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Things We Saw Today: Eternals Teaser Introduces Marvel’s First Onscreen Queer Couple

Phastos + Hot Husband forever.

We’re a month out from the premiere of Marvel’s Eternals, which promises to be the most inclusive MCU entry to date. The latest teaser introduces us to Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) and his husband, played by Lebanese actor Haaz Sleiman (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Little America). The duo will break barriers as the first gay onscreen couple in the MCU. In their brief appearance in the trailer the married duo are joined by their son, who is excited to meet Sersi (Gemma Chan) and Ikaris (Richard Madden), exclaiming “Dad, I saw him on TV with a cape shooting laser beams!”, to which Madden’s Ikaris replies, “I don’t wear a cape.”

While we don’t yet know the name of Sleiman’s character, the actor discussed his groundbreaking role in an interview with CBR, where he said,

“It’s my first Marvel film, so of course, I’m excited. My gut feeling is you’ll be so proud,” Sleiman said. “What Marvel has been able to accomplish, I’m so proud of them because they approached it in a very thoughtful way, and Phastos is one of the biggest superheroes in the film. I’m his husband, an architect; we have a child. Even though I wished I was the superhero, because when will we see an Arab Muslim openly gay actor playing a superhero? I can’t wait to see it.”

Sleiman added that the couple share a kiss in the film, saying “It’s a beautiful, very moving kiss. 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.”

Expectations are high for the film, especially for director Chloé Zhao, who took home an Academy Award this year for her stunning work directing Nomadland. And an onscreen queer couple is long overdue for the MCU, which has tried (and failed) to incorporate queer characters in their films. We’re excited to see how it all turns out, but our expectations are tempered. Given the film’s massive cast, we can surmise that these scenes of Phastos and Mr. Phastos will be brief, but hopefully they will do a lot with their (expected) short screen time.

(image: Marvel Studios)

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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, son, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. 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.