The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a very different place now than it was when The Avengers first assembled six years ago, and not just because Thanos recently landed on Earth to wreak havoc on things. Back then, in the midst of the Battle of New York, the MCU's top heroes were a bunch of white guys and one lone white woman (who has yet to get her own movie), all of them apparently straight. That wasn't necessarily a problem, but as the universe continued to grow in popularity, fans began asking for more inclusion, and they began to get it.
Now, in 2018, Black Panther is one of the most financially successful and celebrated films in superhero cinema history, the Wasp is about to co-headline a movie (the first MCU heroine to do so), and Captain Marvel is less than a year away.
All those strides aside, though, Marvel Studios still has progress to make, and remains very lacking in LGBTQ representation. Sure, it's been implied, and Valkyrie's canonical bisexuality almost got its own little moment in Thor: Ragnarok, but the MCU has yet to feature an LGBTQ character in any outright capacity, even as films like Deadpool 2 have already been celebrated for doing so. Well, that may be about to change.
Speaking to The Playlist about the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was asked about this particular missing element in an increasingly more diverse roster of characters, and his answer should give fans waiting for LGBTQ Marvel characters at least a little bit of hope. We've copied the full exchange here so you can get a sense of just how direct Feige was being.
The Playlist: When are we getting a gay, bi, LGBTQ, out character in the MCU? Is it even in the works?
Kevin Feige: Yes.
The Playlist: That’s the answer?
Kevin Feige: Yeah, that’s the answer.
The Playlist: It’s not someone we’ve seen yet, I’m guessing?
Kevin Feige: Both.
The Playlist: Both?
Kevin Feige: Both ones you’ve seen and ones you haven’t seen.
So, not only will be meeting new LGBTQ characters in the future of the MCU, but we'll also apparently see at least one already introduced character come out in some form. The easy answer there is that some future film will feature Tessa Thompson getting the scene confirming Valkyrie's bisexuality that she lobbied for in Ragnarok, but it could also easily be another character whose sexuality hasn't ever really been confirmed or denied, and in the MCU there are several of those. As for which new characters Feige might be referring to... well, the Marvel universe is a big place, and there's also no rule saying a character who's straight in the comics has to remain straight on film.
Sadly, Feige did not elaborate on exactly when these LGBTQ characters will arrive onscreen in the MCU. For all we know one could arrive in Captain Marvel as early as next spring, or we could be waiting until Avengers 5 (whatever form that takes). The good news for fans who've been waiting years to see this, though, is that Feige didn't make this as cryptic as he could have. He didn't say "well, when the time is right" or "that's something we're exploring." He confirmed that it's in the works, and that means it's definitely something worth watching for.
The next MCU film out the gate, Ant-Man and the Wasp, is in theaters July 6.