Calls for Marvel to diversify their superhero ranks are nothing new, but the studio has been making massive strides as of late. Black Panther earned a Best Picture Oscar nomination, they have Shang-Chi and Black Widow coming down the pipeline, and The Eternals will feature the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first openly gay hero (rumored to be Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos). At a recent Q&A, Marvel head Kevin Feige confirmed that a transgender character would also be joining the MCU “very soon, in a movie that we’re shooting right now.”
Feige was a guest speaker for the New York Film Academy, and he spoke at length about Marvel’s aspirations for film and Disney+. Many of the audience questions centered on diversity and inclusivity, with one aspiring filmmaker asking if there were future plans for any LGBTQ+ characters, “specifically trans characters.” Feige responded, “Yes, absolutely yes.”
While Feige did not confirm more details about Marvel’s first transgender character, including which film they may appear in, fans have already begun theorizing. Geeks Worldwide, which reported on casting notices for a trans character over the summer, have speculated that the character is Sera, an Angel-like being from the Thor comics. If that turns out to be true, it could be connected to Tessa Thompson’s revelation that her character, Valkeryie, is queer. Thompson had said of Valkeryie, “She needs to find her queen.”
Elsewhere during the Q&A, Feige fielded another question on whether to expect more female superheroes and more superheroes of color. Feige said the runaway successes of Black Panther and Captain Marvel silenced internal doubters at Disney. “Both those movies were such big hits that it squashed any questions.” He implied that diversity is good both financially and creatively. “It makes for better stories. When you’re sitting at a table — if everyone looks like you, you’re in trouble.” Check out the full conversation below.
Disney execs aren’t the only ones reaping the financial rewards of diversity. Feige’s stewardship of Marvel Studios recently won him a promotion to Chief Creative Officer of the whole Marvel brand. He’s already flexing his cross-platform powers, and has confirmed that Loki and WandaVision on Disney+ will tie into the next Doctor Strange film.