Light spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame.
Along with the Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Avengers: Endgame features what apparently consitutes the first openly gay character in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film, in a cameo from co-director Joe Russo.
Russo has a small non-superhero cameo as an openly gay man in a support group for survivors of "the Snap" led by Steve Rogers, as seen in an Endgame trailer, marking the first time an openly gay character has been portrayed in the MCU movies. The man talks about going on a date for the first time since the "decimation."
“Representation is really important,” Joe Russo told Deadline of the cameo. “It was important to us as we did four of these films, we wanted a gay character somewhere in them. We felt it was important that one of us play him, to ensure the integrity and show it is so important to the filmmakers that one of us is representing that. It is a perfect time, because one of the things that is compelling about the Marvel Universe moving forward is its focus on diversity.”
While Joe Russo believes the fact that the character is gay will get attention, he explained it isn't "where the scene started.” He explained the scene is just meant to tell the story of what's going on in the larger world and they regard the character as an everyman who has suffered from what Thanos did.
“We wanted it to be casual, with the fact that the character is gay tied into the fabric of the storytelling and representing what everyday life is,” he continued. “We’re trying to represent everyone in everyday life. These are global movies that reach a lot of people. They are important to a lot of people and everyone has the right to see themselves on the screen and identify somewhere.”
Valkyrie actor Tessa Thompson has repeatedly stated her character identifies as bisexual, though that has not been portrayed openly on film to date.
Openly gay characters, including superheroes, have appeared in MCU television shows in the recent past, although aside from the early seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. there has been very little connection between films and TV.
Back in April, Russo said a queer superhero would appear in the MCU "soon."
Avengers: Endgame is due out in North American theaters April 26.