With the end of The Avengers nigh, Marvel is looking towards the future and that future is queer. Last week, rumors surfaced that Angelina Jolie might be joining Marvel’s next tentpole superhero team in The Eternals, weeks after reports suggested that the film was also searching for an openly gay actor for a leading role.
But it’s not just a gay actor the studio is hoping to find. According to MCU Cosmic, The Eternals will be the first Marvel movie to feature an openly gay character, one based off Greek mythology’s most enduring hero. The rumor claims that the film’s gay male lead will be Hercules. Oh honey, you mean HUNKules — cue “Zero to Hero!”
In Marvel comics canon, Hercules is the half-mortal hero of legend who has at various times been part of the Avengers team. His superpowers include godlike superhuman strength, agility, endurance, and healing.
Hercules is also canonically bisexual: despite being a “ladies man” (according to several fan wikis) he’s had relationships with both Northstar and an alternate reality version of Wolverine —hot! In 2015, Marvel Comics (the leadership of which is far more conservative than Marvel Films) was accused of erasing the character’s queer history by saying he’d stay straight in the main Marvel universe.
Last month, Marvel Films head honcho Kevin Feige said he was looking forward to ushering in a new, more diverse era with properties like Captain Marvel and Black Panther. “One of the great things about movies,” he told the LA Times, “is you get to showcase the world that you want to reflect and the way you want the world to be.”
Filming on The Eternals is expected to begin this August, and we have our bids for who should play the next queer superhero