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The Case for Making Captain Marvel Queer

The directors of Captain Marvel discussed Carol's sexuality in a new interview.

Lashana Lynch and Brie Larson star as Maria Rambeau and Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel.

Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the directors of Captain Marvel, achieved several firsts with their foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Boden was the first woman to direct a film in the MCU, Captain Marvel was the first female hero to headline her own movie, and the film had the rare distinction of being one of the only MCU films without a romantic subplot.

That last distinction, coupled with Carol Danvers’ Big Queer Energy and her close friendship with Maria Rambeau, has pinged our gaydar for some time now. In a new interview, Boden and Fleck discuss broaching Carol’s sexuality, and where it fits into her overall character arc. Fleck said of Danvers:

“That was one of those things when we were in the writing stage, and the sky was the limit and the movie could be anything, we were discussing: ‘Are we going to get into any type of romantic relationship with this character?’ It wasn’t like there was a philosophical opposition to pursuing that storyline; it just came down to real estate in the story we were telling. We knew we were telling a story of self discovery and we wanted friendship, and her friendship with Maria, to be a huge part of that. There was no room for any romantic storyline for us. I know people have made their own conclusions about that and I think that’s part of the fun of making these movies is that they become the audience’s movies and they get to create any kind of narrative they want for what’s happening off the screen. For us, as storytellers, it’s a friendship and a story about that and self discovery.”

It’s a diplomatic answer to the question of Carol’s sexuality, the vagaries of which has allowed fandom to run wild with possibilities. There has been fan art and fanfic about Carol/Valkyrie, which both Larson and Thompson have supported.

Marvel head Kevin Feige has previously discussed the inclusion of queer characters in the MCU, revealing in an interview with The Playlist that there would be new queer characters joining the MCU alongside ones we’ve already met.

We now know that the new character is the as yet unnamed gay Asian male lead in The Eternals, while the ones we’ve already met likely include Okoye and Valkyrie, both of whom had their queer scenes left on the cutting room floor.

Larson, for her part, is clearly open to the idea of a queer Carol Danvers. In an interview with Variety, she said “I don’t understand how you could think that a certain type of person isn’t allowed to be a superhero. So to me it’s like, we gotta move faster. But I’m always wanting to move faster with this stuff.”

Time will tell whether or not Carol Danvers is queer, but the character is already primed to be an LGBTQ icon. But we’ll have to wait until Phase Four to see how this all plays out.

(via ComicBookMovie, image: Marvel)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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