entertainment

Marvel Studios Boss says America Chavez's sexuality isn't a focus of Dr. Strange 2

Kevin Feige has said: "she's a 14-year-old girl figuring out this very traumatic element of her life, which is not the LGBTQ issue, it's the fact that she keeps being tossed around the Multiverse multiple, multiple times."

2022-05-03

Word: Emily Maskell; pictures: Walt Disney Studios

Marvel Studios' head honcho, Kevin Feige, has indicated that the upcoming flick, Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, won't explore the queerness of its new lesbian hero, America Chavez. 

In comments that are likely to disappoint fans eager to see greater LGBTQ representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Feige has said the character's sexuality won't be a focus.

American actress, Xochitl Gomez, 16, will play a 14-year-old America Chavez in the Dr. Strange sequel. 

"It is not any one thing that defines any one character"

As reported by Comicbook.com, Feige has said: "It's important, as we always say, that these films present the world as it is, and the world outside your window, as they used to say in publishing."

Referring to Chavez's sexuality he added: "That aspect of America's character is from the comics. We always want to adapt them as well and as truthfully as we can."

"I think when people see the movie, much like it is in life, it is not any one thing that defines any one character," Feige continued. 

Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez in Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Photo: Walt Disney Studios)

"As Xochitl said, she's a 14-year-old girl figuring out this very traumatic element of her life, which is not the LGBTQ issue, it's the fact that she keeps being tossed around the Multiverse multiple, multiple times.

"Being truthful to that and showcasing that, and that is not what the movie is about, but it is an important part of the character she becomes in the comics. We wanted to touch upon that," said Feige.

Addressing the character's sexuality herself during a recent press junket for Dr. Strange Xochitl has said: "America represents so many people and I feel like with her on the screen, so many people are going to feel represented and it's important that the MCU has America in this movie and she's a very important part of the story.

"I feel like people, one way or another, are going to see themselves on screen with her."

Last year Feige addressed the importance of depicting Marvel Comics' LGBTQ characters and stories.

He said: "Representation is important across the board, and the comics have charted, you know, charts the path in almost all ways for what we do in the MCU, and in the comics, there are many LGBTQ characters and we want to showcase that on the screen as well."

Disney has previously run into roadblocks with films featuring LGBTQ+ moments being cut or films being banned entirely.

Reports suggest, however, that no edits to The Multiverse of Madness will be made. Saudi Arabia made a request to cut a 12-second scene in which Gomez’s character refers to her "two moms," but that has so far been refused.  

Marvel and Disney have also encountered criticism over their LGBTQ representation before. After 2021's Eternals included the franchise's first gay superhero, Phastos as well as his husband and son, the film was blasted for its "surface level" representation by Ben Roberts, the head of the BFI. 

The decision to include Loki's bisexuality and gender fluidity in the Disney+ series of the same name was similarly lambasted as "pathetic" by Russell T. Davies.

Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in UK cinemas on Thursday 5 May.

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