Last week was a landmark moment for equality here in the United States, and as the political culture (slowly) evolves, so does popular culture. The rise in frequency of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer) characters in film, television, and comic books has risen dramatically just over the last few years, as our entertainment attempts to more accurately reflect the world we live in. As the profile of LGBTQ characters continues to grow on the small screen and in certain feature films, some are wondering when such characters will begin to populate the franchises that dominate the box office year after year, namely Marvel Studios.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe offers an opportunity to tell numerous different stories about a variety of different characters across a diverse landscape of interconnected films, so it seems like the perfect place to showcase some diversity. The studio already has its first female-led superhero movie, Captain Marvel, and first person of color-led movie, Black Panther, set for release in 2018, but when will they introduce an LGBTQ character?
When Steve recently sat down with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige at the press day for Ant-Man, he asked the executive if there was a chance of Marvel adding an LGBTQ character to the MCU:
FEIGE: Within the next decade?
FEIGE: I would think so, for sure.
Steve asked if the notion was on the drawing board at all, and Feige said that the studio traditionally looks to the comics for character and story inspiration:
“Well in the drawing board going up to 2019 it remains to be seen. The comics always make the path that we get to have the fun of saying, ‘Yeah let’s choose this way or let’s choose this way’ and I think there are a lot of cool things happening in the comics now that—it’s usually a five to ten-year cycle between when something happens in the comics and when we can do it in the movie, sometimes a little less, but Civil War is certainly about the 10-year mark. Winter Soldier, I think, was around that time. So we always look at stuff that’s happening in the comics and go, ‘Where could we do that?’ Sometimes it’s sooner, but there’s no reason why that couldn’t happen in the next decade or sooner.”
While fidelity to the source material is pretty high on Marvel Studios’ list of priorities, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t portray a certain character as LGBTQ whose sexuality wasn’t an integral part of—or even explicitly stated in—the comics. That said, Feige seems pretty bent on sticking with the foundation that the comics provide, so it’s possible Marvel Studios won’t go down this route until they’re given precedent in the written form first.
It’d be pretty great to see Marvel feature an LGBTQ character prominently in one of its films in the near future, though, since they’re now one of the most recognizable and bankable brands in the movie marketplace. Their films get the opportunity to reach people all across the globe on a massive scale, and putting a character representative of a significant part of the human population—a subset that is underserved in this regard—in a substantial role in one of these films would be an admirable move.
For a refresher on all of Marvel’s confirmed releases, see below. And for a catalog of all upcoming superhero movie release dates, click here.
- Ant-Man – July 17, 2015
- Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016
- Doctor Strange - November 6, 2016
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017
- Untitled Spider-Man Reboot – July 28, 2017
- Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017
- Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 – May 4, 2018
- Black Panther – July 6, 2018
- Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 – May 3, 2019
- Inhumans – July 12, 2019