In an interview with the LA Times, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige patted himself on the back and said the diversification of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has only just begun. In fact, it only took 18 films for the lead to be played back a black actor and only 21 films for the lead to be a woman. Now that’s progress. It was also recently announced that Marvel’s first Asian superhero installment, Shang-Chi, has picked up a director in Destin Daniel Cretton.
Feige chalked up this commitment to diversity by channeling the legacy of Stan Lee.
“We’re just the stewards, the current stewards, of these characters that he and his co-creators brought together — and all of them were created in that spirit of those ‘Soapboxes,’” Feige said. “That was very much what Stan’s worldview was, and that’s what these movies represent.
“Because that is — how do I put this — it’s the right way to be. It is the way the world should be. And one of the great things about movies is you get to showcase the world that you want to reflect and the way you want the world to be. And that’s what he did with these characters.”
Feige even touched on why it took ten years and 18 films for one to feature a black lead actor.
“I wouldn’t have had it any other way because the timing does work; I sometimes joke that Ryan Coogler would still be in high school or elementary school if we tried to hire him to do ‘Black Panther’ early on in the MCU.”
That’s right, Kevin, timing is everything. DC, take note. The best time to release a black-led movie is 10 years into a franchise. Then when asked why it took so long, make a joke to ease the tension.