Captain America directors: Marvel shouldn’t be afraid of gay characters in mass-appeal films
The directors of Captain America: Civil War has signalled his support for LGB heroes to be introduced in the mainstream Marvel universe.
The blockbuster film and TV universe – which spans from Iron Man and the Avengers to Guardians of the Galaxy – has portrayed hundreds of characters and dozens of superheroes – but is lacking in LGBT diversity.
Gay characters have been introduced on Marvel TV shows Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Jessica Jones – but neither of the shows have the mass-market reach of the core MCU films – which are pushed across the world, including in countries with anti-LGBT laws.
But the directors of latest Marvel film ‘Captain America: Civil War’ have affirmed that aiming for global appeal across Russia and China it is not a valid reason for an absence of gay characters.
In an interview with Collider, sibling directing duo Joe and Anthony Russo remained hopeful that the Marvel universe will likely break the barrier at some point.
Joe Russo said: “I think the chances are strong.
“I mean, it’s incumbent upon us as storytellers who are making mass-appeal movies to make mass-appeal movies, and to diversify as much as possible.
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“It’s sad in the way that Hollywood lags behind other industries so significantly, one because you think that it would be a progressive industry, and two it’s such a visible industry.
“So I think it’s important that on all fronts we keep pushing for diversification because then the storytelling becomes more interesting, more rich, and more truthful.”
R-rated superhero flick Deadpool, which was produced by Fox via a licensing deal and is not a Marvel film, featured a pansexual superhero who flirted with men and still made $760 million globally – though it was denied a wide release in China.
Anthony Russo added: “I think this is a philosophy of Marvel, in success it becomes easier to take risks.
“There’s a lot of unconventional ideas in Civil War in terms of what people’s expectations of a superhero movie are, but I think we were able to do that because Winter Soldier worked and Marvel’s been working in general, so there’s more of a boldness in terms of what you can try and where you can go.
“So I think that’s very hopeful for all of us moving forward that bolder and bolder choices can be made.”