Last summer, Marvel head Kevin Feige cleared up some confusion about when audiences could expect to see the studio’s first queer superhero fighting to save the world on the big screen. After initial reports that Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie would explore her canonical bisexuality in Thor: Love & Thunder, Feige explained that the MCU’s first gay hero would technically arrive in Eternals.
In a new interview with Logo, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan star Haaz Sleiman revealed that he’s actually slated to play the man married to Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos – one of the titular Eternals – and in the film, the pair will parent a child together.
Sleiman explained that in addition to depicting what married life is like for the couple, Eternals also features a moment where Phastos and his husband kiss. The kiss, Sleiman said, takes place during a moving scene that left everyone on set crying, which he saw as a testament to how important the film’s approach to queer representation will be.
“For me it’s very important to show how loving and beautiful a queer family can be,” he said. “Brian Tyree Henry is such a tremendous actor and brought so much beauty into this part, and at one point I saw a child in his eyes, and I think it’s important for the world to be reminded that we in the queer community were all children at one point. We forget that because we’re always depicted as sexual or rebellious. We forget to connect on that human part.”
Given Marvel’s previous reluctance to barely acknowledge the existence of queer people in its films, Sleiman’s revelation is rather significant – especially considering that, historically, the majority of queer characters have been and continue to be portrayed by white actors. What isn’t all that surprising is that Phastos is going to have a relatively traditional nuclear family, because, hey, this is a Disney production after all.
Eternals hits cinemas November 6.
Featured image: Brad Barket, Frazer Harrison (Getty)