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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a well oiled-machine, which is constantly growing. We're currently occupying the strange interim period between phases, with the public eager for any hints as to what Phases Four and Five might include. Fans are eager to see Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie return to the silver screen, likely in Thor: Love and Thunder. And now Thompson has explained why diversity and inclusion is so important in the future of the MCU.
Marvel Studios took some heat for its lack of diversity in the first two phases, which largely focus on white male heroes. But Phase Three made some big steps forward, featuring more women and people of color in significant roles. Tessa Thompson also played Valkyrie as a bisexual woman, although the same-sex kiss was ultimately cut from Thor: Ragnarok. The Westworld recently spoke to the importance of visibility in the MCU's future, saying:
I think in this next phase of Marvel, we’re really talking about what representation looks like in those spaces. Because the truth is these movies travel globally in such huge ways, and if you can represent people that are of color, if you can represent people with disabilities, if you can represent the LGBTQIA community inside of these films, it’s a pretty big deal.
Speak on it, Valkyrie. Clearly Tessa Thompson understands the platform and power of Marvel movies, and how important representation within the genre can be, especially for disenfranchised groups out there. We'll just have to see how the studio will continue to make the cinematic universe reflect the diversity seen in the real world.
Those involved with Marvel Studios have been keeping their card close to the chest regarding the details of Phase Four and Five. And with the entertainment world on a screeching halt with sets and theaters shut down, the wait for official updates might be even longer. After all, Black Widow was already supposed to be in theaters, opening up Phase Four in the process.
Marvel fans can re-watch Tessa Thompson's tenure in the MCU on Disney+. You can use this link to a sign up for the streaming service.
The MCU is expanding in new and exciting ways moving forward, so it should be interesting to see what comes next for the massive franchise. Disney+ will be the home of TV shows like WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, while new and returning characters will arrive on the big screen. The Eternals boasts the most diverse cast in Marvel history, which is likely part of what Tessa Thompson was referencing in her comments during Variety's Actors on Actors video with Ramy Youssef. She went on to explain the importance of representation in the media, saying:
There’s millions and millions of people, particularly young people, that show up to the cinema. And I think if you can show them something that looks like them, they feel valued. Particularly inside of these narratives of the comic books, that’s what it’s all about. It’s that our differences make us special.
As Uncle Ben once said "with great power comes great responsibility." And while that character was never actually seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seems that the actors and execs involved understand how much visibility is important to the franchise's future. We'll just have to wait and see how this conversation continues once the MCU finally returns to theaters.
At the end of Avengers: Endgame, Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie was recently named the King of Asgard as Thor left New Asgard for space with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Fans are eager to see how she's ruling, while Thompson admits that her character needs to find "her queen." Hopefully we'll get more of her in Taika Waititi's Thor: Love and Thunder, which is currently set to arrive in theaters in February of 2022.
The next installment in the MCU is Black Widow on November 6th. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.