Disney may have the "It's a Small World" ride, but there is no denying that its current roster of #superheroes on film is hardly what you would call diverse. We may tackle green-skinned assassins, talking raccoons, and even a dancing tree, but even the assumption that someone somewhere in the #MCU prefers the company of the same sex brings the internet into meltdown mode.
With its wholesome American backdrop of actors like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth, Marvel isn't exactly the most diverse when it comes to its film slate. Given that the comic books contain a plethora of races and sexualities, how much longer before Disney starts embrace the source material and fully expand their horizons?
A New Dawn Is Coming
Just as Wonder Woman is doing big things for DC and women in cinema, Ryan Coogler's #BlackPanther is expected to do the same for Marvel and race. While #ChadwickBoseman's acrobatic Wakandan is sure to represent a landmark film for the #MCU, we sadly shouldn't expect it to become the norm to see the whole diverse roster of heroes getting their own equal rights representation. Speaking to Complex.com, Marvel's executive producer Nate Moore emphasized that we will still be taking baby steps in diversifying our heroes:
"We want to tell the best stories with the strongest developed characters and scripts that we can. Our biggest concern is that, in trying to get more characters out there, we rush something that’s not ready and we deliver something that’s not up to our standards. So it’s less about us rushing a character that’s diverse to get it out quickly and more about figuring out how to do it right."
Sure, Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury has been a staple of the universe since the start of the MCU in 2008, but you don't see him getting a solo film anytime soon. The pieces are already there, but it is just a case of slotting them into place. Certainly Boseman's portrayal of T'Challa and #BrieLarson suiting up to play Captain Marvel are a step in the right direction, but what does the future hold? Could Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie be the next person to wield Mjolnir, will Anthony Mackie become the successor in holding Captain America's shield, and will we ever get that Black Widow solo movie?
Moore served on both Civil War and Black Panther, which to date are the most ambitious films in the MCU. However, as we gather pretty much everyone under the sun for #InfinityWar, there are worries that some characters will become lost in the furore. To out a hero, have a lesser-known character take on the mantle of an already established favorite, or to try and craft a female-first film, Infinity War hardly seems like the right time. But is Marvel right to handle its marginalized heroes with kid gloves?
Not much is known about the current plans for Marvel's Phase 4, but expect the MCU to keep rolling through phase after phase. If this really is the case, you have to expect Riri Williams to take over from Tony Stark or Amadeus Cho to slip on Hulk's shorts somewhere down the line. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the ride!
Check out the Tessa Thompson in action during the Thor: Ragnarok trailer and don't forget our poll below!
Is the MCU right to slowly diversify its heroes?