Kevin Feige was recently interviewed by Entertainment Weekly and confirmed that the cast and crews of upcoming movies created by Marvel Studios will be more diverse.
You have Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, the first female title character in a Marvel Studios film, with Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck co-directing. Obviously, Ryan Coogler directing Black Panther was a landmark for representation. Will you get more women and people of color behind the camera as well as in front of the camera?
Feige confirmed that Marvel Studios will:
Yes. I think we’re seeing it shift from a very purposeful initiative to just a fact of life, to just a way of doing business. Then there are people we hired that we’re not ready to announce in all different capacities, particularly behind the camera. As Panther has so loudly declared, [representation] can only help you, can only help you tell unique stories, can only help you do things in a new, and unique, and fresh, and exciting way. If you do that, audiences will notice it, and appreciate it, and support it.
Feige and Marvel studios have been criticized recently for their lack of representation both on and off the screen. With almost twenty movies now, they are just now getting a female-led Captain Marvel movie, which is currently in production. Black Panther is also the first MCU film to star a person of color and have an overwhelmingly nonwhite cast. The MCU still has yet to explicitly show an LGBTQ character onscreen, something fans have been critical of for a while. Though characters, such as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok, have been confirmed to be queer by their actors, nothing has been explicitly shown on screen yet. Black Panther had an opportunity to show, if not hint at, a homosexual relationship between two members of the Dora Milaje, but that moment ended up being cut.
Hopefully we will see future films in the MCU with both more diverse cast and more diverse crew. A more diverse crew is just as important to the cast as they can bring valuable perspectives and storytelling to the forefront, while being individuals for children that reflect them to look up to.
In the same interview, Feige also may have hinted at a potential Namor movie, which could be an opportunity for Marvel Studios to do something similar to that of Black Panther but with a predominantly Asian cast.
Though we do not know exactly what Feige and Marvel Studios have in store for audiences in regard to increased diversity and representation besides what he said in the interview and the confirmation of a sequel to the financially and critically record-breaking Black Panther, it is good to know they are moving towards more diversity and representation for future films. Black Panther has overwhelmingly proven that people of color can sell well in film both domestically and internationally, hopefully leading to more representation and diversity in other studios and franchises in the future. Star Wars, for example, could take a few tips in this category. Though the franchise has made great films and shows, it is overwhelmingly white and male, especially in terms of the filmmakers behind the scenes.
Source: Entertainment Weekly