The upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home boasts many firsts; the first collaboration of Spider-Man and Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury, the first live-action appearance of long-time Spider-Man enemy Mysterio, portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal, and now, Far From Home will be the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film to cast transgender actors.
According to Advocate, fans noticed the landmark casting when a behind-the-scenes photograph of the Spider-Man movie being filmed in England, Czech Republic and Venice was released on Twitter.
not only that, but we have two trans actors playing students as well, one of which is a black man. ffh is going to be a diverse masterpiece https://t.co/4vSayiODb3— juliah will never recover (@spideystights) September 30, 2018
Actor Zach Barack (left) will portray a friend of Peter Parker and Tyler Luke Cunningham (right) is a featured extra. Both actors identify as trans, a casting decision which can be considered a big step for diversity and representation in big-budget films.
Ever since the award-winning 2018 FX series Pose, which featured transgender actors playing transgender characters, representation for those who identify as transgender has steadily increased in both film and television. In 2018, the CW series Supergirl cast transgender activist Nicole Maines in the role of Nia Nal for its fourth season. Nal is an ambitious reporter at CatCo whose descendant Nura Nal would become the precognitive Legionnaire known as Dream Girl. Maines' casting would make her the first transgender superhero on television.
Although the details for Barack and Cunningham’s gender identity has yet to be confirmed, their inclusion in the cast is a major milestone in transgender representation. MCU films are viewed by audiences all over the world and these casting opportunities offer positive representation, especially in countries where ignorance and transphobia are rampant.
Opening July 5, director Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Far from Home stars Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, JB Smoove, Jacob Batalon and Martin Starr, with Marisa Tomei and Jake Gyllenhaal.