The Marvel Cinematic Universe started off pretty white and male-centric, but in recent years, more steps have been taken to ensure greater diversity.  Black Panther headlined his own movie, as did Captain Marvel, while the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) shared the lead in ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’.  It has even been revealed that Tessa Thompson‘s Valkyrie is a member of the LGBTQIA community.  And she won’t be the only one for long, as Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos will also be in a same-sex relationship in the upcoming ‘Eternals’.

The Marvel movies are an international phenomenon, and that is part of the reason why they will only continue to grow more diverse in the coming years, according to Thompson.  These films are powerful, and not just because they’re about superheroes.  It is important that all children from all walks of life see themselves represented alongside the likes of Thor and Doctor Strange.

During a Variety Actors on Actors interview with Ramy Youssef, Thompson stated:

“The truth is these movies travel globally in such huge ways, and if you can represent people that are of color, if you can represent people with disabilities, if you can represent the LGBTQIA community inside of these films, it’s a pretty big deal.  I think it’s really important for everybody, but for young people especially, to be able to show up to those movies and see projections of themselves. So I’m really excited that we’re able to continue to push the bounds of that and that I’m able to do that with Valkyrie. Because there’s so many cool queer characters in the comic books, and they should have a place on screen.”

Thompson’s next Marvel movie, ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’, will follow Valkyrie’s mission to find a queen to rule New Asgard beside her.  In ‘Eternals’, Phastos will be married to a male character, and the immortal couple will have children.

In addition Anthony Mackie is co-headlining the Disney+ series ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’, while Teyonah Parris is joining the MCU in another Disney+ series, ‘WandaVision’, as Monica Rambeau, a character who is the superhero Spectrum in the comics.  ‘WandaVision’, of course, puts the spotlight on Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen).  Simu Liu will play the first headlining Asian Marvel hero in ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’‘Black Panther’ and ‘Captain Marvel’ are both getting sequels.  And Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali will play a new cinematic version of the vampire slayer, Blade in his own movie.

‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ is due to be released on theaters on February 11, 2022.