'Empire' creator Lee Daniels said he's been struggling to make a gay superhero movie for years but 'maybe they'll give it to a white guy'
- In an interview with Insider, Oscar-nominated director
Lee Danielstold Insider that he has been trying to make a gaysuperhero movie for "quite a while."
- Daniels said: "I've talked about it with some people. Maybe some white filmmaker will be able to do it. Maybe they'll give it to a white guy."
- There have been no gay characters in superhero movies as of yet, but the MCU revealed Valkyrie to be bisexual, and will reportedly feature a gay couple in "The Eternals."
- Daniels told Insider that he isn't deterred by knockbacks: "That's the journey that I've had as a gay Black filmmaker. So, I will get it done, but in my own way and in my own time."
Lee Daniels, the Oscar-nominated director of "Precious," said that he has been trying to make a superhero movie with gay characters for a long time, but has so far struggled to get it off the ground.
In an interview with Insider, the creator of Emmy-nominated TV show "Empire" said: "I have been trying to get a superhero movie going for quite a while. At the height of 'Empire,' I was trying to get a superhero movie going — a gay superhero movie going."
"I've talked about it with some people," Daniels told Insider. "Maybe some white filmmaker will be able to do it. Maybe they'll give it to a white guy."
Daniels, who earned two Oscar nominations for 2009's "Precious" (for best director and best picture), didn't specify what sort of superhero movie he wanted to make, or which studio or people he has spoken to.
There have been no gay superheroes movie yet, nor has there been prominent characters who are out as gay or queer in any superhero film. However, the MCU's Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson, has been revealed as Marvel's first LGBTQ superhero — she is apparently bisexual.
Furthermore, there are reports that in the upcoming MCU movie "The Eternals," Brian Tyree Henry and Haaz Sleiman will play husbands in the film, and will even have a child together. These characters will also be the first gay characters to kiss in a major superhero film.
While there has been a small increase in studios hiring people of colour directing major Hollywood franchises, there is still a clear disproportion between the number of Black and POC directors hired to helm studio movies and the number of white directors hired, as Daniels referenced.
Only two of the MCU's 23 films so far were directed by people of color: Ryan Coogler's "Black Panther" and Taika Waititi's "Thor: Ragnarok." Meanwhile, in the DCEU, Cathy Yan directed "Birds of Prey," and James Wan directed "Aquaman." Also, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" was co-directed by Peter Ramsey.
According to Indie Wire, 80 percent of film directors at the studio level are white men, despite white men only making up a third of the US population.
However, Daniels told Insider that he isn't deterred when he faces knockbacks or resistance from studios. Instead, he focuses on getting the job done himself.
"Anything I want done, I do it myself. It's not like I rely on anybody to do a film. It takes time. I've learned. In my 30s I was frustrated, in my 40s. But whatever I want done, it will be done," Daniels said. "That's the journey that I've had as a gay Black filmmaker. So, I will get it done, but in my own way and in my own time."
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