LGBT+ fans of superhero movie Shazam! are going wild after a key character appeared to come out as gay in the hit film.
Shazam!—which came out last week—tells the story of Billy Batson (played by Asher Angel), a teenager who is given super powers and develops the ability to transform into an adult sized superhero by saying “Shazam!”
The film has proven a hit at the box office, and has also stolen the hearts of LGBT+ fans because of a short-but-sweet coming out scene.
Warning: Spoilers for Shazam! ahead.
Shazam! character revealed as gay
In Shazam!, Pedro—Batson’s foster brother—appears to come out as gay.
The revelation comes after Batson teleports himself and his foster siblings to safety. He teleports them to the first place he thinks of—which ends up being a strip club.
However, Pedro (played by Jovan Armand) seems unfazed by the location, and simply says: “Not my thing.”
LGBT+ fans have been showing their love for Pedro since the film came out last week. One fan tweeted: “So… quick question… did Shazam slip a gay character into their movie without it being a big deal? Asking for a marvel-ous friend.”
“Ok so now that Shazam is officially out (pun intended) and I can finally talk about it, can we discuss the fact that Pedro is gay?!”
– Shazam! fan on Twitter
Another said: “Ok so now that Shazam is officially out (pun intended) and I can finally talk about it, can we discuss the fact that Pedro is gay?!”
Someone else said: “We love Pedro” and said he was “a gay icon.”
While the moment received an outpouring of love, not everybody was impressed. One fan tweeted: “I understand there’s an implied gay character in Shazam (of the “blink and you’ll miss it” school of almost-representation). I think there’s a really interesting story to be told about this particular character, so I hope it gets explored somewhere.”
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Shazam!’s Pedro: the first gay superhero in Hollywood?
Later in Shazam!‘s final showdown sequence, Batson’s foster siblings also all inherit powers that turn them into adult-sized superheroes. Pedro’s adult alter-ego is played in the film by actor D. J. Cotrona.
Shazam! director David F. Sandberg hinted that the film would feature an LGBT+ character ahead of its release in an interview with PinkNews.
When asked if a LGBT+ hero could be on the way, Sandberg said: “Don’t want to put spoilers [out there] or anything… but I think you will see one sooner rather than later.”
Meanwhile, Mark Strong, who plays villain Thaddeus Sivana, told PinkNews that he thinks it’s time for an LGBT+ superhero in a Hollywood film.
“[I don’t think we’re] very far at all,” said Strong. “Society is changing—people are becoming much more inclusive, they’re becoming aware of people who have been excluded.
“The more the merrier, I say. I think it’s time.”
A Shazam! sequel is already in the works
There may be more to Pedro’s story yet.
According to a report from The Wrap, Warner Bros. is already working on a sequel after Shazam! proved a hit at the box office when it was released last week.