With the arrival of WandaVision, Marvel’s Phase Four has officially begun its rollout. Along with Black Widow, another anticipated film from Marvel Studios is the ensemble Eternals. One of the most notable aspects of the upcoming film is that it will feature Marvel’s first onscreen same-sex couple, half of which will be played by Jack Ryan star Haaz Sleiman. The actor recently spoke on being a part of franchise's first same-sex couple in the film, and its significance.
Since it was first announced in 2018, Eternals has been highly anticipated within Marvel’s upcoming Phase Four slate, partially fueled by leaks that have come out over the past few months. Haaz Sleiman will be a supporting player in the Marvel ensemble as the husband of Phastos (played by Brian Tyree Henry). Logo's NowNewNext recently interviewed the actor to promote his latest film Breaking Fast, and Sleiman spoke on being a part of that significant relationship. He said,
It’s my first Marvel film, so of course I’m excited. My gut feeling is you’ll be so proud. What Marvel has been able to accomplish, I’m so proud of them because they approached it in a very thoughtful way, and Phastos is one of the biggest superheroes in the film. I’m his husband, an architect; we have a child. Even though I wished I was the superhero, because when will we see an Arab Muslim openly gay actor playing a superhero? I can’t wait to see it.
Hearing how proud Haaz Sleiman is about his role in Eternals makes the film seem like a push in the right direction for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His words come at a time where representation in film is becoming increasingly important. Over the past few months, a few MCU stars have voiced their opinion on diversifying the next slate of films.
While Haaz Sleiman may have a supporting role in Eternals, the Marvel ensemble is filled with some of Hollywood’s top talent. Along with Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, the cast includes Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjani, Salma Hayek, Kit Harrington and Richard Madden in key roles in the blockbuster. The film will focus on the Eternals reuniting to defeat their archenemies, the Deviants – though not much is known about the plot beyond that. Eternals wrapped production in February 2020 with reshoots taking place this past November. It was previously set to be released in November 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic caused the rescheduling of many Marvel Phase Four titles, and it will now be released this upcoming November instead. There have been hints dropped over the past few months about key figures and villains popping up in the film, including a connection to Thanos.
Before Eternals arrives in late 2021, Haaz Sleiman will appear as part of another same-sex couple in Breaking Fast. The film is set to arrive on March 7. Last year, he appeared in the AppleTV+ anthology Little America.
As part of the first same-sex couple, Haaz Sleiman’s role in Eternals will give Marvel fans a chance to see themselves reflected on the big screen. Given Sleiman’s words, the film will be good for representation within the MCU. Eternals will be released on November 21.