Studio executives have promised they will keep striving for diversity in casting and characters for new films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Both Victoria Alonso, the studio’s executive vice-president of production, and casting director Sarah Halley Finn expressed their support for an increasingly diverse Marvel Cinematic Universe in statements to Vulture.
“You’re gonna see even more new faces—and faces from all different background, all ages, all ethnicities, LGBTQ, people who are differently abled,” Finn said, adding: “It’s a priority to have authenticity, to increase representation, to give greater representation to actors who have not traditionally been represented in mainstream movies on the big screen.”
“We’re just determined to have it be how we do it,” Alonso confirmed. “And if we do it, maybe somebody else will do it … I encourage every studio, every indie production company, every filmmaker out there to make an effort.”
Alonso, who is married to actress Imelda Corcoran, has previously stated her ‘longing’ for LGBT superheroes, saying in March that the “world is ready.”
Marvel Cinematic Universe currently lacks explicitly LGBT+ superheroes
While Marvel comics feature plenty of queer characters, openly LGBT+ superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe remain a scarce commodity.
Tessa Thompson, who plays the character Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame stated she “intended” to play her as bisexual, even though Valkyrie’s sexuality has not been explicitly portrayed on the big screen—and a tiny reference to it never made the final cut.
Brie Larson, who plays Captain Marvel, recently demanded Marvel act faster in introducing a LGBT+ superhero. “I don’t understand how you could think that a certain type of person isn’t allowed to be a superhero,” she said.
Recent reports indicate that a LGBT+ superhero may be forthcoming, as Marvel is reportedly planning to make Greek demi-god Hercules its first gay superhero on film in upcoming blockbuster The Eternals.
The move, reported by news site MCU Cosmic earlier this month, follows reports last month that Marvel was looking to cast a gay male actor to play the film’s lead.
Marvel president Kevin Feige said in an interview in March that ideas involving more diverse superheroes, including a LGBT+ one, were “percolating.”
In the absence of explicitly LGBT+ characters, fans have had to use their imagination and artistic skills to envision same-sex relationships among their favourite superheroes—the latest fan favourite is one between Valkyrie and Captain Marvel, apparently endorsed by both Larson and Thompson.
Thompson, who is openly bisexual, said in an interview earlier this month she sees Valkyrie, Captain Marvel and Thor as polyamorous partners.
“I think a communal spoon—just a spoon between friends that are hardworking—it could be polyamorous. Why not? A throuple, with Thor as the baby spoon,” she said.