Marvel's Kevin Feige Says Marvel Cinematic Universe Will Include More LGBTQ Characters

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says [...]

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says its ever-growing roster of characters will soon include characters who are openly LGBTQ+.

Asked by The Playlist if any LGBTQ characters are in the works, a tight-lipped Feige answered, "Yes."

Pressed and asked if the character or characters are new or old, Feige said, "Both. Both ones you've seen and ones you haven't seen."

In May, both Disney-owned Marvel Studios and Warner Bros.-owned DC Films were criticized by GLAAD for their lack of LGBTQ representation, specifically calling out Thor: Ragnarok and the otherwise progressive Wonder Woman.

"There have been several films in recent years that have erased a character's queer identity as they moved from page to screen. In 2017, Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok and DC's Wonder Woman both included characters who are queer in the source material, but did not include any on screen confirmation of their identities. This must change going forward," the report read.

Asgardian warrior Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) is bi-sexual, according to Thompson, but her sexual orientation went unaddressed onscreen.

Ragnarok director Taika Waititi later told Rolling Stone a brief deleted scene would have shown a woman exiting Valkyrie's bedroom, but the scene was excised because it "distracted from the scene's vital exposition." Waititi said he maintained the scene "as long as he could."

Cultural milestone Black Panther also reportedly included a brief moment — also cut — that would have hinted at a flirtation between Dora Milaje members Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Ayo (Florence Kasumba).

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series, set in the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe, previously introduced a minor gay character — Inhuman Joey Gutierrez (Juan Pablo Raba) — in 2015. Marvel's Runaways, debuted last year on Hulu, featured a romance between Nico (Lyric Okano) and Karolina (Virginia Gardner).

Recent reports further point to the inclusion of a gender non-conforming student in Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel Spider-Man: Far From Home, while other yet-to-release Marvel Studios productions like Captain Marvel or the still unnamed Avengers 4 could incorporate never-before-seen or returning characters fitting that bill.

In 2015, Feige said "there is no reason why [LGBTQ characters] can't happen any time soon" while making the press rounds for Ant-Man.

"You know, we pull the characters from the comics, for the most part, and they've been forging new ground for decades in the comics. They've been very progressive in the comics. And even more recently in a very important and progressive way. And we keep track of all of those things and are inspired by all of those things, so I'd love it to find an organic, meaningful and natural way for that to happen at some point in the not so distant future."

Marvel Studios next releases Ant-Man and the Wasp July 6.