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The Eternals in the comics

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in a fascinating place at the moment. Just two movies are left before Phase Three concludes, and the studio's plans for the future are largely a mystery. Aside from Spider-Man: Far From Home, it's unclear what projects are coming down the pipeline from the massive shared universe. One blockbuster that seems to be in active development is The Eternals, and now we may have a glean of information regarding the casting process.

It looks like casting for The Eternals will begin shortly, and Marvel Studios is going to get just a bit more diverse with Phase Four. Kevin Feige had previously made clear that the MCU was dedicated to being more inclusive, featuring women, people of color, and LGBT characters. The latter may be addressed with Eternals, as the studio is reportedly looking for an openly gay actor for an upcoming role.

This report comes to us from The Hashtag Show, and is currently unconfirmed by Disney or Marvel Studios. Still, it's a bit of information that will be exciting for moviegoers who have been calling for more onscreen representation, especially from major franchises like Star Wars or the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Because while certain actors in the franchise may have been portraying their characters as LGBTQ, there hasn't been any explicit mention of sexuality or queer-ness onscreen so far.

Phase Three has been a major step forward in making the MCU a more inclusive place. While the first two phases of films primarily focused on white male characters, things expanded quite a bit in the current slate of films. Black Panther featured the first black superhero, and audiences really responded to this shift, making it one of the most successful blockbusters in Marvel history. Ant-Man and The Wasp and Captain Marvel both feature female protagonists and title characters, another first for the shared universe. Plus, Spider-Man: Homecoming showed the children of the MCU, and Peter's culturally diverse home of Queens.

There may not have been any explicit inclusion of LGBT characters in the MCU thus far, that didn't stop Thor: Ragnarok's Tessa Thompson from playing her character as such. While doing press for Ragnarok, Thompson revealed she was playing Valkyrie as a bisexual woman, and that a scene referencing her sexuality was cut from Taika Waititi's movie. But that didn't stop the Westworld actress from using the cut scene to inform her portrayal of the Asgardian warrior.

It should be fascinating to see what comes next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, after Avengers: Endgame finally arrives in theaters to wrap up a decade's worth of filmmaking. The OG Avengers are likely retiring from their iconic roles, and Kevin Feige has teased a new focus on Cosmic stories and onscreen diversity. But Marvel Studios is keeping its cards close to the chest, so we'll have to wait patiently for more information.

The final two installments of Phase Three are Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, and Avengers: Endgame on April 26th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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