Marvel boss Kevin Feige has spoken on the potential for an LGBTQ superhero.
It’s been heavily rumoured that one of the upcoming films on Marvel’s ever-expanding roster, The Eternals, will feature Hercules as the first openly gay male character. If true, this will be a landmark moment for LGBTQ representation.
There’s been no official confirmation yet, and no official confirmation that The Eternals movie is even happening, but Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige gave a hint of whats to come at a recent juke for Avengers: Endgame.
“Well it’s accurate in that we’ve talked about [it for] a long time,” he told io9 when asked about the accuracy of rumours that a gay character will appear in The Eternals, or any other Marvel movie in the future.
“You look at the success of Captain Marvel and Black Panther. We want the movies to reflect the audience and we want every member of our global audience to see themselves reflected on the screen.
“And that’s what we’ve been doing for a long time. And certainly, that’s what we’re focusing on going forward.”
His comments echo those of Marvel production chief Victoria Alonso, who recently told Variety that “the world is ready” for a gay superhero, but stopped short of confirming the rumours of The Eternals featuring a gay lead.
“We are going to cast the best ‘Eternals’ cast that we can and when we’re ready to announce it we promise you we will,” she said.
“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 has long faced criticism for the lack of minority representation in its movies, and while it made steps to introduce diversity with the critically-acclaimed Black Panther and Captain Marvel, LGBTQ characters remains non-existent.
Historically, big-budget superhero movies have chosen to tone down or erase queerness from their characters, likely because some of the world’s biggest entertainment markets (including China) don’t allow LGBTQ representation on screen.
In 2017, Tessa Thompson revealed she filmed a scene for Thor: Ragnarok which confirmed her character Valkyrie’s bisexuality, but it was later cut. Similarly, a same-sex romance was removed from the final edit of Black Panther.
Marvel’s comics, meanwhile, continue to provide plenty of LGBTQ representation. Back in 2012, Northstar entered into a same-sex marriage with his partner Kyle, and last year Iceman had his first gay kiss with a glorious full-page illustration.
In a recent issue of X-Men: Gold, Bobby Drake (Iceman) was seen discussing his hook-up with Simon Lasker (Pyro).