*Incredibly mild spoiler for Avengers: Endgame ahead*
Avengers: Endgame flew into theaters last night. In one early scene, at a support group led by Steve Rogers (we got a glimpse of it in the Endgame Super Bowl spot), a man shares that he lost his male partner during the Decimation.
This is notable for two reasons: First, the man is played by Joe Russo, one of Endgame‘s co-directors. And, more importantly, that man is the first openly gay character to ever appear in a Marvel or Disney movie.
The Russo brothers had teased that the MCU’s first gay character would appear in the movie, but most fans were underwhelmed by the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it feel of the moment.
They really prevented all those other characters from being openly gay just so a white man could be the first gay character in the mcu pic.twitter.com/Uq1Ad5Q3wB
— fightmemoreo (@SoHelpMeKanye) April 25, 2019
LMAOOOO SERIOUSLY?!! I saw an article with a big headline about first openly gay MCU character, I was like oh wow rly???? Bruh some unnamed man who shows up for five seconds to say “I HAVE A HUSBAND” doesn’t mean shit, it’s just a blatant “we’re so inclusive” pat on the back
— alice ✈️ 29 (@bananyabai) April 26, 2019
just found out who the gay mcu character is pic.twitter.com/5aKUC2AN5D
— caitlin / got 803 spoilers (@nicominoruin) April 25, 2019
Me: googles “who was the “first openly gay” MCU character” they kept teasing in promotions-
— ✨ Corvin ✨ (@CorvinJLyn) April 26, 2019
Speaking to Deadline, the Russo brothers gave their side of the story, explaining how and why the scene came about.
“The fact that the character is gay will get attention but it isn’t where the scene started. When you have a story point that includes killing half of all humans on Earth, you’re telling a bigger story than the Avengers. So that scene was important to us in telling the story of the larger world. We wanted to have a voice that was talking about the experience of people that went beyond the Avengers. That’s why we felt we really needed it in the movie. Otherwise, it just became too hermetic and insular. That character that Joe is playing really came from that point of view, him being an everyman who has suffered from Thanos’ act.”
And Joe said:
“We wanted it to be casual, with the fact that the character is gay tied into the fabric of the storytelling and representing what everyday life is. We’re trying to represent everyone in everyday life. These are global movies that reach a lot of people. They are important to a lot of people and everyone has the right to see themselves on the screen and identify somewhere.”
Regardless, this is an interesting (albeit small) first step toward what many at Marvel have promised will be a more inclusive future for the MCU.