Thor 4 director addresses if Valkyrie will be “explicitly queer” in Love and Thunder

“If Tessa wanted to do that, I’m in.”

Thor director Taika Waititi has addressed Valkyrie’s sexuality in the upcoming sequel, Love and Thunder.

Last year, it was reported that the fourth film in the franchise would include a storyline in which Tessa Thompson’s character – who became the new King of Asgard in Avengers: Endgame – searches for “her queen”.

In a new interview with Variety, Waititi – who won his first Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay last weekend for his work on Jojo Rabbit – was questioned if Valkyrie will be “explicitly queer” in the film.

“I think so. The IP is not mine,” he responded. “But with the actors, I feel whatever makes them comfortable — whether they feel like there’s a natural choice, or a natural way for that character to go — then I’m pretty supportive.”

Waititi continued to say that if “Tessa wanted to do that, I’m in.”

At ComicCon last year, Thompson seemed to be on board with Valkryie being queer, telling fans: “As new king, she needs to find her queen. So that will be the first order of business. She has some ideas. I’ll keep you posted.”

Love and Thunder will see the return of Chris Hemsworth, as well as Natalie Portman, who was absent from Thor: Ragnarok. She will reprise her role as Jane Foster and will take on the mantle of a female incarnation of Thor.

As well as the exploration of Valkyrie’s sexuality in the Thor sequel, Captain Marvel 2 will reportedly introduce a fan-favourite gay character from the comics. The Eternals will also introduce a happily married gay character.

It’s part of a new initiative by Marvel to become more diverse, especially after the acclaim and box office success of films such as Black Panther and Captain Marvel, both of which grossed over one billion dollars.

Victoria Alonso – the studio’s executive vice-president – said she hoped Marvel would set the standard with diversity.

“We’re just determined to have it be how we do it,” she told Vulture. “And if we do it, maybe somebody else will do it. I encourage every studio, every indie production company, every filmmaker out there to make an effort.”

And Sarah Halley Finn, the casting director for every Marvel film since Iron Man, said: “You’re gonna see even more new faces — and faces from all different background, all ages, all ethnicities, LGBTQ, people who are differently abled.

“It’s a priority to have authenticity, to increase representation, to give greater representation to actors who have not traditionally been represented in mainstream movies on the big screen.”

The first film in Marvel’s upcoming ‘Phase 4’ will be Black Widow, which will see Scarlett Johansson reprise her role for a prequel, set in-between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.

The Eternals – which will star Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Brian Tyree Henry, Gemma Chan and Kit Harrington – will be in cinemas 6 November.

Set at the beginning of the universe, The Eternals will focus on an immortal alien race of the same name created by the Celestials, who are sent to Earth to protect humanity from their evil counterparts, The Deviants.

Footage of the upcoming blockbuster – which will be the 25th entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe – was shown at CCXP 2019, and revealed that Plastos (played by Henry) will have a same-sex partner with two kids.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder will all be released in 2021, while Black Panther 2 is due for release in 2022.

Related: Spider-Man star Tom Holland says Marvel needs to represent more than the “straight white guy”.

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