To curb the backlash over the studio’s lack of queer characters, Marvel Studios reemphasized its plans to diversify their films with LGBTQ superheroes.
“You’re gonna see even more new faces — and faces from all different background, all ages, all ethnicities, LGBTQ, people who are differently abled,” said Marvel casting director Sara Halley Finn. “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.”
Marvel faces growing criticism over its lack of LGBTQ characters in its films. The studio initially promoted Avengers: Endgame as starring their first gay character. However, when that character was shown to be a small role that was only onscreen for a few moments.
Marvel Comics features many openly queer characters, including Mystique, Shade, Northstar and Iceman of the X-Men, as well as Valkyrie of Thor comics. In the film Thor: Ragnarok, openly bisexual actress Tessa Thompson portrayed Valkyrie. Following the release of the film, Thompson expressed disappointment that filmmakers cut scenes that affirmed the character’s bisexuality from the final version of the film. Actress Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) also reprimanded Marvel for not including LGBTQ characters in their movies.
Earlier this year, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed that the studio is open to swapping the genders, ethnicities, and sexualities of its comic characters for their film interpretations. “You may be asking about sort of major, title characters. The answer to that is probably yes, too,” Feige told Vulture.