When it comes to Hollywood’s superhero films, the genre is just starting to dive into often-ignored minorities. Wonder Woman brought an empowering female-lead film to the canon this month, and Black Panther will usher in an African America-centric cast when it debuts next year. Now, if one studio could just focus on an LGBTQ superhero film, they would get all the support from one Ian McKellen.
Recently, the X-Men star sat down with Variety for an interview, and McKellen was asked which LGBTQ superhero he’d like to see hit theaters. “I’ve suggested one with James Bond, haven’t I?” the star joked before continuing.
“Frankly, looking at some of the images of these superheroes, I’m surprised to know that they’re not gay…It’s the reason I played Magneto; I wanted to look like that.
When McKellen was asked which superheroes caught him off-guard with their sexuality, the star hesitated to answer, but fans can not blame him. Heroes like Wolverine show enough skin to make anyone second-guess, and the Human Torch could absolutely make some suspect.
Continuing, McKellen said he felt Marvel would be one such studio who could bring a gay superhero to theaters without being trite.
“I would think Marvel is a very responsible publishing house who came up with X-Men - which is a political story about life as it is lived by minorities of whom mutants are a prime example - would respond very favorably to the idea of having a gay or bisexual or transgender superhero. Can you imagine because of it all the wonderful complications of the story - mistaken identities, etcetera etcetera,” the actor explained.
Of course, Marvel and DC both have LGBTQ-associated characters. Catwoman and Poison Ivy have dabbled in bisexual relationships before, and Marvel features several major characters who identify as LGBTQ. Northstar stands as the company’s first openly gay character, but he is no longer alone; Heroes like Wiccan, Hulking, Moondragon, Mystique, and more aren’t characters fans would categorize as heterosexual either.
This year alone, Hollywood has taken strides to broaden its representation of the LGBTQ community in its superhero films. Power Rangers featured the genre’s first openly gay character as the Yellow Ranger identified as either bisexual or lesbian. James Gunn, the director of Guardians of the Galaxy, also said it was possible the MCU has already featured gay characters who simply hadn’t revealed their sexuality.0comments
For now, fans like McKellen will have to wait and see how Hollywood plans to bring LGBTQ storylines into its features. The superhero genre is a massive one with plenty of characters to play with; So long as the industry treats everyone’s sexuality with respect, then the Yellow Ranger will soon get some much-wanted company at the movies.