Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has confirmed a transgender character is on the way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Speaking with students at the New York Film Academy, Feige was asked about the representation of LGBTQ+ characters in upcoming MCU movies. When specifically asked if there were plans to ever bring a transgender character into the movie universe, Feige revealed that this is something that's already in the works by offering this response.
"Yes, absolutely yes. Very soon. In a movie we're shooting right now."
Marvel Phase 4 will kick off with Black Widow in May followed by The Eternals in November. As of now, it's not clear which of the two movies will feature the new transgender character Feige is referring to, though the latter has also been confirmed to have proper LGBTQ+ representation. Feige has previously claimed The Eternals will introduce the MCU's first major openly gay character, telling Good Morning America, "He's married. He's got a family, and that is just part of who he is."
Additionally, Kevin Feige has also revealed Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie character will have an LGBTQ+ storyline in the upcoming sequel Thor: Love and Thunder. Although the character's sexual orientation wasn't made clear from her past appearances in Thor: Ragnarok or Avengers: Endgame, Valkyrie is depicted as openly bisexual in the comic books. Thompson herself has also confirmed this romantic storyline for Valkyrie in Love and Thunder, telling fans at San Diego Comic-Con she "needs to find her queen."
While proper LGBTQ+ representation is on the way, the blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance of a gay Marvel character was previously featured in Avengers: Endgame. Played by co-director Joe Russo, the nameless character (listed as Grieving Man in the credits) appears at a survivor support group where he briefly mentions a man he'd dated. Although the Russos included the scene as a way to bring in an LGBTQ+ character, it was also criticized for having no relevance to the plot, leaving people wanting to see much more meaningful representation.
While the MCU movies have previously been lacking in the LGBTQ+ department, it sounds like going to be changing very soon with a much heavier presence in Phase 4. Many other MCU movies have also been set for 2021, the MCU will be further expanded by Marvel-based Disney+ shows like WandaVision, Loki, and Hawkeye. With Feige making it clear those at Marvel Studios are looking to expand their LGBTQ+ representation, we'll likely see more in some of these other upcoming projects beyond just what's been confirmed above.
The next phase of the MCU will launch with the release of Black Widow, which will arrive in theaters on May 1, with The Eternals following on Nov. 6. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the next Spider-Man movie, and Thor: Love and Thunder are all set for release in 2021. This news comes to us from IGN.