It’s been an ongoing source of criticism towards Marvel Studios that their movies are generally lacking when it comes to representation, be it in matters of gender, race, or sexual orientation. And while 2018 saw some improvement in the diversity of the MCU’s leading players with films like Black Panther and Ant-Man and the Wasp, executive vice president of production Victoria Alonso has offered her assurance that there’s more progress to come.
Speaking to the BBC, Alonso reflected on the world-conquering success of the Marvel franchise, and suggested that with great power comes great responsibility.
“You don’t get to have this kind of success if the entire world doesn’t see your product. So we are determined to have everyone of those people represented in our films, in some way, at some point in time,” Alonso said. “Now, we only make two or three movies a year, so it’s difficult to have every single one — but it is definitely one of the things that we have in our minds all the time.”
Alonso’s credits can be found on every MCU installment save for 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, but the Argentina-born EVP feels that their output so far leaves room for improvement, especially in its depiction of Latin, Asian, and LGBTQ communities.
“I think we haven’t represented the Latin community, in general. I think that’s something we have to do better. I’m Latin, I can tell you that I’m longing for that. The gay community has not been represented whatsoever. I’m gay, so I can tell you that I would long for that,” she said. “I think we haven’t represented the Asian community well, I think we’ve had some representation, but it’s minimal — and we would like to represent that, in a big way.”
Indeed, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced his intentions earlier this year to bring some LGBTQ representation into the franchise, both through pre-established figures and some new faces. And while Black Panther was regarded as a big moment for black characters in superhero cinema, Alonso went on to stress that we can’t let Ryan Coogler’s film be a one-off.
“I think just because we do one movie that’s called Black Panther and all those actors are represented, doesn’t mean that we need to stop there. I think that we should have Black Panther 2 and 3,” Alonso said. “I think that every team film that we do has to have a very diverse cast, and that’s something that we are definitely working on trying to achieve.”
At the moment, the future for Marvel Studios already looks to promise greater diversity in the MCU, with the upcoming Captain Marvel set to provide this franchise with its first female solo lead when it hits theaters on March 8th, 2019. Beyond that, the long-awaited Black Widow movie is finally headed for cinemas, and Feige even claimed this year that the majority of superheroes in this saga will soon be female. Black Panther 2, meanwhile, is confirmed to be on the way, and while the schedule of Marvel’s Phase 4 remains pretty mysterious for the time being, it’s clear that Alonso, Feige, and their peers have some big plans in mind.