marvel studios transgender superhero

Marvel is taking things one step at a time when it comes to LGBTQ representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And in one case, that means taking a step back after a misstatement by Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige. A day after Feige appeared to confirm that the MCU would be introducing its first transgender character, Marvel Studios is walking back that statement.

There are no current plans to bring a transgender character to the MCU, Variety reports, debunking a recent statement by Feige that a trans character would be appearing in the films “very soon.”

The mistake comes courtesy of a guest lecture series for the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles in which Feige participated, where an audience member asked the Marvel Studios head, “Are there any plans on bringing more LGBT+ characters into the MCU, specifically the T, trans characters?”

“Yes — absolutely, yes,” Feige responded enthusiastically. “And very soon. In a movie that we’re shooting right now.”

But while Feige’s answer appeared to respond to the specific part about a trans character, Variety reports that Feige “only intended to respond to the first part about LGBT+ characters, and he did not mean to imply that a trans character will be coming to the MCU ‘very soon.'”

This is a rare misstatement by Feige, who usually parses his words too well, and a bit of egg in the face for Marvel, which for a few days, seemed to be making unprecedented progress with representation in its films, after years of being criticized for being slow on the uptake. The previous LGBTQ “representation” seen in a film appeared in Avengers: Endgame, in which co-director Joe Russo played a gay man in a grief support group. The moment was criticized for Marvel’s proud upholding of a minor, unnamed character as being a shining beacon of representation in its film — far too small of a character to be any symbol of real progress.

But the upcoming Phase 4 of the MCU is looking to be a turning point for Marvel, with Feige confirming (for real this time) that the MCU’s first major gay character will appear in Chloe Zhao’s Eternals, though he declined to specify who it would be. While this is a major step forward, the confusion over whether a trans character would be introduced is a bit of a fumble for Feige and Marvel. TV is already making history with a transgender superhero on Supergirl, perhaps Marvel could use this fumble to actually consider introducing its own transgender character.

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