Despite recent reports, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige did not intend to confirm that a transgender character will appear in an upcoming film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, two sources tell Variety.
While participating in a guest lecture series for the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles in December, Feige was asked if the studio has any plans “on bringing more LGBT+ characters into the MCU, specifically the T, trans characters.”
“Yes — absolutely, yes,” Feige said. “And very soon. In a movie that we’re shooting right now.”
While Feige’s answer appeared to respond to the specific question about a trans character, two sources close to the studio tell Variety that Feige only intended to respond to the first part about LGBT+ characters, and he did not mean to imply that a trans character will be coming to the MCU “very soon.”
At the time of his appearance, the only MCU movie in production was “Eternals,” from director Chloe Zhao. In August, Feige confirmed that film — which stars Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani, Gemma Chan, Kit Harington, Barry Keoghan, and Brian Tyree Henry — will have the MCU’s first major gay character, though Feige declined to specify who it would be.
“He’s married, he’s got a family, and that is just part of who he is,” Feige told “Good Morning America” while at the D23 Expo in Anaheim.
An openly gay superhero would be a major milestone for Hollywood, which has to date avoided putting any LGBT character front and center in a major comic book movie. Recently, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” won both praise and recrimination for featuring the first same-sex kiss in a “Star Wars” movie, but between two minor characters in a throwaway moment. Feige — who recently ascended to become chief creative officer for all of Marvel Entertainment — has indicated that the gay character in “Eternals” will play a much more meaningful role in the film. And actor Zach Barack, who had a small role in Marvel Studios’ “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” was the company’s first openly trans actor.
But for now, it appears significant trans representation in the MCU will have to wait — again.
Matt Donnelly contributed to this report.