Chloé Zhao, director of the upcoming Eternals film, is hopeful that its LGBTQ+ characters will not be censored overseas.
With the movie’s release imminent, fans will soon get to see the first gay family in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Eternals will feature Marvel’s first big-screen queer couple, Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) and his husband (Haaz Sleiman).
They appear in the movie’s trailer and, although only in it for a few seconds, can be seen in front of what appears to be their home as they stand alongside their son.
Phastos previously made history by being confirmed as the first openly gay superhero in the MCU, with this film set to be a significant step forward for LGBTQ+ representation.
In a recent interview with IndieWire, Zhao discussed the upcoming representation on the big screen.
“I don’t know all the details but I do believe discussions were had and there’s a big desire from Marvel and myself – we talked about this – to not change the cut of the movie. Fingers crossed,” she said of the film remaining the same in international regions.
She explained: “The way Phastos’ story plays out in the film is that he’s someone who only sees humanity as a whole and believes that technology’s going to solve the problem.
“Obviously, he lost faith in us for some very tough things that we’ve done. And then he had to stop looking at us as a whole and look at one person he falls in love with, and one child, to regain the face of humanity.”
Zhao continued: “It’s like us turning on the news and thinking it’s completely hopeless and then going home, looking at our lover and our child and going like, ‘Well actually this is worth fighting for.'”
The director went on to explain how important it is to her that scenes featuring LGBTQ+ characters stay in the movie’s final cut.
She added: “To position that family in that specific situation and to have that moment feel authentic and real…the audience has to feel that to care. Otherwise, there’s no point in putting that on-screen because they don’t feel it.”
During a 2020 interview with NewNowNext, Sleiman revealed that Eternals will feature a “beautiful, very moving kiss” with Brian Tyree Henry, who is playing Phastos.
It would mark the MCU’s first-ever on-screen same-sex kiss.
“After the return of half the population in Avengers: Endgame (2019) ignites “the emergence”, the Eternals—an immortal alien race created by the Celestials who have secretly lived on Earth for over 7,000 years—reunite to protect humanity from their evil counterparts, the Deviants,” the film’s synopsis reads.
The movie stars Gemma Chan as Sersi, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanijani as Kingo and Lisa McHugh as Sprite.
Eternals is set to be released on 5 November.