Plot twist! Marvel won’t be getting its first trans character ‘soon’ after all
Marvel won’t be welcoming any trans characters “soon” it appears, after sources close to Kevin Feige reportedly clarified his earlier comments.
Feige sparked a flurry of optimistic headlines last week when was asked at a New York Film Academy Q&A event whether Marvel had any plans “on bringing more LGBT+ characters into the MCU, specifically the T, trans characters”.
“Yes, absolutely, yes,” Feige replied. “And very soon. In a movie that we’re shooting right now.”
Feige’s remarks were taken as a sign that Marvel was finally getting with the times and giving trans people much-needed representation, but it now appears that this is not the case.
Sources close to the comic supremo told Variety that he only intended to reply to the part of the question about LGB characters, and did not mean to suggest that trans characters were forthcoming.
Marvel boss meant to say that a cis-gay character is coming soon, not a trans one.
The website points to the fact that The Eternals is the only Marvel production currently filming.
The Disney-owned studio has already confirmed that The Eternals will introduce the franchise’s first openly gay superhero: Phastos.
A trailer screened at a 2019 expo showed the character, played by Brian Tyree Henry, holding hands with a male partner accompanied by two children.
Feige spoke about the character’s sexuality in a Good Morning America interview in August, saying that he is “married, he’s got a family, and that is just part of who he is”.
LGBT+ fans were suspicious about Marvel plans.
While the idea of a trans superhero was met with a warm welcome by many, some fans were suspicious about how authentic Marvel’s attempts at representation would be.
Marvel: We’re gonna have a trans character in our films coming up!
When it happens:
Trans character: Hey, excuse me.
Captain America: pardon.
Trans character: Thanks.
Marvel, while other countries easily edit the character out: Look at how inclusive we were!
— Ohmyfae (@faewrites) January 2, 2020
trans character: *appears in the background for 0.5 seconds*
marvel: LOOK!! REPRESENTATION!! pic.twitter.com/zUoHxrl56D
— Kita 🏳️🌈 (@baberielgayes) January 2, 2020
Marvel’s planning on giving us an openly trans character apparently, which I assume will mean an extra with one line and a pronoun badge.
— Arthur 🌹🏳️🌈 (@trainsgenderman) January 2, 2020
i don’t trust marvel studios at ALL. unless i hear they’ve casted a trans actor, have consulted w trans ppl when writing the character, and do not hide the character’s being trans nor make jokes at their expense i will not be happy.
— river (@cockmunist) January 2, 2020
Levels of cynicism are high following the pitiful attempt at LGBT+ representation made in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
Before its release, the tentpole sequel was announced to be the first Marvel film to include a queer character, who turned out to be an unnamed ‘Grieving Man’ at a counselling group.
Feige was forced to defend the character – who appeared on-screen for less than a minute – following a fierce backlash.
Speaking to io9, Feige said that ‘Grieving Man’ was never intended as the first “focused” LGBT+ character in the MCU.
“That was just meant to be a matter of fact and a matter of life and a matter of truth,” he explained.
Disney, which owns Marvel, apparently took nothing from the backlash, as it repeated the move in its most recent blockbuster release Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
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Like Avengers, Star Wars gave fans their first piece of LGBT+ representation in the form of a brief, easily cut-out scene that had no impact on the rest of the film.
Marvel’s next big-screen outing is Black Widow, presumed to be the last outing for Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff. The character’s death in Endgame should free Johansson up for any future trans roles.