A transgender superhero will be flying into the Marvel Cinematic Universe "very soon," said Kevin Feige, the head of Marvel Studios.
Feige confirmed the historic addition at a Q&A at the New York Film Academy, the BBC reports. He was asked by an audience member if future productions would include LGBTQ representation, "specifically the T, trans characters."
"Yes, absolutely. Yes," Feige replied. He added that the character would be introduced "in a movie that we're shooting right now."
In July 2019, Geeks WorldWide reported that Marvel had issued a casting call for a transgender actress in her 20s or 30s of any ethnicity to audition for a role under the code name "Jessica."
The fan site speculated that the role could be for a variety of upcoming Marvel productions, including Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Loki, Hawkeye, or Thor: Love and Thunder.
However, the most likely candidate is Thor: Love and Thunder. The only major transgender superhero in Marvel Comics is attached to Thor: Sera, a wingless angel who develops a romance with Thor's half-sister, Angela.
The Thor universe already includes LGBTQ representation in Valkyrie. The character is bisexual in the comics but was not clearly defined as such when Tessa Thompson portrayed her in Thor: Ragnarok; a scene in which she walked out of a woman's bedroom was deleted in editing.
This would be amended in future films, Thompson said, now that Valkyrie has been crowned the new king of Asgard, the fictional realm of Thor's people, in the latest Avengers film. "As new king, she needs to find her queen," she said.
"He's married, he's got a family, and that is just part of who he is," Feige said earlier in the year of the character.
The first clearly gay character was introduced in Avengers: Infinity War. The minor character, played by director Joe Russo, was in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment during a support group that some fans decried as only lip service to diversity.
Marvel's Hero Project, a Disney Plus series that profiles youth who are making a difference, also created a comic recently to honor Rebekah, a 12-year-old transgender activist who lobbied to make New Jersey's educational curriculum more inclusive.
In addition to LGBTQ representation, the studio is planning a wave of diversity for its films, called Phase 4, which also includes the first deaf and Asian-American superheroes.