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Out with the old, in with the new - just as the last year has been ushered out in favour of 2020, the third phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) will now give way to its much-ballyhooed fourth.
If you thought Marvel had been lagging behind on the ol' representation front in previous phases, here's some good news! Looks like the comics giant has been paying attention - it's been confirmed we should see the company's first transgender character in a movie 'very soon'.
Speaking about diversity at a Q&A event at the New York Film Academy, Marvel boss Kevin Feige told a panel that the company was 'absolutely' planning to introduce LGBT+ characters ('specifically trans character') into the MCU.
When asked when fans could see these developments on the big screen, he replied: "Very soon, in a movie that we're shooting right now."
With Feige remaining tight-lipped on specifics, this revelation has led to much speculation that a trans character could appear in the forthcoming movie The Eternals.
Back in July, Geeks WorldWide reported that Marvel was casting a role for 'a transwoman actress of any ethnicity in her 20s to 30s', speculating that this could be for the character Sera.
The Eternals will also see the franchise introducing a gay character in the form of Phastos, to be played by Brian Tyree Henry, as revealed in early footage shown at Brazilian comic con CCXP in December.
We Got This Covered reported that the footage showed Phastos 'holding hands with a male partner, with the pair accompanied by two kids'.
This follows Feige telling Good Morning America in August that the film would feature a gay superhero, explaining to the show's presenters: "He's married, he's got a family, and that is just part of who he is."
Meanwhile, a further LGBT+ storyline is to be introduced to the MCU in next year's Thor: Love and Thunder - the fourth movie in the Thor series.
Feige confirmed during July's San Diego Comic Con that the character Valkyrie, played by Tess Thompson, would feature in the storyline.
He added: "How that impacts the story remains to be seen with that level of representation you'll see across our films, not in just Thor 4."
Thompson also confirmed the news, telling a separate panel: "As new king, she needs to find her queen. That will be her first order of business. She has some ideas. Keep you posted."
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