The new year started with reports that Marvel Studios would be introducing a major transgender character into its Marvel Cinematic Universe “very soon,” but it appears those reports jumped the gun. Several outlets picked up a December lecture Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige gave at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles in which he was asked if the MCU has any plans on “on bringing more LGBT+ characters into the MCU, specifically the T, trans characters.” Feige responded, “Yes — absolutely, yes. And very soon. In a movie that we’re shooting right now.”
While several media publications interpreted Feige’s response as confirming a major trans character would be coming to the MCU “very soon,” two sources close to the studio tell Variety that’s not the case. Feige was only answering in the affirmative to the first part of the question about LGBT+ characters coming to the MCU.
Feige has been vocal about making the MCU a more inclusive place with its upcoming Phase Four movies. The first openly gay MCU superhero is expected to debut in Chloe Zhao’s “The Eternals,” which is scheduled for a nationwide release on November 6. The jury is still out on whether or not the MCU will ever have a transgender superhero. Last year’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home” featured the franchise’s first openly trans actor, Zack Barack, in a small supporting role.
Last summer at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Feige said the gay superhero in “The Eternals” is “married, he’s got a family, and that is just part of who he is.” The MCU’s first openly gay character appeared in last year’s record-breaking “Avengers: Endgame” and was played by co-director Joe Russo. The character appeared in a group therapy scene opposite Chris Evans’ Captain America and was heard discussing a recent date he went on with another man. The character had no importance on the film’s main plot, which led to criticism that Marvel wasn’t doing enough in terms of representation in the MCU films.
IndieWire has reached out to Disney for further comment.