Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has promised ‘prominent LGBT heroes’ in future installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Feige also defended the widely criticized character in Avengers: Endgame who had been billed as the MCU’s first openly gay character.
The character, played by Endgame co-director Joe Russo, was essentially a background character with some lines about dating men.
Feige said the character was not intended to be ‘looked at as our first hero’, and promised the series would build on LGBTI inclusivity in the future.
There have been increased moves to make superhero films and TV series more inclusive in recent years.
CW series Batwoman had a lesbian character in the lead role. Supergirl, another CW series, features a trans superhero as a supporting character.
‘There’s much more prominent LGBT heroes in the future’
Speaking to io9, Feige said that the gay character introduced in Endgame was ‘never meant to be our first focused [LGBTI] character’.
‘That was just meant to be a matter of fact and a matter of life and a matter of truth. And I liked it that our hero, Steve Rogers, doesn’t blink an eye at that fact,’ Feige said.
‘It is just truth and is heartbreaking for his loss and for the life he’s trying to put back together.
‘It was never meant to be looked at as our first hero. I guess it’s the first reference so it does, of course, get a lot of attention,’ he added.
Feige went onto say that the franchise would be introducing its first LGBTI superhero in the near future.
‘We haven’t been shy about saying that that’s coming and that there’s much more prominent LGBT heroes in the future,’ Feige said.
Feige’s latest announcement was foreshadowed by Russo in May. During an interview, the director hinted that Marvel’s LGBTI superhero may be someone fans are already familiar with.
‘There is a gay character coming up in one of their films,’ he said.
‘I think Kevin [Feige] will make that announcement. I’m sure pretty soon.’
This builds on Feige’s past discussions on the topic. In March, the studio head described Marvel’s plans for an LGBTI superhero as ‘percolating‘.
Increasing on-screen LGBTI representation
Fans have been anticipating a big-screen outing for a Marvel LGBTI superhero for some time.
In Thor: Ragnarok, Tessa Thompson’s character, Valkyrie, was confirmed to be bisexual, though this was not depicted on-screen.
Many fans have taken it upon themselves to fuel speculation over which other Marvel characters could be LGBTI.
A number of social media users have noted that Captain Marvel (played by Brie Larson), seemed to have more than just a close friendship with her fellow Air Force pilot, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch).
LGBTI inclusivity has become increasingly common in superhero TV series.
Actress Ruby Rose made history last year when she was cast as the openly lesbian Batwoman/Kate Kane in the upcoming CW series. She’ll be the first queer superhero to lead a TV or film series.
Trans actress Nicole Maines was also cast Nia Nal, also known as Dreamer, in Supergirl. This makes her the first trans superhero on TV.
DC Entertainment also announced they had cast 19-year-old deaf, trans actor, Chella Man as Jerico in their streaming series, Titans.