Hollywood studios should care about diversity in film for culturally moral reasons, but that’s rarely been the case in a little place I like to call reality. But if doing the right thing isn’t motivation enough, the power of the all mighty box office dollar is.
Following the massive worldwide success of Black Panther ($1.3 billion worldwide), Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige admitted to Coming Soon that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is going to further embrace diversity moving forward. The blockbuster monolith is going to emphasize representation of marginalized people, notably people of color and females. But those aren’t the only under-served communities Marvel wants to reach out to.
In a recent interview with The Playlist, Feige revealed that the MCU will introduce/reveal a couple of LGBTQ characters in the near future. Here’s the transcript of their exchange:
The Playlist: When are we getting a Gay, Bi, LGBTQ, out character in the MCU? Is it even in the works?
Kevin Feige: Yes.
The Playlist: That’s the answer?
Kevin Feige: Yeah, that’s the answer.
The Playlist: It’s not someone we’ve seen yet, I’m guessing?
Kevin Feige: Both.
The Playlist: Both?
Kevin Feige: Both ones you’ve seen and ones you haven’t seen.
Interesting, very interesting.
Most fans would have assumed that the MCU would introduce new characters to fill these roles, but Feige implied that at least one existing character could be revealed as a member of the LGBTQ community.
There was talk that Tessa Thompson‘s Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok was bisexual, but a scene alluding to that was reportedly cut from the final film. Upon release, the character quickly became a fan-favorite among audiences and while her fate is unknown following the events of Avengers: Infinity War, it’s easy to believe Marvel would want to bring the well-liked character and the growing popularity of Thompson back into the fold at some point in the future. With next year’s Avengers 4 bringing a close to this current iteration of the MCU, there is ample room to dabble.
In terms of the new character that could represent the LGBTQ community, your guess is as good as ours. We’ve got Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel and Avengers 4 on the upcoming docket. After that, the only confirmed projects are Spider-Man: Far From Home and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, though you can absolutely guarantee that Black Panther is getting a sequel.
Feige and company surely have a plan in place for which new characters they want to introduce for their own individual franchises (Disney (DIS) has scheduled multiple release dates for untitled MCU films) and which new faces they could plop down into an existing film series. Should Disney’s acquisition of FOX (FOXA) go through, Feige will also have the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters to play with as well.
Long story short: they’ve got options.
Regardless of what route they take, it’s great to see Marvel becoming more inclusive to better represent the global audiences that loves their films so much.