With Captain Marvel blasting off into theaters Friday in the first solo female superhero film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans are eager to ring in another long-overdue milestone.
Marvel’s production chief Victoria Alonso said she believes the “world is ready” for a leading gay superhero at the center of their own story amid rumors that the studio is looking to cast an openly gay actor for a starring role in an upcoming project.
“Our entire success is based on people that are incredibly different. Why wouldn’t we? Why would we only want to be recognized by only one type of person?” Alonso told Variety at the Los Angeles premiere of “Captain Marvel” on Wednesday. “Our audience is global, is diverse, is inclusive. If we don’t do it that way for them, we will fail. If we don’t put pedal to the metal on the diversity and the inclusivity, we will not have continued success.”
Queer representation in the MCU has been severely lacking in the eyes of many fans despite small wins like Valkyrie, Tessa Thompson’s character from “Thor: Ragnarok,” who is apparently bisexual, despite no explicit mention of her sexuality in the film.
“Deadpool 2,” which gave teenage superhero Negasonic Teenage Warhead a girlfriend, is also set to one day be incorporated into the MCU after Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which distributed the film.
But an upcoming Marvel film based on The Eternals, a group of lesser-known immortal superheroes who were created by the godlike Celestials, could mark real progress for the studio when it reportedly hits theaters sometime in 2020.
The Marvel powers that be have reportedly kicked off the casting search for the film and are seeking an openly gay actor of any ethnicity between the ages of 30-49 who “physically looks like a superhero” for one of the film’s leads, according to a That Hashtag Show report.
When asked about the “Eternals” rumors, Alonso stopped short of confirming any casting news.
“We are going to cast the best ‘Eternals’ cast that we can and when we’re ready to announce it we promise we will,” she told the outlet.
Marvel President Kevin Feige revealed that the film, which will be helmed by director Chloe Zhao, was actively in development in 2018. He has also previously confirmed that LGBTQ characters will populate the future films on Marvel’s slate.
In an interview last year, Feige teased that someone in previous films could identify under the LGBTQ umbrella, as well as characters we’ve never met before.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the year “Thor: Ragnarok” was released.