Marvel’s Cinematic Universe will finally get an openly LGBTQ superhero in the form of Thor‘s Valkyrie.
Tessa Thompson, who portrayed Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame, confirmed the news at San Diego Comic-Con.
During the fourth installment of the Thor franchise, Thor: Love and Thunder, Valkyrie will search for a queen to rule alongside her in New Asgard.
“As new king, she needs to find her queen,” Thompson said. “That will be her first order of business. She has some ideas. Keep you posted.”
Marvel was criticized after the release of Ragnarok for reportedly editing out a scene depicting Valkyrie’s bisexuality.
The character is openly bisexual in Marvel’s comics, based on her relationship with Dr. Annabelle Riggs in the Fearless Defenders series.
Thompson — who is also bisexual — told Rolling Stone in 2017 that a scene showing Valkyrie’s sexuality was filmed, after she asked director Taika Waititi to feature it.
But the scene, which briefly depicted a woman leaving Vaklyrie’s bedroom, was cut because “it distracted from the scene’s vital exposition.”
“There were things that we talked about that we allowed to exist in the characterization, but maybe not be explicit in the film,” Thompson said, such as after Cate Blanchett’s Hela murders Valkyrie’s warrior clan. “There’s a great shot of me falling back from one of my sisters who’s just been slain. In my mind, that was my lover.”
Fans have been clamoring for more LGBTQ representation in Marvel’s films, particularly after negative backlash to “Grieving Man,” a background character in Avengers: Endgame who became the first openly LGBTQ character in any Marvel film.
Rather than a major moment for LGBTQ inclusion, “Grieving Man” was ridiculed for his insignificance — and for being portrayed by one of the film’s heterosexual directors, Joe Russo.
Marvel’s own stars have also been open about greater LGBTQ representation in the studio’s films.
Spider-Man star Tom Holland recently threw his support behind a gay version of the web-slinging hero, and said that Marvel’s films “need to represent more than one type of person.”
And Brie Larson, who currently stars as Captain Marvel, said she wants to see more LGBTQ characters and heroes.
“I don’t understand how you could think that a certain type of person isn’t allowed to be a superhero,” she told Variety in April. “So to me it’s like, we gotta move faster. But I’m always wanting to move faster with this stuff.”
In addition to Valkyrie, upcoming Marvel film The Eternals could also feature an LGBTQ superhero, with rumors that the studio was seeking to cast an openly gay actor for the part.
Thor: Love and Thunder is currently scheduled for release in November 2021.