SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, in theaters now.
During Captain America's support group scene in Avengers: Endgame, the film's co-director Joe Russo appeared as the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first openly gay character. Now, he has addressed the role and how it reflects the MCU's new direction.
"Representation is really important for us in these movies and I think the thing we are happiest most about Marvel moving forward is it's becoming incredibly diverse," Russo told The Hollywood Reporter. "We've done four of these films and it was incredibly important to us to have a gay character represented somewhere in one of these four movies. We felt so strongly about it that I wanted to play that character in the film."
Russo's character was introduced in a scene where members of a support group talk about moving on after Thanos' Snap. The unnamed character talks about losing partner and going on a first date with someone new.
"On a story level, the reason that scene was important to us was when you have a plot point that involves half of all life dying, it's important to us that we really want to commit to that concept and carry that narrative forward," co-director Anthony Russo weighed in. "We had to have a voice in the movie that was outside of the Avengers."
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos.