Following Anthony Mackie‘s criticism of Marvel Studio‘s lack of diversity in film crews, it is now Tessa Thompson who is speaking up about the importance of representation in Phase 4 of the MCU.
As part of Variety’s Actors on Actors series, Thompson spoke with Ramy Youssef of “Ramy” about the importance of representation both to the industry and the fandom at large. “I think in this next phase of Marvel, we’re really talking about what representation looks like in those spaces,” Thompson said. “Because the truth is these movies travel globally in such huge ways and if you can represent people that are of color, if you can represent people with disabilities, if you can represent the LGBTQIA community inside of these films, it’s a pretty big deal.”
“I think it’s really important for everybody, but for young people especially, to be able to show up to those movies and see projections of themselves” Thompson continued. “So I’m really excited that we’re able to continue to push the bounds of that and that I’m able to do that with Valkyrie. Because there’s so many cool queer characters in the comic books, and they should have a place on screen.”
As far as how this might actually look on and off-screen, Kevin Feige confirmed at last year’s Comic-Con that Thompson’s Valkyrie was indeed going to be the first openly LGBTQ+ superhero in the Marvel universe, and Thompson said Valkyrie was going to “find her queen” in “Thor: Love and Thunder.”
Additionally, the upcoming film “The Eternals” is set to feature a gay couple, according to Feige. Now the question remains whether they’ll have a more substantial amount of screen time than the barely visible gay couple in “The Rise of Skywalker” or the barely-noticeable gay character in “Avengers: Endgame.”