Marvel Studios Promises More Diversity and Inclusivity in Phase 4 and Beyond

Marvel Studios EVP of Production Victoria Alonso says the Disney-owned studio is “actively” working towards a more diverse and inclusive Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“I would feel honored to have a member of the LGBTQ+ group represented in our films and I hope the future shows that,” Alonso wrote in a Reddit Q&A Wednesday when asked about the addition of LGBTQ+ characters to the ever-expanding franchise.

In a separate comment, Alonso added, “I can tell you we are actively working on making our universe as diverse and inclusive as we can. Be patient with us. We have a lot coming in the future.”

MCU-inspired ABC television show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. introduced Inhuman Joey Gutierrez (Juan Pablo Raba), a gay man, and the movie side of the franchise featured its first openly gay character in Avengers: Endgame, portrayed by director Joe Russo in a cameo appearance.

Marvel’s Runaways highlights a lesbian romance between Nico (Lyric Okano) and Karolina (Virginia Gardner), but scenes touching on Valkyrie’s (Tessa Thompson) and Okoye’s (Danai Gurira) bisexuality were deleted from Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther, respectively.

The franchise will also feature its first trans actors in Spider-Man: Far From Home, in theaters July 2, and Russo in May promised the MCU will receive its first LGBTQ+ superhero “very soon.”

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Next, the super strong Hercules — who in the Marvel Comics has a counterpart that has been presented as bisexual — is rumored to be a leading character in the Chloé Zhao-directed The Eternals. It was earlier reported Marvel was seeking to cast an openly gay actor in a lead role for the film, a first for the studio, and speculation pointed to character Ikaris.

Alonso in November said the studio’s goal was to represent every community in its films, which have widened their scopes with Black Panther — the first Marvel Studios production with a black lead and a predominantly black cast — and Captain Marvel, their first female-led production.

“You don’t get to have this kind of success if the entire world doesn’t see your product. So we are determined to have everyone of those people represented in our films, in some way, at some point in time,” Alonso told the BBC.

“Now, we only make two or three movies a year, so it’s difficult to have every single one — but it is definitely one of the things that we have in our minds all the time.”

Alonso said she hopes to realize more representation for Latin and Asian moviegoers as well as the LGBTQ+ communities.

Marvel will premiere its first Asian lead in Shang-Chi, starring Marvel Comics’ Asian-American superhero, now in development under director Destin Daniel Cretton. The film promises a modernized take avoiding Asian stereotypes.

“The best part of working for Marvel Studios is 100% all of it,” Alonso wrote in another Reddit response. “But most importantly, to be able to show new generations the characters that represent them in each and every way has given me great pride.”