Leaks from a recent convention have finally revealed who will be playing Marvel’s first gay superhero in the upcoming Eternals movie.
We have been covering this story for the majority of the year now. Back in March, Hollywood rumors first started buzzing that Marvel Studios was considering having a gay lead for their The Eternals film. Speculation then honed in on lead character Ikaris being the gay character. Then when it was revealed that Richard Madden, who has played gay before, would be playing Ikaris, many believed this to be the case. It didn’t hurt that Marvel head Kevin Feige confirmed that the film would have a gay hero. But now, leaked info about a trailer showed at a convention tells us the character isn’t who we expected.
According to We Got This Covered, which broke the original story of The Eternals having a gay character as well as Birds of Prey doing the same, early recordings of The Eternals, which is still filming, was shown at Brazil’s version of Comic-Con called CCXP. The brief trailer shown to a select group of convention-goers revealed a scene of Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos “holding hands with a male partner, with the pair accompanied by two kids.” This delivered scene almost matches the exact description Feige gave in the above link when talking about the gay character. “He’s married, he’s got a family, and that is just part of who he is,” Feige said in August.
As Men’s Health points out, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first two openly LGBTQ superheroes are people of color and specifically Black people. Henry’s Phastos joins Tess Thompson’s Valkyrie, whom Thompson stated at Comic-Con will be looking to “find a queen” in Thor: Love & Thunder.
Of course, there is some room for caution in this situation. We will get direct and outright confirmation of this character being gay, something that Hollywood often sidesteps in an attempt to seduce international box offices with anti-gay views. That said, will this family scene be the only gay depiction in the film? If so, it reminds of the rumored scene plaguing Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (among many other things).
In addition, we currently don’t know just how big Brian Tyree Henry’s role is in the film. While the movie is being pitched as an ensemble piece, there is no question that some of the cast have reportedly bigger roles than the rest. Kit Harrington’s Black Knight, Gemma Chan’s Sersi, and Richard Madden’s Ikaris, and Angelina Jolie’s Thena have all been given top billing. Meanwhile, Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos is one of the least known characters in an already little known group of superheroes. Will Marvel’s first gay superhero end up being more of a background character in this crowded movie?
Keep in mind, that latter note is speculation and worry. But, it is something to consider for gay viewers looking forward to representation. We’ve all been burned before. So let’s go into this movie with some hesitation.
That said, there is still room for excitement too. Because at the end of the day, we’re getting a gay superhero. That’s pretty cool.