The speculation surrounding a gay superhero within the MCU and specifically its upcoming film Eternals, began after reports circulated that Marvel was looking to cast an openly gay man as the film's leading role. After Black Panther made history for being the first Marvel film with a black lead, and Captain Marvel making similarly progressive moves by showcasing a female protagonist, increasing LGBTQ representation in the MCU would signal a generational shift towards heightened diversity.
Although Alonso didn't confirm whether Eternals had established the film's protagonist, she did reiterate the franchise's commitment to casting the right talent. “We are going to cast the best ‘Eternals’ cast that we can and when we’re ready to announce it we promise you we will."
However, the production chief explained Marvel's commitment to inclusivity, calling on the franchise's diverse audience. "I’m so passionate about this I’ve got to tell you. Our entire success is based on people that are incredibly different. Why wouldn’t we? Why would we only want to be recognized by only one type of person? Our audience is global, is diverse, is inclusive," Alonso explained. "If we don’t do it that way for them, we will fail. If we don’t put pedal to the metal on the diversity and the inclusivity, we will not have continued success. Our determination is to have that for all of the people out there watching our movies."
Chloe Zhao who's directing the film, is the first woman of color to take the helm of one of the franchise's features, further cementing the MCU's move towards inclusion.