Eternals trailer offers glimpse at Marvel Cinematic Universe's first gay superhero

Brian Tyree Henry's Phastos marks the first time the MCU has depicted an LGBTQ hero's sexuality on screen.


Words: Will Stroude

Marvel's long-awaited Eternals film has received a brand new teaser trailer which gives fans a glimpse of the first out gay superhero to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

The sci-fiction blockbuster, which is set to arrive in US cinemas on 5 November 2021 as part of Phase Four of the MCU, stars Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie and Gemma Chan as members of an immortal alien family tasked with protecting humanity.

Directed by Chloé Zhao - whose recent film Nomadland was named Best Picture at the Oscars earlier this month - Eternals sees the superheroes emerge after thousands of years of hiding to save Earth from a villainous group known as the Deviants.

In a historic moment for the MCU, which has long faced criticism over its diversity record, Eternals will depict an out gay superhero on screen for the first time. 

Played by Atlanta star Brian Tyree Henry, Eternals member Phastos will be shown to have a husband and children at home, and will feature in the MCU's first on-screen same-sex kiss.

Brian Tyree Henry as gay superhero Phastos in Marvel's Eternals

Actor Haaz Sleiman, who plays Phastos’ husband in the film, previously revealed that shooting the groundbreaking kiss led to emotional scenes on the set of the big-budget movie.

"It’s a beautiful, very moving kiss. Everyone cried on set", Sleiman told Logo last year. "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 we’re 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."

The MCU has previously come close to depicting an LGBTQ superhero on screen in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, which featured bisexual comic book hero Valkyrie (played by Tessa Thompson). A scene confirming Valkyrie's sexuality was cut from the film's final edit, Thompson claimed at the time.

Watch the new teaser trailer for Marvel's Eternals below: