James Bond Gets a Good Gay
The existence of gay James Bond characters throughout the super spy’s film and book series has been fraught with queerbaiting and homophobic tropes, but Daniel Craig’s final spin as 007 looks to break that trend.
The latest Bond film “No Time to Die” includes a scene that appears to signal that Bond’s gadget and gizmo developer Q, portrayed by out gay actor Ben Whishaw, is gay, marking a first for the series. Nearly all other portrayals of LGBTQ or queer-coded characters in Bond-related media have had a villainous twinge, and none of Bond’s major allies have been depicted as LGBTQ.
The closest the series came previously to doing so was in creator Ian Fleming’s novel “Goldfinger” where Pussy Galore ultimately helped Bond after originally siding with the baddies. Galore’s portrayal as a lesbian, or coded lesbian in the case of the film adaptation, is rife with problematic ideas about queer female identity. The book portrays Galore as becoming a lesbian after experiencing sexual abuse from a man and the film shows her essentially converting to being a straight woman due to James Bond’s superior boning ability (gross).
Making Q gay represents a huge first for the franchise, but the scene itself, like other blockbuster films that have bragged about LGBTQ inclusion, is drawing criticism for playing coy with addressing Q’s identity. The scene, A dinner date interrupted by Bond and Moneypenny’s world-saving quest, only points to Q’s gayness by having Winshaw refer to a “he” who he expecting for the romantic evening.
The scene feels like another in a line of scenes that could easily be edited for markets that aren’t kind to media portrayals of LGBTQ people. But it also represents a positive step as the series slowly creeps toward better diversity and inclusion. Winshaw himself has advocated for a gay James Bond as Craig exits the franchise, telling Attitude, “I really believe that we should be working towards a world where anyone can play anything and it would be really thrilling if it didn’t matter about someone’s sexuality to take on a role like this.”
Venom Comes Out?
“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is set to hit theaters this weekend with its Spider-Man universe symbiote battle royale, but the film apparently packs some version of a “coming out” scene in between the clash.
In an interview with Uproxx, director Andy Serkis detailed that Venom, the alien symbiote that lives within Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock, will have a “coming out party” in a scene where the duo go to a rave that Serkis described as being based on an LGBTQ festival. In the scene, venom gives an impromptu speech to the crowd supporting LGBTQ rights in the only way a cantankerous alien would.
“Well, what is interesting is that it’s just like, here he is kind of, he says in the movie, ‘We must stop this cruel treatment of aliens,'” said Serkis. “‘You know, we all live on this ball of rock,’ you know? And so he inadvertently becomes a kind of… he’s speaking for the other. He’s speaking for freedom of the other.”
Serkis also stated that the much of the film focuses on the “love affair” between Venom and Brock. “Absolutely they do love each other,” he added. “That’s the kind of the center of the movie is that love affair, that central love affair.”
Marvel’s Eternals And Queer Family
“Marvel’s Eternals” is poised to offer LGBTQ audiences its most tangible bit of representation yet in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film will feature the franchise’s first out LGBTQ superhero in the form of Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos, but it purportedly goes deeper than surface-level portrayals Disney properties have included and celebrated amid criticism.
Phastos has a husband and children in the film, meaning the film will be the rare blockbuster that depicts an LGBTQ family. Actor Haaz Sleiman, who portrays Phastos’ husband in the film, expressed excitement at being part of what actually feels like a landmark moment for mainstream cinema.
“I feel lucky, and I’m grateful,” Sleiman told Out Magazine. “I got to humanize an LGBTQ+ family and show how beautiful they are … I think queer families, personally, are way healthier than regular families, in my opinion. We stay together and there’s so much love.”
Sleiman has helmed multiple roles since coming out in 2017 that have served similar purposes. He won a 2021 GLAAD Media Award for his role in an episode of “Little America” titled “The Son” where he portrayed a queer Syrian man seeking asylum in the United States. Sleiman is bullish on the continued expansion of how media portrays LGBTQ individuals.
“We’re evolving,” he said. “The most exciting thing is the stories that are being told in television and film about LGBTQ people … A lot of shows are being more thoughtful about portraying queer people in a more fuller way, not so one-dimensional or very stereotyped.”