An actor from The Eternals has revealed that Brian Tyree Henry‘s character Phastos will be the first openly gay hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that the film will feature the MCU’s first gay kiss.
It wasn’t actually Henry who revealed the news, but rather actor Haaz Sleiman, who confirmed it in an interview with NewNowNext. While he did not reveal the name of his own character or the extent of his role, Sleiman said:
“I just shot a Marvel film with the first openly gay superhero, The Eternals. I’m married to the gay superhero Phastos, played by Atlanta’s Brian Tyree Henry, and we represent a gay family and have a child.”
When asked if the film will include a kiss, he said:
“Oh, yeah, absolutely, and it’s a beautiful, very moving kiss. Everyone cried on set. For me it’s very important to show how loving and beautiful a queer family can be. 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.”
Last year’s Avengers: Endgame featured director Joe Russo in a small role as the MCU’s first openly gay character, but this will be the first time such a character has appeared in a major role.
Phastos is one of The Eternals, a race of near-immortals created thousands of years ago with capabilities superior to those of humans. He is an engineer, whose powers include super strength, “cosmic energy manipulation” and the ability to levitate.
The film, which is set for release in November, also stars Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani, Kit Harington and Gemma Chan. Marvel also has Black Widow due for release in 2020.Image: Getty Images / Alberto E. Rodriguez