While attending a Q&A at the New York Film Academy, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige was asked whether he had any plans to increase LGBT representation in the MCU, particularly in terms of trans characters. Feige’s positive reply – “Yes, absolutely yes. And very soon.” – raised fans’ hopes that Marvel will be making a milestone move by giving us cinema’s first ever trans superhero in the near future. However, a new report is now casting doubt on this.
Variety writes that two separate sources close to the studio have informed the trade that Feige misspoke at this event, and he was only replying to the general question of LGBT representation and not specifically teasing the imminent arrival of a prominent trans character in the franchise. While disappointing, this makes sense with Feige’s complete comment, in which he promised that the movie currently shooting will feature what fans are looking for. This movie is, of course, The Eternals.
It’s been confirmed that The Eternals will include the MCU’s first gay lead, with one of the ensemble cast depicted as in a same-sex marriage with children. There’s been a lot of speculation over who this might be, with the latest info pointing to Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos filling the role. This is an important step for the franchise, to be sure, but don’t expect it to make another one by dropping a trans character in there, too.
To be fair, Spider-Man: Far From Home recently featured the MCU’s first trans actor, Zach Barack, who played one of Peter Parker’s classmates. Barack only had a very minor part, though, so it was easy to miss his involvement. Meanwhile, Marvel Television’s Jessica Jones season 3 featured Aneesh Sheth as Gillian, Jess’ sassy secretary, while DC should be applauded for giving us Nicole Maines’ Dreamer, TV’s first trans heroine, on Supergirl. It sounds like we’ll have to wait a while before Marvel catches up, however.