“Spider-Man: Far from Home” star Tom Holland has issued a call to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to include more LGBTQ heroes and perhaps even have the friendly neighborhood web-slinger come out gay himself in a future installment.
Speaking with Britain’s Sunday Times, Holland said he would be open to his character being openly gay in the future
“I can’t talk about the future of the character because honestly I don’t know and it’s out of my hands,” Holland told the outlet. “But I do know a lot about the future of Marvel, and they are going to be representing lots of different people in the next few years.
“The world isn’t as simple as a straight white guy,” he continued. “It doesn’t end there, and these films need to represent more than one type of person.”
The Marvel universe has faced criticism recently for not including enough LGBTQ characters or superheroes, though producers Kevin Feige and Victoria Alonso have promised they will come to fruition. The latest “Avengers” installment, however, did break new ground with the inclusion of Grieving Man (played by co-director Joe Russo), who was seen at the very beginning telling Steve Rogers about a man he was dating. However, LGBTQ activists took the character as Marvel’s cheap attempt at diversity.
“As disappointing as [previous] missed opportunities for queer representation were, none of them stung anywhere nearly as much as the Grieving Man’s introduction inadvertently does, because his presence comes across like an inconsequential afterthought, and it doesn’t help matters that the Russos and Marvel appear to be quite pleased with the creative decision,” wrote Charles Pullman at Gizmodo.
Marvel producer Kevin Feige defended the decision to include Grieving Man as a reflection of reality while promising he will not be the last LGBTQ character to appear in the franchise.
“That was never meant to be our first focused character,” Feige said. “That was just meant to be a matter of fact and a matter of life and a matter of truth. And I liked it that our hero, Steve Rogers, doesn’t blink an eye at that fact. It is just truth and is heartbreaking for his loss and for the life he’s trying to put back together. It was never meant to be looked at as our first hero. I guess it’s the first reference so it does, of course, get a lot of attention.”
“We haven’t been shy about saying that that’s coming and that there’s much more prominent LGBT heroes in the future,” Feige added.
Despite not having more LGBTQ characters, the upcoming “Spider-Man: Far from Home” will be breaking barriers with the inclusion of openly trans actor Zach Barack, who told Variety in a recent interview that Marvel stories all have something inherently trans about them.
“I’m not by any means an expert on comics, but I read them growing up, you know, and they were important. And there’s something very inherently trans about those stories, especially ones where identity and hidden identity is part of them,” Barack told the outlet. “For example, Peter Parker’s journey [in Spider-Man: Homecoming] is a lot about balancing being a teenager and having this other part of your life.”