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Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok

There are quite a few controversies and difficult conversations surrounding the world of Hollywood lately. Chief among them is the call for inclusion and on camera diversity, with whitewashing scandals, the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, and transgender representation all adding to the discussion. There has also been a call for more LGBT characters in major franchises and blockbusters, including Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The latter has made steps forward with female heroes and more actors of color, but when will they bring queer characters into the behemoth shared universe? Marvel producer Stephen Broussard (Ant-Man and The Wasp, Doctor Strange) recently spoke to this possibility, saying:

For sure, you will see that. I know it can be frustrating if you're part of a group that wants to see more representation and the answer is always 'stay tuned' - I can imagine that that's frustrating - but that is happening behind the scenes, you're going to be seeing that more and more. Representation across individual groups in the years ahead.

While vague and without a specific franchise or character to look out for, Stephen Broussard seems sure that the MCU will eventually including LGBT stories. Furthermore, he understands the frustration that certain Marvel fans and advocates are feeling about the lack of representation.

Stephen Broussard's comments to Den Of Geek prove one thing: that Marvel studios hears fan concerns, and is actively seeking ways to satiate the moviegoers who have spent the last decade seeing each new blockbuster. With Ant-Man and The Wasp marking Marvel's 20th blockbuster in theaters, the shared universe is going to have to find ways to keep the fandom's attention. And helping fans feel represented onscreen is certainly one solid strategy.

Marvel's willingness to adjust to the times can be seen through the choices made in the MCU's Phase Three. While the first two phases primarily focused on heroes who were both male and white, the most recent set of films have helped diversify the Marvel Shared Universe. Female characters are finally getting their time, with both Ant-Man and The Wasp and Captain Marvel being named after their female protagonists. Meanwhile Black Panther featured the MCU's first black leading man, while also including a stunning cast of legendary actors of color, and Spider-Man: Homecoming featured a diverse cast that properly represented the melting pot of New York City.

Although the MCU hasn't contained any queer stories, that isn't to say that the first LGBT character isn't already in existence. There are only a handful of romantic plot lines in Phase Three, so there's no way of knowing the sexuality for the majority of the shared universe's characters. Thor: Ragnarok actress Tessa Thompson revealed she played Valkyrie as a queer woman, although it wasn't expressly mentioned during the threequel's runtime.

The next installment of the MCU will be Captain Marvel on March 8th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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