A teaser trailer for the new Spider-Man: Far From Home movie dropped on Tuesday (January 15), reminding LGBT+ audiences that this is the first Marvel superhero movie to cast two out trans actors.
The movie, set for release in July, will star Zach Barack playing a friend of Peter Parker and Tyler Luke Cunningham as a featured extra, The Advocate reported.
Barack, 23, is an American actor for whom Spider-Man: Far From Home represents his first feature film.
The trans actor shared the movie teaser on social media and later wrote in a separate Twitter post: “Being able to work with other trans people is a gift. Trans people are a gift. Im so lucky to be me.”
Cunningham, 23, will be known to British audiences for playing Charlie, a trans character, in the BBC sitcom Boy Meets Girl.
The actor, who once told Huck Magazine he identifies “half as a trans man, half just as a man, as a human,” teased his appearance in the movie in a few posts on his Instagram in October.
He also posted a tribute to Marvel comic book writer Stan Lee in occasion of his passing in November. “Stan Lee, Thank you for creating some thing that I could be a part of. Sleep well sir,” Cunningham wrote.
News of the diverse casting FIRST emerged in September, through the Twitter account of a Spider-Man fan, which read: “We have two trans actors playing students as well, one of which is a black man. ffh is going to be a diverse masterpiece.”
Marvel’s issues with LGBT+ representation
LGBT+ fans of Marvel comic books and films have long been demanding increased representation in the universe.
Several Marvel films including Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther did have characters who were intended to be LGBT+, but all references to their sexuality were left out of the cinematic representation of the comics.
In November, Marvel Studios executive vice-president of production Victoria Alonso agreed that more should be done to increase LGBT+ representation in Marvel movies. “The gay community has not been represented whatsoever. I’m gay, so I can tell you that I would long for that,” she said.
And as audiences increasingly demand LGBT+ actors be given more opportunity to work to represent their community, the casting of trans actors in a Marvel superhero movie signals change is underway.