The Marvel train is charging forward, with the new movies in full swing of development. One of the more interesting ones is The Eternals, a movie about a secret race of superpowered humans.
The movie is also notable as another chance for the MCU to get some proper LGBTQ+ representation.
Actor Haaz Sleiman, who plays one half of the film series' first queer couple, has said the film includes Marvel's first gay kiss.
We caught up with @haazsleiman to chat about the real Rafiq, freaking out @Madonna , bottom empowerment, and… https://t.co/QmVWlypCj0— NewNowNext (@NewNowNext)1581690540.0
In an interview with LogoTV's NewNowNext, Sleiman said,
"I'm married to the gay superhero Phastos, played by 'Atlanta's' Brian Tyree Henry, and we represent a gay family and have a child."
Even beyond that, the two characters will share the first gay kiss in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.
"Oh, yeah, absolutely, and it's a beautiful, very moving kiss. Everyone cried on set. For me it's very important to show how loving and beautiful a queer family can be."
Which, honestly speaking, is super adorable, but it's also important for representation.
So fans have plenty of reason to be excited
birds of prey, new mutants, AND this too?? US GAYS ARE WINNING RIGHT NOW https://t.co/A6ucq6HqXr https://t.co/sqc4D7b9oO— paul is trying (@paul is trying)1581616342.0
@getFANDOM @NewNowNext I am so excited— Armie fangs (@Armie fangs)1581620264.0
Marvel introducing a black queer superhero in Eternals is the kind of positive energy that 2020 needed. 👏👏 https://t.co/Zkm03H97XJ— Christian Hubbard (@Christian Hubbard)1581617257.0
OMG HYPE LEVELS RAISED TO 1000! Eternals is lowkey trying to displace Tenet and Dune as my most anticipated film o… https://t.co/gPd5MAH8Im— But why am I so beautiful? (@But why am I so beautiful?)1581618291.0
But they also have reason to be apprehensive. In over twenty cinematic movies, an unambiguous queer character has yet to have a major role in a MCU movie.
Thor Ragnarok featured Valkyrie, who was written and Tessa Thompson portrayed as bisexual. However the scene which would have confirmed this was left on the cutting room floor.
Avengers Endgame has a cameo from director Joe Russo as a gay man at a group therapy session, mourning the loss of his partner. Which makes the first openly queer character a blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene.
You could say fans have been burned before.
@DiscussingFilm He'll be in a 2 second scene, in the background, behind a tree.— Calvin Allen (@Calvin Allen)1581624226.0
@getFANDOM @NewNowNext Watch it’ll be in the background and barely noticeable so they can edit it out for foreign a… https://t.co/esChqvHEpC— Sawyer Sabol (@Sawyer Sabol)1581619833.0
What this actually means is that they’ll be one 2 minute scene at the beginning and one 30 second scene at the end… https://t.co/cdIu2w2O8N— Jack Sloane (@Jack Sloane)1581616407.0
@getFANDOM @NewNowNext Can’t wait for it to be ambiguous and ‘up to the interpretation of the viewer’ when it relea… https://t.co/DG1u3JDMB8— Yeehhhh (@Yeehhhh)1581628207.0
Disney, the parent company of Marvel Entertainment, has a history of touting their inclusiveness with characters, but then make the scenes so small and inconsequential that they can be cut out and the movie unchanged.
This is done so the movies can be easily edited for release in countries which might have laws against homosexuality. A background lesbian kiss in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was cut in Singapore, and it's believed the reason these scenes are made so small is to allow China to edit them out.
Because of this history, people are debating online if anything will come of this onscreen relationship.
@ndotgdot @Ritterdk1773 @getFANDOM @NewNowNext It might be in a deleted scene.— Physics Boyt (@Physics Boyt)1581617820.0
@Collider And now comes the backlash...— G.A. (@G.A.)1581962821.0
@GuardiolaAgenda @DanielRPK Middle Eastern either but they will cute the scene in china— Patrice Étienne (@Patrice Étienne)1581613484.0
@RazaneMovies @getFANDOM @NewNowNext you’re homophobia is not welcomed in this fandom especially when chris evans’… https://t.co/b1jY1pXTzN— . (@.)1581619921.0
Whether this film finally includes proper queer representation or not remains to be seen. We'll find out later this year.
The Eternals is set to release November 6, 2020. In addition to Brian Tyree Henry and Haaz Sleiman, it stars Richard Madden, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani and Angelina Jolie.