The Marvel Cinematic Universe is looking for its first gay superhero.
One of the upcoming films on Marvel’s ever-expanding roster, The Eternals, will reportedly feature an openly gay male character. If true, this will be a landmark moment for LGBTQ representation.
Last year, Stephen Broussard – a producer who’s worked on a series of MCU movies including Captain America: The First Avenger and Ant-Man And The Wasp – hinted at the inclusion of queer characters in future movies.
“For sure, you will see that. I know it can be frustrating if you’re part of a group that wants to see more representation and the answer is always ‘stay tuned’ – I can imagine that that’s frustrating,” he told Den Of Geek.
“But that is happening behind the scenes, you’re going to be seeing that more and more. Representation across individual groups in the years ahead.”
Now, it looks like that really is a possibility, because as The Hashtag Show reports: “It turns out, that future is nearly upon us as the studio searches for an actor, 30-49, who ‘physically looks like a superhero’ for one of the film’s leads.
“While the studio is open to actors of all ethnicity, they would prefer the role to go to an openly gay actor.”
Cosmic Book News also said: “The identity of the gay Eternals character is being kept a secret, with the character said to have a major presence in the film alongside the other leads expected to be Sersi, Ikaris and Piper.
“It is not known if the character will be new to the MCU, as none of the characters in the comics are gay.
“Additional characters said to be in the movie also include Makkari, Starfox aka Eros (brother of Thanos), Druig, Elysisus, Forgotten One, Thena, Zuras and possibly either Hercules or Ares.”
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 upcoming Captain Marvel, LGBTQ characters remains non-existent.
Historically, big-budget superhero movies have chosen to tone down or completely erase queerness from their characters, likely because some of the world’s biggest entertainment markets (including China) don’t allow LGBTQ representation on screen.
Last year, 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).