Marvel Studios has ended the suspense and announced both the identity of the first openly gay character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the actor that will play him on screen in The Eternals.
Richard Madden, the acclaimed actor of films like Rocketman and the HBO series Game of Thrones will play Ikaris, a 20,000-year-old human augmented with cosmic energy. Ikaris spends milliannia hopping around the galaxy before returning to Earth as a superhero. According to legend within the Marvel universe, the character is actually the dove sent by God after destroying the world in the Noah’s Ark story.
Madden, who trained with the Royal Shakespeare Company, joins Oscar-winning queer actress Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Brian Tyree Henry, Barry Keoghan and Don Lee in the film for director Chloe Zhao.
Much rumor has swirled over the casting of The Eternals since Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced that the film would feature a gay leading character–the first-ever for the MCU. Casting calls also went out to a number of out-gay actors to test for the role, including Brian Jordan Alvarez, Wilson Cruz and Conrad Ricamora. Richard Madden has played a number of gay characters in films, most recently the music impresario John Reid in Rocketman. As for his own sexuality, Madden remains mum, though romantically he has been linked to actress Jenna Coleman and actor Brandon Flynn.
The Eternals hits the big screen in November 2020.
A few bonus pictures of Mr. Madden showing off his…credentials…