The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is poised to get its epic first for LGBT representation in upcoming “The Eternals,” which will feature the franchise’s first onscreen kiss between two men.
Speaking Logo, actor Haaz Sleiman, whose character in the movie will be married to Phastos (Marvel’s first gay superhero), said that the movie will not only feature a same-sex kiss but also a gay family with a child.
“I’m married to the gay superhero Phastos, played by ‘Atlanta’s’ Brian Tyree Henry, and we represent a gay family and have a child,” said Sleiman, as reported by HuffPost.
As to the climactic first gay kiss in Marvel history, Sleiman described film the moment as “beautiful,” bringing tears to the eyes of everyone on set.
“It’s a beautiful, very moving kiss,” said Sleiman. “Everyone cried on set. For me, it’s very important to show how loving and beautiful a queer family can be. Brian Tyree Henry is such a tremendous actor and brought so much beauty into this part, and at one point I saw a child in his eyes, and I think it’s important for the world to be reminded that we in the queer community were all children at one point. We forget that because we’re always depicted as sexual or rebellious. We forget to connect on that human part.”
As Marvel moves into phase four of its cinematic universe, LGBTQ representation will be front-and-center, with rumors that even the character Valkyrie (played by Tessa Thompson) will be getting a queer storyline of her own. Just this week, “Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi expressed hope that the studio would allow Valkyrie to be “explicitly queer” in the next Thor installment.
“The IP is not mine. But with the actors, I feel whatever makes them comfortable — whether they feel like there’s a natural choice, or a natural way for that character to go — then I’m pretty supportive. If Tessa wanted to do that, I’m in,” Waititi told Variety.
Actress Tessa Thompson has already expressed on several occasions her desire to see her character’s sexuality further explored in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, “Thor: Ragnarok” even had a deleted scene in which a female lover leaves Valkyrie’s bedroom, hinting at her bisexuality. Taika Waititi wanted to keep the scene initially but was forced to cut it.
“He kept it in the film as long as he could; eventually the bit had to be cut because it distracted from the scene’s vital exposition,” Thompson explained to Rolling Stone.
At the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, Thompson also said that Valkyrie should find a “queen” to join her as the new ruler of Asgard. “As new king [of Asgard], she needs to find her queen. That will be the first order of business,” she said.
“Avengers: Endgame” featured the franchise’s first LGBTQ character overall with the brief scene of Grieving Man (played by co-director Joe Russo) telling Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) about a man he was dating. As 2020 approached, reports circulated that Kevin Feige confirmed the upcoming arrival of the MCU’s first transgender superhero, though those rumors were eventually shut down.