'Avengers' directors confirm one of the current Marvel characters is actually gay
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a monumental success at the box office, and has a substantial fanbase beyond the comic book fans who were there for Iron Man on opening day back in 2008, but there have been some criticisms made over the years.
Given the unprecedented frequency of their release schedule, many wondered why exactly it took them a decade (and 19 films) before they introduced their first person of colour lead with Black Panther last year, with this year bringing their first female lead to the big screen in Captain Marvel. However, the glacial pace of these inclusions is building, if the people at the studio are to be believed.
Check out this 'highly illegal' video Chris Pratt shared from the set of Avengers: Endgame:
In Avengers: Endgame, we got the first MCU movie to include an openly gay character, played by Joe Russo - one half of the brother duo that directed the film.
His cameo came near the beginning of the film, where an unnamed character opened up about his troubles dating at a support group following the death of his male partner - something which received a wide range of responses from fans.
"It was important to us as we did four of these films, we wanted a gay character somewhere in them," the director said in an interview with Deadline. "We felt it was important that one of us play him, to ensure the integrity and show it is so important to the filmmakers that one of us is representing that."
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly recently, Joe was asked to clarify whether this was the first gay character in the franchise, and he emphasised that it was the first "openly gay" character.
"There’ve been insinuations about other characters’ sexuality, but this is the first openly gay character," he said. The interviewer then went on to ask the director who else is gay, to which the directors chose not to go much further, with Joe saying "we're gonna find out" and his brother Anthony adding "that's a story for another day".
“There is a gay character coming up in one of their films, and I think Kevin will make that announcement, I’m sure pretty soon,” Joe said.
This topic has come up in the past, when Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was interviewed by The Playlist. When asked whether there were plans to include an LGBTQ+ character into the series, Feige said that were plans for "both ones you've seen and ones you haven't seen," implying that someone previously introduced could be revealed to be gay at a later date.
Tessa Thompson has said that she played her character of Valkyrie as bisexual in Thor: Ragnarok, though no mention of it made it to screen. Many are assuming the character we've already met may be Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel, seeing as she had no explicit relationship in any of her appearances, except for a close friendship with Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch).
Check out this video of Brie Larson training for Endgame (and wait for the hilarious twist ending):
This is also backed up by recent comments Brie Larson has made about queer representation in these movies. "I don’t understand how you could think that a certain type of person isn’t allowed to be a superhero," the actress said in an interview with Variety. "So to me it’s like, we gotta move faster. But I’m always wanting to move faster with this stuff."
In terms of new characters, there's always room for more in one of the many new Marvel movies on the horizon that Disney recently announced as part of their future line-up. Either way, it looks like the studio has found a way to keep the hype machine going even beyond the conclusion that Endgame offered.