Fans of comic books are incredibly varied, coming from all different walks of life, and various economic, racial, and social backgrounds. More and more, the books have begun including characters representing the wide array of readers, however, the Hollywood movies based on them have tended to remain very narrow in view. (Like movies in the olden days.) But Captain America: Civil War co-director Joe Russo has recently said this could change, alluding to the film series adding the first LGBT character to the lineup.
In an interview with Collider‘s Steve Weintraub, Russo maintains that there’s a “strong chance” for such a character to appear.
“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.”
With the next major films in the franchise—the upcoming two-part Avengers: Infinity War—being in the hands of Joe and Anthony Russo, a statement like this is definitely not just blowing smoke. While it took long enough, the franchise is finally going to have a not-white lead in a movie with Chadwick Boseman in next year’s Black Panther, and will have its first female lead in the form of Captain Marvel coming in 2019, though the character has yet to be cast. As Russo said, mass-appeal movies need to appeal to the masses, and a huge faction of fans are in the LGBT community.
Anthony Russo said later in the same interview that Marvel’s success is paving the way for choices like this to be made. “I think this is a philosophy of Marvel, in success it becomes easier to take risks,” Russo said. “[T]here’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.”
While it would be great if one day having a LGBT lead in a Marvel movie not be a “bold choice,” it’s going to take a first step such as this to make that a reality.
Let us know your thoughts on the Russo’s comments, and who that first LGBT character could and should be, in the comments below!
Here’s our interview with Captain America: Civil War director’s the Russo Bros!
Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. Follow him on Twitter!