The landscape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will experience a dramatic change after Avengers: Endgame premieres in theaters, and the future will introduce a lot of new characters to carry the franchise moving forward. New rumors suggest The Eternals, one of Marvel Studios' next films, will finally introduce the first gay lead character in the MCU.
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige addressed this rumor while speaking to io9, saying that the possibility is attributed to a wider effort to increase diversity on screen and behind the scenes of the MCU.
"Well it’s accurate in that we’ve talked about [it for] a long time," Feige said. "You look at the success of Captain Marvel and Black Panther. We want the movies to reflect the audience and we want every member of our global audience to see themselves reflected on the screen. And that’s what we’ve been doing for a long time. And certainly, that’s what we’re focusing on going forward."
Feige is the master of dancing around spoilers, so the fact that he didn't outright confirm Marvel's plans isn't surprising. He's spoken frequently about how he refuses to speak about future MCU movies until after Avengers: Endgame premieres, unwilling to spoil the future of the landscape after the epic confrontation with Thanos.
But the fact that Feige even responded at all makes it seem like there's some validity to the rumor. So far, little is known about director Chloe Zhao's film, except that it's likely to star Angelina Jolie and Kumail Nanjiani in key roles. Hercules has been rumored to be one of the main characters, though the Marvel hero is not known for his interactions with the Eternals.
“Everything after [Avengers] Endgame, and after Spider-Man: Far From Home, will be different and be unique, as we try to make every film. But seeing returning characters is certainly something we’re gonna do and want to do. But also introducing characters that the majority of the world has never heard of, much like Guardians [of the Galaxy], much like Avengers before we made Avengers. And there are lots of them,” Feige told Collider. “Eternals are one group, but we like the idea of introducing an ensemble, doing an ensemble movie from the start, as opposed to building up as we did with the first Avengers. More like Guardians, not tonally, but in terms of introducing a new group of people."
We'll learn more about Marvel's future after Avengers: Endgame premieres in theaters on April 26th.
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