouldn’t we be I’m so passionate about this I’ve got to tell you. Our entire success is based on people that are incredibly different. Why wouldn’t we? Why would we only want to be recognized by only one type of person? Our audience is global, is diverse, is inclusive. If we don’t do it that way for them, we will fail. If we don’t put pedal to the metal on the diversity and the inclusivity, we will not have continued success. Our determination is to have that for all of the people out there watching our movies.”
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige seems similarly on board with these changes, telling The Playlist last year that there are both new and pre-established characters in the MCU that future releases will show to be LGBTQ.
Such developments come as part of a broader commitment from Marvel to improve representation in the MCU. Last year, Alonso observed in the same BBC interview that the saga hasn’t seen a lot of major Asian or Latin characters, before arguing that Black Panther can’t be the franchise’s sole example of a film led by a black character. We’re already seeing many of these words put into action with planned projects like Black Panther 2 and a Shang-Chi movie, but before these films make it to theaters, we’ll first be seeing the MCU’s first female-led feature when Captain Marvel comes out on March 8th.