Attention, Marvel fans: more LGBTQ+ characters are coming to the MCU in 2020

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Christobel Hastings
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Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok

The Marvel Comics Universe is expanding in exciting and diverse ways in 2020, as the president of Marvel Studios has confirmed that more LGBTQ+ characters will feature on the silver screen in 2020. 

A new decade is upon us, and for Marvel fans, 2020 brings plenty of fantastical comic book adventures and superhero films to get immersed in as we journey into the new year.

As the Marvel Universe looks set to expand with a host of new action-packed films including Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn), The New Mutants and Black Widow, as well as the return of epic franchises such as Wonder Woman 1984, there’s more opportunity than ever before to create a richly representative parallel world. And with diversity now firmly a topic of mainstream conversation, MCU fans are eagerly waiting to see how the cast of Marvel’s superhero stories will evolve to reflect the world we live in.

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According to the president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, we can definitely look forward to seeing greater LGBTQ+ representation on the silver screen in the future.

While appearing as a guest speaker at a Q&A event for the New York Film Academy, Feige was asked whether fans could expect to meet more LGBTQ+ characters in the MCU, and in particular, transgender characters, to which he replied: “Yes, absolutely yes.”

Feige went on to confirm that a transgender character would actually be joining the MCU “very soon, in a movie that we’re shooting right now.” Fans have already speculated that the character could be Sera, Marvel’s only existing trans woman superhero, and that she could appear in the upcoming film Thor: Love and Thunder

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel
Brie Larson will be directed by Nia DaCosta in Captain Marvel 2.

The president was then asked about studio aspirations for the MCU in the future, and how they planned to make it more diverse and inclusive, with one fan highlighting the phenomenal successes of Black Panther and Captain Marvel. Feige then explained that this has “always” been the intention.

“It was always the plan for us,” he responded. “Every time we do a movie, we hope it’s going to succeed so that we can make another movie. That’s always the idea.

“And with those two films in particular – Black Panther and Captain Marvel – we wanted to keep showcasing heroes from the comics that represent the world that goes to see our movies.”

Lupita as Nakia with co-star Danai Gurira in Black Panther.
Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia in Black Panther.

Feige went on to explain that the successes of Black Panther and Captain Marvel proved there is demand for diverse storylines, and that the overwhelming reception disproved any counter-narrative suggesting otherwise. 

“So our intention was always to continue to do that,” he remarked. “What’s exciting is that both those movies were such big hits that it squashed any sort of question otherwise.

“And I hope, and I think, it inspired other companies around the world to do the same thing, and tell those different types of stories.”

This year, the MCU will welcome its first openly gay superhero, Phastos, when The Eternals is released in November. Meanwhile, in 2021, Tessa Thompson’s character Valkyrie will have an explicitly queer relationship when she returns to Thor: Ragnorak. 

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Image: Marvel Comics