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Diversity in Hollywood has come a major and important conversation in recent years, and 2018 has notably seen some important moves be made. After all, the biggest domestic hit of the year so far has been Ryan Coogler's Black Panther, and the recent box office has been dominated by Jon Chu's Crazy Rich Asians. Still, though, there are some areas that definitely still need improvement - and Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington recently point out that there needs to be some strides made when it comes to homosexual representation in superhero blockbusters:
There's a big problem with masculinity and homosexuality that they can't somehow go hand in hand. That we can't have someone in a Marvel movie who's gay in real life and plays some superhero. I mean, when is that going to happen?
Kit Harrington is currently on the press tour promoting his new movie, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, and it was while sitting down with Variety that he brought up the subject of homosexual representation in Hollywood. The actor himself is straight, having married his Game of Thrones co-star Rose Leslie earlier this summer, but that didn't stop him from advocating for the idea of a prominent superhero character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, being played by a gay actor.
It's noteworthy here that Kit Harrington isn't calling for Marvel or any studio to feature gay superhero characters, but instead making more of a statement about employment. As the actor points out, there is a major stereotype and generalization out there that homosexual men can't be tough, heroic, or masculine, which can be a hindrance when it comes to Hollywood casting these world-saver roles. The DC Extended Universe notably has already made some advances in this department, with Ezra Miller starring as Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash in the growing superhero franchise, but Marvel specifically has not yet cast any LGBTQ stars to play one of their flagship characters.
The good news is that there is an insane amount of opportunity available in the years ahead to start changing things. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has nine release dates carved out for various films between now and the summer of 2022 - and while some of those slots will belong to sequels, many of them will also be introducing some very important new characters to the growing franchise. With those projects will be the chance to start looking at some performers that the industry has thus far overlooked when it comes to superhero franchises, and real change can start to be enacted. The only way change can start is by people actively working towards it, and that's just what needs to happen.
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, which stas Kit Harrington in addition to Natalie Portman, Jacob Tremblay, Thandie Newton, and more, just had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, but doesn't yet have a domestic distributor. Meanwhile, Marvel fans will next have the opportunity to dive back into the Cinematic Universe with Captain Marvel, which hits theaters on March 8, 2019.