It may have taken them many, many years, but it looks like the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is ready to fully embrace diversity. The biggest step in the right direction, of course, started with Black Panther in 2018. The film was written and directed by African Americans and had a mostly black cast as well. Early last year, we also saw the release of Captain Marvel, the MCU’s first female-led film, directed by a female. Outside of Black Panther and Captain Marvel, though, the MCU has mostly been directed by white males.
However, in a conversation with the New York Film Academy, Feige excitedly talked about how all of that is going to change. Feige first talked about the inclusion of more women directors.
Both films we have coming out in 2020 are directed by women. Two of the three Disney+ shows that I just mentioned [Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and Loki] directed by women. We’ve got three other shows that we’ve announced, but we haven’t announced the players. Spoiler alert: two out of three of them are women. It makes for better stories. I say, when you’re sitting at a table and if everybody looks like you? You’re in trouble. You’re not going to get the best story out of that.
A lot has been said about how Eternals, Marvel’s upcoming film directed by Chloe Zhao (an Asian American director), will feature the MCU”s first gay superhero. In the same conversation with the New York Film Academy, Feige was asked if there were any plans to introduce TRANSGENDER characters in the MCU as well. Feige said:
“Yes, absolutely, yes. Very soon. In a movie that we’re shooting right now.”
I believe Feige was referring to The Eternals in his quote above. As someone who has always clamoured for more diversity in my fantasy and comic book movies, this brings me nothing but absolute joy. However, there’s also the selfish part of me that’s a little bummed out because this would probably mean that The Eternals will be banned in Malaysia. I’m particularly excited for The Eternals, as it would also introduce the MCU’s first brown superhero in Kumail Nanjiani’s Kingo.
Lastly, Kevin Feige also talked about Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings:
“[The cast of the film will be] 98% Asian. Shangi-Chi‘s gonna be so much more than a kung fu movie, but it has elements of that, which is what we’re excited about.”