Great news today, straight from the mouths of Anthony & Joe Russo, the Marvel maestros who’ve elevated Captain America with The Winter Soldier two years ago and are poised to do it again with this weekend’s release of Captain America: Civil War. During an interview with Collider, the directors – who are also trying to top themselves again with the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War duology – were asked if any LGBT characters would show up in future Marvel projects and the two said they were confident the LGBT community would be represented in the MCU.
“(Joe Russo:) 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.”
It’s great to know the directors – and Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige – get asked these questions and give such encouraging, refreshingly candid answers. Progress is slow, as we all know, and while some may decry inserting an LGBT character a political move, it’s far more important for those who identify with the LGBT community to see themselves on screen as part of this massive Marvel sandbox the whole world gets to experience.
That’s the key though; the whole world is hardly on board with it. Countries such as Russia and especially China are becoming more and more important for studios’ bottom lines, and audiences overseas expect different things than domestic audiences.
We’ve had three white guys named Chris portray various Marvel superheroes and we’re just now getting a black superhero movie (Black Panther) and female superhero movies (Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel). To me, getting an LGBT character (but particularly a superheroic one) is the next logical step and one that would cement Marvel’s reputation as reaching all audiences, all the time. Because of talents like the Russo brothers, the sky is the limit when it comes to the MCU.
“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.”
Captain America: Civil War hits theaters May 6.