LGBT fans might marvel at the sight of Chris Evans in spandex or Black Widow dispatching enemies without breaking a sweat, but aside from the blink-and-you-missed-it reference to superhero Deadpool's pansexuality, the Marvel universe has been an unapologetically straight one.
OK, they threw us a bone with Ryan Reynolds' nude fight scene in a burning building, but homoeroticism does not a positive LGBT environment make.
As Marvel has solidified its status as the most successful franchise in history, it's time for its films to reflect the diversity of the fans who pay to see them. The company has already taken steps to shake up its standard superhero mix with projects like "Black Panther" and "Captain Marvel" slated to be released in the next couple years, but there has been little mention of the inclusion of LGBT characters until now.
Speaking to Collider, Joe and Anthony Russo finally gave those who burn the midnight oil writing steamy Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes fan fiction some hope.
I think the chances are strong. I mean, it’s incumbent upon us as storytellers who are making mass-appeal movies to make mass-appeal movies, and to diversify as much as possible. It’s sad in the way that Hollywood lags behind other industries so significantly, one because you think that it would be a progressive industry, and two it’s such a visible industry. So I think it’s important that on all fronts we keep pushing for diversification because then the storytelling becomes more interesting, more rich, and more truthful.
The strength of the franchise opens the door for a more diverse cast of superheroes and villains. If Marvel continues to churn out highly lucrative films, a trust develops between viewer and creator, allowing the directors to zig where they otherwise might have zagged. The Russos agreed that they want their films to continue to push the boundaries of the superhero genre in every direction.
I think this is a philosophy of Marvel, in success it becomes easier to take risks. There’s a lot of unconventional ideas in "Civil War" in terms of what people’s expectations of a superhero movie are, but I think we were able to do that because "Winter Soldier" worked and Marvel’s been working in general, so there’s more of a boldness in terms of what you can try and where you can go. So I think that’s very hopeful for all of us moving forward that bolder and bolder choices can be made.
You can also count Ryan Reynolds as one of the many calling for Marvel to go gay in the future. In fact, fans want his character Deadpool to take up a male lover in the sequel to the smash hit.
“I certainly wouldn’t be the guy standing in the way of that,” Reynolds told Variety. “That would be great.”