For years we’ve been wondering when Marvel would finally include an openly LGBTQ+ superhero in one of their movies, or at least confirm one of their existing characters as queer. They did the latter at this year’s San Diego Comic Con, when it was announced that Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie would be the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first openly queer hero, with Thompson saying Valkyrie will “find her queen” in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder.
Then at last month’s D23 Expo, Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige confirmed rumors that The Eternals, Marvel’s next big franchise superhero team movie, will include the MCU’s first gay male superhero. “He’s married, he’s got a family, and that is just part of who he is,” Feige said at the time.
Now Richard Madden, who will play Ikaris in the film, has told Entertainment Tonight that having a diverse cast and a prominent LGBTQ+ character is “hugely important.” It’s still unclear who in the cast will be playing the queer hero, but after his turn in Rocketman as Elton John’s manager and lover John Reid, our money’s on Madden.
Madden added that he’s “a white male actor and not in the majority of this cast.” He said, “I'm the minority, which is important in terms of diversity in filmmaking. I think Marvel are really at the forefront of that.”
The Eternals will also star Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, and Kit Harington. Madden said he’s “thrilled to work with...the whole cast, [an] outstanding bunch of actors.”
The Eternals is due out November 6, 2020.