With Pride Month wrapping up, why not take another critical look at one of the most popular and wide-reaching film series in the world– the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Marvel president Kevin Feige was technically promoting ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’— the first Marvel movie to feature the female lead’s name in the title– The Playlist took the opportunity to look to the future of the Marvel Universe and the possibility of even greater diversity, specifically whether or not there might be any LGBTQ characters in upcoming films.
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.
With ‘Black Panther’, Marvel not only shattered barriers but preconceived rules about what viewers “want” in their comic book movies. Obviously, African-Americans embraced ‘Black Panther’ but fans of all races from all over the globe flocked to the movie and sang its praises. This proved that heroes didn’t have to be Caucasian to appeal to wide audiences.
This, of course, follows the stellar performance of ‘Wonder Woman’ last year, which had a similar impact when it came to female heroes. Are audiences ready to embrace openly gay characters? It appears they may already have.
Reportedly, two same-sex references were cut from recent films. Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, who is bisexual in the comics, was reportedly supposed to have a scene where a semi-clad female warrior is seen basically doing the walk of shame from her bedroom. And reportedly, Dania Guriria’s Okoye, who is also either bisexual or a lesbian in the comics, was meant to have a same-sex flirtation with Ayo (Florence Kasumba), but obviously her relationship with W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) was an important part of the film, so any same-sex interest on her part had to be omitted.
Of the two, it would be most logical for Valkyrie to embrace the sapphic aspect of her character since Okoye’s relationship with W’Kabi would seemingly negate any plans for her character in that regard. (Of course, being bisexual, she could have a relationship with a member of either gender, but considering she is a supporting character, it may be too much to really delve into.) And Thompson was quite enthusiastic when asked about Valkyrie being bisexual in the movies, declaring “She’s bi. And yes, she cares very little about what men think of her. What a joy to play!” (Thompson typically deflects questions about her own sexual identity.)
Some fans have questioned the sexuality of some other characters, most notably Loki, played with fey flourish by Tom Hiddleston. More recently, some have questioned just how good a friend of Doug’s was Taika Waititi’s Korg? Let’s not even get into the shippers.
Thompson’s Valkyrie is expected back in a future film, most likely the next ‘Thor’, although there is the possibility that she could appear in an all-female team movie. As for characters that haven’t been introduced? Your guess is as good as mine.