A top Marvel executive has said it’s time for a gay superhero in their movies.
It was recently reported that an upcoming movie from the blockbuster studio, called The Eternals, will feature the first openly gay superhero to star in a big-screen Marvel outing, a move which is long overdue.
During the Los Angeles premiere for Captain Marvel, production chief Victoria Alonso 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.
Alonso also reiterated Marvel’s commitment to diversity, adding: “Why wouldn’t we be?
“I’m so passionate about this I’ve got to tell you. Our entire success is based on people that are incredibly different. Why wouldn’t we? Why would we only want to be recognised by only one type of person?
“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.”
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 said.
“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.”
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 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).