Alberto E. RodriguezGetty Images
The rumor has been circling for months, and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige just confirmed it: next year’s Eternals movie will introduce an openly gay superhero to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Feige spoke about the character during an appearance on Good Morning America on Monday, and while he didn’t identify which of the Eternals would be flying out of the closet, he did say that it would be a central part of his identity.
“He’s married, he’s got a family, and that is just part of who he is,” he said, adding that it would be one of the movie’s core line-up, not a side character. Fans had been mainly speculating that it will be Ikaris, played by Richard Madden, but that was before the announcement that Madden’s Game of Thrones co-star Kit Harington would be joining the cast as the Black Knight. Other male leading roles include Kingo, played by Kumail Nanjiani, and Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry.
Marvel Studios faced some criticism regarding LGBTQ+ inclusion following the release of Avengers: Endgame, which the Russo brothers promised would include an openly gay character. That ended up being an unnamed guy in a brief group therapy scene, played by Joe Russo and credited only as Grieving Man.
Phase Four of the MCU will also include an openly bisexual character on-screen, in the form of Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson). After stealing the show in Thor: Ragnarok, Valkyrie returned in Avengers: Endgame and was eventually named by Thor as the reigning king of New Asgard. During her recent appearance at San Diego Comic Con to promote Thor: Love & Thunder, Tessa Thompson told fans that her first quest as king will be to find a queen, confirming that Valkyrie’s bisexuality, which is canon in the comics, will be made explicit in the next movie.