Avengers: Endgame is being discussed for about a million reasons, whether it’s [spoiler redacted], or [spoiler redacted], or [spoiler redacted]. But one of the more subtle elements
exciting fans is the fact the film contains the MCU’s first openly gay character. Now, the Russo brothers have gone on record to explain why.
“Representation is really important,” Joe Russo told Deadline. “It was important to us as we did four of these films, we wanted a gay character somewhere in them. We felt it was important that one of us play him, to ensure the integrity and show it is so important to the filmmakers that one of us is representing that. It is a perfect time, because one of the things that is compelling about the Marvel Universe moving forward is its focus on diversity.”
The character isn’t a superhero, or even a main role, he’s an unnamed character in a brief group bereavement therapy session scene, but considering the fact Marvel edited out any reference to Valkyrie’s bisexuality from Thor: Ragnarok, it can be seen as a step forward.
And the low-key nature of the character was intentional. “We wanted it to be casual, with the fact that the character is gay tied into the fabric of the storytelling and representing what everyday life is,” Joe Russo said. “We’re trying to represent everyone in everyday life. These are global movies that reach a lot of people. They are important to a lot of people and everyone has the right to see themselves on the screen and identify somewhere.”
And it’s meaningful that it’s coming straight from one of the directors.
“We’ve seen it now even in countries where people countries where homosexuality isn’t as free as it is here,” Anthony Russo said. “It’s actually one of those elements of these movies that I think resonates in challenged places in the world as well.”
Said Joe Russo: “As filmmakers of a massive franchise we’re saying, we support you.”
We found the moment quite moving, but – as ever – not everyone’s happy about it.
Sure, the film could do more, but hopefully this is the first step to more representation in the future, with Kevin Feige saying characters ‘we’ve seen and characters we haven’t seen’ will be gay.
And with Hercules of The Eternals rumoured to be the MCU’s first openly gay superhero, it looks like representation is here to stay.