The Eternals: this revolutionary scene at Marvel moved the whole team

The Eternals marks a turning point in the Marvel Universe with the presence of its first openly gay superhero. The team of the film directed by Chloé Zhao tells how the sequences, including a particular one, particularly moved them.

Be careful, spoilers. It is advisable to have seen The Eternals before continuing to read this article.

In theaters since December 3 in French theaters, Les Éternels marks a turning point in the MCU with the introduction of new superheroes, hidden on Earth for millennia to protect humanity. This group of cosmic beings is an opportunity to tell powerful stories with characters from various origins with different life paths.

Among the Eternals, we find a hearing-impaired superheroine Makkari, played by the hearing-impaired actress Lauren Ridloff, seen in The Walking Dead, but also a homosexual superhero, Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta). The latter is the first openly gay superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Phastos, the MCU’s first gay superhero

In the film, after destroying the Deviants with his companions, Phastos sided with and started a family with her husband Ben, played by Haaz Sleiman. Disney and Marvel Studios have therefore taken a big step forward by portraying a same-sex family in one of the films of one of their most lucrative and prolific mainstream franchises.

The eternals
Walt Disney Germany

That’s not all, since The Eternals also features the very first gay kiss in the Marvel universe. As the Deviants return to Earth, Phastos resolves to follow his former cohorts to save Earth and says goodbye to her husband with a tender kiss. Haaz Sleiman confided in 2020 to Logo that this scene had aroused a lot of emotion on the set:

“It was a beautiful and very moving kiss. Everyone cried on set. For me, it’s very important to show how beautiful and loving a queer family can be. Brian Tyree Henry is a really great actor who can be. brought so much beauty into her role.

And at one point I saw a child’s soul in his eyes and it’s very important for the world to remember that people in the queer community have all been children at some point. We tend to forget it because we are always portrayed as sexualized or rebellious beings. We forget to connect with our part of humanity. “

The importance of authenticity

For Chloe Zhao, the key word during the kiss scene was authenticity, as she explained to Variety : “I think finding authenticity in times like this is crucial for me, so it doesn’t feel forced and you can actually relate to them. That’s the most important thing. It’s not about not just being the first. It’s about how you actually feel about them, whether you’re gay or straight or whatever. “

The eternals: this revolutionary scene at marvel moved the whole team
Walt Disney Germany

According to the director, actor Brian Tyree Henry brought a lot to this goodbye and kiss scene by creating a real bond with his partners by improvising in particular the jokes he threw at his fictional son in order to create a dynamic. And the freedom given to the actors created a real emotion dear to Chloé Zhao:

“We all felt something when we were there. I’m happy for Brian. Happy for everyone involved. And happy for everyone who goes to see this. You know, people who aren’t necessarily like Brian, but who just feel a moment of real human connection and it just happens to be two people of the same sex. “

Opportunities previously missed

The LGTBQIA + community has often felt aggrieved with big statements from Marvel Studios executives announcing more representation in the franchise’s films that did not really lead to anything concrete.

We remember in particular the outcry of the Russo brothers who announced the presence of an openly gay character in Avengers: Endgame. It turned out that it was Joe Russo who played this very, very secondary character and he didn’t appear for more than a minute in the movie during a group therapy sequence.

There are also the cases of Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), who could have been the first lesbian superheroine in the Marvel Universe in theaters. But according to Mary Livanos, the director of production and development at Marvel Studios and producer of Captain Marvel had told INSIDE that it had not been possible to explore Carol Danvers’ sexuality in the film:

“It was a film about self-discovery and how Carol was going to find herself with herself. So, in making the film, we felt there was no place in the narrative to tell. this story.”

The eternals: this revolutionary scene at marvel moved the whole team
Chuck Zlotnick © Marvel Studios 2019

While some fans felt that Carol’s relationship with pilot Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) was more platonic, others created fanart thinking that Captain Marvel and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) might be romantically involved in Endgame, which was not the case. But if statements made at Comic-Con are to be believed, Valkyrie’s bisexuality will be brought up in Thor: Love And Thunder.

Recently, there was a half-hearted assertion that Loki (Tom Hiddleston) was bisexual in the Disney + series dedicated to him. During a discussion with Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) about their romantic pasts, the God of Mischief makes it clear that he had suitors and suitors when he was Prince of Asgard.

With The Eternals, Marvel Studios seems to have finally wanted to take the plunge and offer more representation to the LGBTQIA + community with a gay superhero and his family. It remains to be seen whether other characters, already established or new, will have the same exposure as Phastos within the MCU.

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