A top Marvel executive has said that the world is “ready” for gay superhero to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Victoria Alonso, Marvel’s production chief, made the comments to Variety at the Los Angeles premiere of Captain Marvel.
Alonso was asked about rumors that the studio is searching for an openly gay actor to play the lead role in upcoming superhero film The Eternals.
After coyly asking if Variety had any suggestions for the role, Alonso said: “We are going to cast the best Eternals cast that we can and when we’re ready to announce it we promise you we will.”
Asked why Marvel is committed to diversity, Alonso responded: “Why wouldn’t we be?”
“I’m so passionate about this I’ve got to tell you,” she continued. “Our entire success is based on people that are incredibly different. Why wouldn’t we? Why would we only want to be recognized by only one type of person? Our audience is global, is diverse, is inclusive. If we don’t do it that way for them, we will fail. If we don’t put pedal to the metal on the diversity and the inclusivity, we will not have continued success. Our determination is to have that for all of the people out there watching our movies.”
Asked if she thinks the world is ready for an openly gay superhero, Alonso gave a definitive response.
“The world is ready,” she said. “The world is ready.”
Rumors started to circulate about The Eternals last week, after That Hashtag Show reported that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was looking to bring an LGBTQ character into the MCU.
Per That Hashtag Show: “[The studio is searching] for an actor, 30-49, who ‘physically looks like a superhero’ for one of the film’s leads. While the studio is open to actors of all ethnicity, they would prefer the role to go to an openly gay actor.”
The Eternals is set to begin filming in August this year, with director Chloé Zhao (Songs My Brothers Taught Me, The Rider) set to helm the project.
The news comes as Marvel celebrates the launch of its first female-led film, Captain Marvel.
Despite some critics calling the film, which stars Brie Larson as the titular hero, formulaic, overall consensus is that it’s another solid effort from Marvel.
In a review for Metro Weekly, Randy Shulman noted that Captain Marvel, while slow to start, “goes from standard issue to something exhilarating. It erupts, volcanically, delivering a final third with remarkable punch and deft cinematic poise.”