Marvel has been making leaps and bounds for diversity and representation in cinema. Last year, the studio produced its first all-black comic book movie, Black Panther. This year, it released Captain Marvel, it’s very first female-led superhero starring Brie Larson.
Now, as Marvel prepares for Avengers: Endgame to close the curtains on Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rumor has it that the studio will continue making progressive strides by introducing the franchise’s first openly gay lead character.
Last week, we learned that Marvel was trying to cast Angelina Jolie as the female lead of its upcoming prequel film, The Eternals. Today, word on the street says that the studio is meaning to have Hercules as the male lead, and openly gay one at that.
According to MCU Cosmic, Marvel is planning to have Hercules as its first openly gay lead for The Eternals. It took some time to find Hercules in the film’s character listing because the studio isn’t “listing the character on the casting breakdowns like the other Eternals, instead he has a code name like Karen,” however, word says that Marvel will announce the character soon.
For those who aren’t familiar with the character, Hercules is an Olympian Eternal based on Roman and Greek mythos. Portrayed as a bisexual hero in Marvel comics, Hercules is gifted with the typical powers of an Olympian god, including superhuman strength, durability, quick reflexes, speed, stamina, and of course endurance.
This is definitely an interesting move from Marvel. Sure, it might spark some controversy among more traditional fans, but having a gay character take the reigns over a film is definitely a progressive step for the MCU.
The Eternals has yet to receive a premiere date.