Brian Tyree Henry is playing MCU’s first gay superhero in The Eternals, claims Haaz Sleiman

By: PTI | Los Angeles |

Published: February 14, 2020 2:36:23 pm

Brian Tyree Henry The Eternals gay Haaz Sleiman The Eternals is being directed by Chloe Zhao and will release worldwide in November this year. (Brian Tyree Henry/Haaz Sleiman/Instagram)

Actor Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos in Marvel Studios big budget film The Eternals will be the first LGBTQ character of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), his co-star Haaz Sleiman has revealed.

Henry, best known for starring in movies such as If Beale Street Could Talk, Widows and Joker, is starring alongside Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan and Kit Harington in the much-awaited film.

The project, being helmed by Chloe Zhao, will release worldwide in November this year.

Sleiman, who has starred in movies such as The Visitor and Those People, told New Now Next that he is playing the husband of Henry’s character, who will be the first gay superhero of the MCU.

“I just shot a Marvel film with the first openly gay superhero, ‘The Eternals’. I’m married to the gay superhero Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry, and we represent a gay family and have a child,” the 43-year-old actor said.

Sleiman also said that the film will also feature a kiss between their characters, which he described as “beautiful” and “very moving”.

“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,” Sleiman added.

The actor’s comments assume significance as Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige had recently teased that the studio plans to introduce LGBTQ characters into the MCU soon.

“Yes, absolutely, yes… And very soon. In a movie that we’re shooting right now,” the producer had said.

Though Feige did not reveal the name of the project that will introduce a LGBTQ character, fans started speculating that he may have been referring to The Eternals.

Marvel Studios has been making efforts to incorporate more diversity in its films after the success of “Black Panther”, which featured a virtually all-black cast, and its first woman-fronted superhero movie “Captain Marvel”.

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Avengers: Endgame, which became the highest grossing movie of all-time, had featured the MCU’s first gay character, a cameo by director Joe Russo.

In 2020, the studio has two releases — Scarlett Johansson-starrer Black Widow and The Eternals — which have been helmed by women directors.

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