Actor Tom Holland, who plays the most recent iteration of Spider-Man — and is likely to do so for the foreseeable future — says he’s open to the idea of his character being portrayed as gay in the future, HuffPost reports.
Holland has appeared in five films as Spider-Man, a job he’s had since 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. He recently sat down for an interview with Britain’s The Sunday Times, when he talked about the future of his character.
He started by making it clear that he doesn’t write the character or have any real input into his character’s direction or development; he just plays him according to the scripts given to him.
“It’s out of my hands,” he said.
Holland went on to say that Marvel, which owns the rights to the Spider-Man character, plans to represent “a lot of different people” in the planned movie installments for the coming years. If those plans include a gay Spider-Man, he’s on-board.
“The world isn’t as simple as a straight white guy. It doesn’t end there, and these films need to represent more than one type of person.”
In fact, there’s already been a gay character portrayed in a Marvel film. In a brief scene during Avengers: Endgame, the film’s co-director, Joe Russo, plays a character who references being in a same-sex relationship while talking to Captain America/Steve Rogers. He’s credited only as Grieving Man.
Marvel’s studio boss, Kevin Feige, has promised more diversity in characters moving forward, according to Cinema Blend. The importance of diversity is a lesson the studio learned with the release of Black Panther, which not only featured a black superhero but created an entire fictional universe within a mythical African country. Black Panther has been widely regarded as one of the best superhero movies of all time and made the studio well over $1 billion at the box office.
Feige has been thin on specifics, however. Still, that didn’t stop Cinema Blend writer Hayden Mears from making a suggestion: Ironheart. For those not familiar, Ironheart is the alter ego of Riri Williams, a 15-year-old African American girl who develops a suit similar to that of Tony Stark’s Iron Man. As her character develops, Riri learns that another girl has a crush on her.
Marvel does own the rights to other superheroes who are openly gay, and not just hinted as being gay. As Daily Dot reported in 2018, one of them is America Chavez, who is also Latina.