“X-Men: Apocalypse” director Bryan Singer spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the recent outing of the younger version of original “X-Men” team member Iceman as a gay character and how that impacts the interpretation of the character’s film adaptation.
“I’m glad, I’m sure it’s very good for [Iceman],” Singer shared.
Referring to the allegory that can be drawn between Marvel’s mutants and the LGBT community, he added. “I spoke with Stan Lee about it years ago once, over lunch. I said to him, ‘Did the gay allegory ever enter the minds of you guys?’ I didn’t want to speak out of turn, if that’s not something he’s publicly spoken to. But he said, ‘Absolutely.’ He might have said that out of politeness towards me, but I believed him. And he’s a pretty open guy. I never felt like I had to tiptoe around him in terms of what I asked or what I said.”
As to how this outing affects his interpretation of the character on film, Singer said, “Well, I think it is interesting that in the early movies he develops a relationship with a girl who he is physically unable to touch. There’s something subtextual in that. I’m not sure if I necessarily intended it at the time, but there is something ironic about it in the first and second film — I’m referring to his relationship with Rogue, played by Anna Paquin. And in the third one, which is the film I didn’t direct, Iceman develops a relationship with Kitty Pryde, which I did address in ‘Days of Future Past,’ and which is even more coincidental because Ellen Page recently came out as gay. So it puts an even more humorous spin on the whole thing.”
“As a gay or bisexual guy, which is what I am, I don’t know if I’m the guy who at that moment in my career was ready to make an ‘issues’ film,” he explained. “So that scene where [Iceman] talks to his parents was blatant and meant for humor. And that was always something very specific about the X-Men, which related to the LGBT community. You’re born into a family or a neighborhood, which you do not identify with. A person of a certain religion or race is born into a community of similar faiths or physical attributes. But a LGBT person is born into a world — to use the example that X-Men uses — like a mutant. And of course the parents aren’t mutants, the brothers and sisters might not be mutants. And they feel a unique kind of aloneness.”
“X-Men: Apocalypse,” Singer’s next installment in the “X-Men” film franchise, arrives in theaters on May 27, 2016.
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