The future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe looks brighter than ever, as studio head Kevin Feige has confirmed the future is all about diversity. Black Panther saw massive success after it debuted in February this year and easily became the highest grossing MCU film in the United States. The film was also easily the highest earner of the year domestically, bringing in over $700 million and topped $1.3 billion internationally.
In an interview with Variety‘s movie podcast, Playback (via CinemaBlend), Feige said the success of Black Panther had confirmed his belief that including more diversity in the MCU would be successful and fulfilling for everyone. Feige also noted the studio was already well on their way to including more diverse characters.
“[Black Panther] is the beginning. That it worked out as well as it worked out has encouraged us to head in the direction we were going to head in anyway. But you look at that film, it is incredible. That movie would not have been what it was if everyone sitting at the table looked like you or me. And that is true for all the movies. As Marvel Studios has grown, it is the same thing, almost half-man and half-woman. That may become more women in the coming years based on the newest team members who continue to grow. We try to grow and promote in house. Almost everyone who has worked here for many years. And people who are going to produce some of our next films came in below the people producing the films now. I very much believe in that. When you have diverse voices, you get better stories and you get more exciting stories, you get more surprising stories. And that is something that is very clear.”
Most of Phase 1 in the MCU focused on white male characters, and it wasn’t until the studio’s 13th film, Captain America: Civil War, was a black superhero introduced. The first female-led film in the MCU hasn’t even debuted yet, but Captain Marvel will also speed up the process of more diversified films when it hits theaters on March 8.
Phase 3 saw a surge in diversity for the studio, but there is still a long way to go. There is currently no open LGBTQ character in the MCU, but Feige has also confirmed fans have already seen one on screen, and there will be the introduction of another LGBTQ character in the future. Tessa Thompson who plays Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok admitted she was playing a queer character in many interviews, but it was never confirmed by the studio or in the film. Fans are hoping to get some sort of confirmation on this in the near future.