As the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) continues to be the box-office powerhouse, we have to remind ourselves that it wouldn’t be where it is today without the success of the first film Iron Man. In order for that film to be made, director Jon Favreau had to convince studio executives that the beginning of what would eventually become a billion dollar franchise would rest on the shoulders of an actor who at the time was not a sure thing. Robert Downey Jr. may be Tony Stark, but there was once a time where his off-screen antics made him box office Kryptonite. Favreau had faith that Downey would deliver and we all would be well-off with him cast as the lead. Because of this risk that was taken and the success of Iron Man, the MCU was able to flourish. Marvel Studios has been taking risks throughout all of their films, and each time has paid off handsomely. At this point, you can say that risk has been a part of the Marvel method. Marvel has also championed their diversity for including superheroes of color such as War Machine, Falcon, and soon enough Black Panther. Marvel has also had great female superhero characters, such as Black Widow, Jessica Jones, and Agent 13. However, Marvel has yet to include much LGBT representation in their films. Is this the next risk they would like to tackle?
The Russo Brothers were asked by Collider about the chance of seeing a LGBT character in the MCU and what their chances would be.The Russo Brothers were asked by Collider about the chance of seeing a LGBT character in the MCU and what their chances would be.
“I think the chances are strong. I mean, it’s incumbent upon us as storytellers who are making mass-appeal movies to make mass-appeal movies, and to diversify as much as possible. It’s sad in the way that Hollywood lags behind other industries so significantly, one because you think that it would be a progressive industry, and two it’s such a visible industry. So I think it’s important that on all fronts we keep pushing for diversification because then the storytelling becomes more interesting, more rich, and more truthful.”
This is risky in regards to a global box office performance, there are some countries like China and Russia where being LGBT is against the law, so they might now even want to play the film and the studio could miss out on hundreds of millions of dollars. The Russo Brothers think Marvel’s success affords them to be able to take such risks.
“I think this is a philosophy of Marvel, in success it becomes easier to take risks. There’s a lot of unconventional ideas in Civil War in terms of what people’s expectations of a superhero movie are, but I think we were able to do that because Winter Soldier worked and Marvel’s been working in general, so there’s more of a boldness in terms of what you can try and where you can go. So I think that’s very hopeful for all of us moving forward that bolder and bolder choices can be made.”
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has also stated in the past that Marvel would be having a LGBT character on the big screen soon enough. Marvel has had some LGBT characters such as Jeri Hogarth from Jessica Jones, or Justin Hammer from Iron Man 2, whose sexuality wasn’t implied until the All Hail the King One Shot and done in a stereotypical fashion. While there has been no announcement as to which new LGBT characters we could see, we are open to speculate. Might we see Moon Dragon and Phyla-Vel, or perhaps Spider-Woman or Hercules?