Marvel are continuing to make strides with LGBTQ representation.
First, it was announced that the third Thor sequel, Love and Thunder, will chronicle Valkyrie’s (Tessa Thompson) search for “her queen”, and then it was revealed that The Eternals will feature a gay man who’s married “and got a family”.
Now, it’s been reported that the Captain Marvel sequel will introduce a fan-favourite gay character. According to We Got This Covered, Hulkling – a Kree/Skrull hybrid who possesses shapeshifting abilities and super strength – will make his debut.
In the comics, Hulkling is part of, what is often referred to as “Marvel’s most prominent gay couple” with Wiccan, who has the ability to warp reality, as well as teleportation, astral projection and telekinesis.
Wiccan is also the son of Scarlet Witch – played by Elizabeth Olsen in the MCU – and is rumoured to make his first appearance in the upcoming Disney Plus series WandaVision, which will see the return of Wanda Maximoff and Vision.
It was also reported earlier this month that Marvel are seeking a transgender actress for a role in the franchise. A casting call has been released for a character called Jessica, a role for “a transwoman actress of any ethnicity in her 20s to 30s”.
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.”
There’s no official release date for Captain Marvel 2, but MCU president Kevin Feige has confirmed it’s in development.
The first film in Marvel’s upcoming Phase 4 will be Black Widow, which will see Scarlett Johansson reprise her role for a spin-off/prequel, which will be set in between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.
It is due for release 1 May 2020. The Eternals – which will star will star Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan and Kit Harrington – will be in cinemas 6 November.
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.