- The Magazine
Marvel has dropped the first trailer for Eternals, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the studio’s first film to feature a gay superhero.
Directed by recent Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao, Eternals follows a group of immortal aliens who come to Earth and live secret lives for 7,000 years, before the events of Avengers: Endgame force them force them to reunite and protect humanity from their evil counterparts.
The star-studded cast includes: Angelina Jolie as Thena, a warrior who can form weapons out of energy; Richard Madden as Ikaris, the Eternals’ tactical leader who can fire cosmic energy, has super strength, and can fly; Gemma Chan as Sersi, an empath who can manipulate matter; Salma Hayek as Ajak, the Eternals’ spiritual leader who uses her abilities to heal; and Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, who can fire energy projectiles from his hands.
Brian Tyree Henry stars as Phastos, an intelligent cosmic-powered inventor who secretly helps humanity progress technologically. He will be the MCU’s first openly gay superhero, and in the film will be married to an architect, portrayed by actor Haaz Sleiman.
The couple will also have a child, and the film will frankly portray of their relationship, including showing the men kissing — something that led to calls of boycotts from conservative outrage group One Million Moms, who accused Marvel of trying to “desensitize” families by “normalizing the LGBTQ lifestyle.”
Eternals is currently set for release on November 5. Watch the trailer below:
While Phastos will be the MCU’s first gay superhero, next year will bring Marvel’s first bisexual hero.
Thor: Love and Thunder will show Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie as openly bisexual, with Thompson previously saying that Valkyrie will search for a queen to rule alongside her in New Asgard.
“As new king, she needs to find her queen,” Thompson said at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019. “That will be her first order of business. She has some ideas. Keep you posted.”
Marvel was criticized after the release of Thor: Ragnarok for reportedly editing out a scene depicting Valkyrie’s bisexuality.
Valkyrie is bisexual in Marvel’s comics, based on her relationship with Dr. Annabelle Riggs in the Fearless Defenders series.
Fans have been pushing for more LGBTQ representation in Marvel’s films after widespread backlash to “Grieving Man,” a background character in Avengers: Endgame who was the MCU’s first openly LGBTQ character.
Spider-Man star Tom Holland recently supported a gay version of his web-slinging hero, saying that Marvel’s films should “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.”
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