Appearing as a guest speaker, Feige spoke about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in new films as well as on Disney Plus. When he opened the floor for questions, the Marvel president was asked about plans for further LGBT representation in the studio’s new offerings, with a focus on “‘specifically the T, trans characters,'” writes the BBC.
“Yes, absolutely. Yes,” Feige responded.
Although he wasn’t specific about which new superhero would be transgendered, he did go on to say that the character would appear “soon,” as the film they are in is currently in production. This has led some fans of the MCU to deduce that the character would appear in Thor: Love and Thunder, which is set to premiere sometime in 2021. Canonically, the only transgender character in all of Marvel comics exists in Thor’s world. Sera — a descendant of an all-male group of angels called the Ancharites — recently transitioned from male-to-female in the comics. She meets Thor’s long-lost half-sister Angela, and the two eventually form a romantic relationship.
Although Angela hasn’t been introduced in the movie version of Thor, some fans believe Sera could be used in the MCU as a love interest for Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie. As those who have seen Avengers: Endgame well know, Valkyrie was made King of Asgard at the end of that film. Thompson has said that her character’s “first order of business” would be to find her queen. In the comics, Valkyrie is bisexual. This may be the perfect opportunity for the MCU to introduce Sera — or some version of her — to film audiences.
Disney — Marvel’s parent company — has been the recipient of some backlash recently regarding their treatment of LGBT characters in their movies. A much-touted “gay moment” in the live-action Beauty and the Beast received some negative reactions from fans, who thought the company was just pandering to placate some of their most ardent supporters. More recently, a kiss between two women — one who was an unnamed background character — in Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker has led some fans to believe that Disney isn’t willing to go all-in on LGBT characters. Even Oscar Isaac, the actor who played one half of a potentially brewing gay relationship in the new Star Wars films, has been quoted saying the company doesn’t seem ready to acknowledge such relationships at the forefront yet.
“The Disney overlords were not ready to do that,” he said, as reported by The Guardian.
Feige — for his part — seems more willing to offer greater diversity in the MCU. He has pointed to the success of films like Captain Marvel and Black Panther, acknowledging that representation matters. Aside from the potential transgender character in Thor: Love and Thunder, The Eternals — set to release in November 2020 — will have the MCU’s first gay character. It will feature a deaf superhero as well.
The representation doesn’t seem to stop there. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will feature the MCU’s first Asian-American superhero. As Phase 4 continues, more diverse movies seem to be on the docket for Feige and Marvel Studios.