As you may have heard, Marvel mutant Iceman was outed as gay in the pages of X-Men issue 40, which hit newsstands everywhere today. Bryan Singer, who directed the first two X-Men movies, as well as last year's X-Men: Days of Future Past, was contacted by EW for his opinion on the big reveal, since the director identifies himself as a gay man. In fact, he's always seen the movies as an allegory for the struggles and persecution homosexuals have suffered in this country for decades. About the Iceman outing, he says:
"I'm glad, I'm sure it's very good for [Iceman]. I spoke with Stan Lee about it years ago once, over lunch. I said to him, 'Did the gay allegory ever enter the minds of you guys?' I didn't want to speak out of turn, if that's not something he's publicly spoken to. But he said, 'Absolutely.' He might have said that out of politeness towards me, but I believed him. And he's a pretty open guy. I never felt like I had to tiptoe around him in terms of what I asked or what I said."
Bryan Singer is currently in pre-production on X-Men: Apocalypse, with shooting scheduled to begin soon. While Shawn Ashmore had a substantial role as Iceman in X-Men: Days of Future Past, he has not yet been confirmed to return in this next movie. And probably won't, as his character exists in a future timeline that will not be the focus of the film's 80s era story. Despite that, Bryan Singer was asked if Iceman's new gay lifestyle might be explored or affect what has happened in the movie series. He says:
"Well, I think it is interesting that in the early movies he develops a relationship with a girl who he is physically unable to touch. There's something subtextual in that. I'm not sure if I necessarily intended it at the time, but there is something ironic about it in the first and second film -- I'm referring to his relationship with Rogue, played by Anna Paquin. And in the third one, which is the film I didn't direct, Iceman develops a relationship with Kitty Pryde, which I did address in 'Days of Future Past,' and which is even more coincidental because Ellen Page recently came out as gay. So it puts an even more humorous spin on the whole thing."
Bryan Singer was embroiled in a sexual assault lawsuit just as X-Men: Days of Future Past was debuting in theaters across the globe. He never considered touching on the homosexual elements so latent in the script. He does talk about on a scene in one of the earlier movies, where Iceman comes out as a mutant to his parents. He explains:
"As a gay or bisexual guy, which is what I am, I don't know if I'm the guy who at that moment in my career was ready to make an 'issues' film. So that scene where [Iceman] talks to his parents was blatant and meant for humor. And that was always something very specific about the X-Men, which related to the LGBT community. You're born into a family or a neighborhood, which you do not identify with. A person of a certain religion or race is born into a community of similar faiths or physical attributes. But a LGBT person is born into a world -- to use the example that X-Men uses -- like a mutant. And of course the parents aren't mutants, the brothers and sisters might not be mutants. And they feel a unique kind of aloneness."