The Eternals confirmed as first MCU film to feature an onscreen LGBTQ+ kiss
Over the years since the MCU became one of the biggest film franchises ever, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige had always promised that fans should expect more inclusivity and representation in Marvel Studios’ future MCU films. During last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Feige iterated Marvel Studios’ vision of introducing more representation by revealing that Chloe Zhao’s star-studded film The Eternals will be featuring a major LGBTQ+ superhero character.
After that, there have been a lot of speculations about who will be the LGBTQ+ character among its cast. And now, during a recent interview with NewNowNext, The Eternals actor Haaz Sleiman has confirmed that Emmy nominee Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos is indeed the LGBTQ+ character in the highly-anticipated MCU film. Sleiman further revealed that he is portraying the role of Phastos’ husband while opening up about the importance of representing a gay family.
“It’s a beautiful, very moving kiss. Everyone cried on set. For me, it’s very important to show how loving and beautiful a queer family can be.” Sleiman said. “Brian Tyree Henry is such a tremendous actor and brought so much beauty into this part, and at one point I saw a child in his eyes, and I think it’s important for the world to be reminded that we in the queer community were all children at one point. We forget that because we’re always depicted as sexual or rebellious; we forget to connect on that human part.”
The Eternals is based upon Jack Kirby’s comic of the same name. That series introduced a group of immortals called the Eternals and their rivals, the Deviants. Within the comics, Thanos and the other inhabitants of Titan were also Eternals. It’s unclear if the MCU will maintain that connection.
During the 2019 CCXP, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed a few details of the film’s plot and characters, confirming that the Celestials and Deviants are indeed included in the film. The Celestials are known as a powerful race of aliens who played a huge role in key events in human history. They are the reasons why the Eternals and the Eternals’ evil counterparts Deviants were created.
“[The Eternals is] an epic that spans 7,000 years of human history, has cosmic connotations, and changes everything we know about the MCU,” Feige explained. “It’s ambitious, and takes…from present-day to Mesopotamia to all sorts of locations and time periods and really feels like nothing we’ve done before.”
“We will see the Celestials in their full, true, enormous power in Eternals, yes,” Feige said.“Deviants are in the film. The Deviants in the comic book mythology were…extremely important plans of the Celestials…and we will see Deviants that look unlike anything we’ve seen in the comics. This is a new form of Deviants that we’ll see in the movie.”
The film will feature a star-studded cast led by Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie and Game of Thrones alum Richard Madden, who are headlining as Thena and Ikaris, respectively. It will also as star Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff (The Walking Dead) as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) as Phastos, Salma Hayek (Frida) as Ajak, Lia McHugh (The Lodge) as Sprite, Don Lee (Train to Busan) as Gilgamesh, Gemma Chan as Sersi, Barry Keoghan as Druig and Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) as Dane Whitman/ Black Knight.
Chloe Zhao is directing Eternals from a script by Matthew K. Firpo and Ryan Firpo. It will hit theaters on November 6, 2020.
Recommended Reading: The Eternals by Jack Kirby Vol. 1