With the recent reviews and box-office figures of its latest release Captain America: Civil War scoring so well, it's safe to say that Marvel is certainly continuing its reign as a studio in charge of one of the strongest − and most popular − franchises. Since 2012's Avengers Assemble, films in its Cinematic Universe have all grossed $500 million (£345m) worldwide, while stand-outs Iron Man 3 and Avengers: Age Of Ultron have gone on to surpass the $1 billion mark.
And as the Spider-Man saying goes: "With great power comes great responsibility"; with such widespread success also comes the ability to take more risks when it comes to storytelling too. It is something that Civil War directors Anthony and Joe Russo believe could happen when it comes to future movies in the ongoing series, specifically when it comes to introducing LGBT characters.
Talking in an interview with Collider, the Russo brothers − who are also set to helm upcoming instalments Avengers: Infinity War Parts I and II − were asked directly whether audiences should expect to see such "diversification" on screen, with Joe answering positively that it's certainly possible.
"I think the chances are strong. I mean, it's incumbent upon us as storytellers who are making mass-appeal movies to make mass-appeal movies, and to diversify as much as possible," he told the publication.
"It's sad in the way that Hollywood lags behind other industries so significantly, one, because you think that it would be a progressive industry, and two, it's such a visible industry. So I think it's important that on all fronts we keep pushing for diversification because then the storytelling becomes more interesting, more rich and more truthful."
Anthony also weighed in on why they are able, as film-makers, to be more forward-thinking when it comes to future outings thanks to the success of past movies that haven't necessarily abided by the cookie-cutter superhero movie template.
"I think this is a philosophy of Marvel, in success it becomes easier to take risks," he told Collider. "There's a lot of unconventional ideas in Civil War in terms of what people's expectations of a superhero movie are, but I think we were able to do that because Winter Soldier worked and Marvel's been working in general, so there's more of a boldness in terms of what you can try and where you can go. So I think that's very hopeful for all of us moving forward that bolder and bolder choices can be made."
While cinema-goers could see the inclusion of a LGBT character in upcoming movie instalments, characters we are unlikely to see are ones from the Marvel TV universe, according to the filmmakers. Speaking with with Italian site BadTaste.it, the Russo's stated: "The Marvel Cinematic Universe is enormous. Just think of all the characters that haven't been introduced yet that are going to be introduced by the time that we're working on Infinity War.
"We have a tough task just telling the stories of the characters who exist [on the big screen] in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, let alone adding the entire Marvel Television universe. Anything is possible in Marvel. It's certainly something we're considering. But our focus is on telling the stories of the characters that currently exist on the movie side."
Captain America: Civil War is currently showing in UK cinemas. It will be released in the US on Friday 6 May.
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