The director of Guardians of the Galaxy has hinted that a gay character is among the protagonists in the sequel.
James Gunn helmed the successful 2014 comic book blockbuster, which is focused on an ensemble of alien superheroes.
He is also in charge of upcoming sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which is released this week.
Speaking to press at the film’s launch, Gunn was asked if he would like to include a gay character in the franchise.
He said: “Absolutely. I would love to be able to.”
The director then teased that there might already be an LGBT character in the film.
He said: “We might have already done that. I say watch the movie. Check it out. See what you think.”
It’s unclear exactly which character he could be referring to – but a same-sex romance for raccoon Rocket or giant tree Groot seems unlikely, somewhat narrowing the options.
However, there are several characters whose romantic lives were not explored in the original film, including villain Nebula (Karen Gillan) and outlaw Yondu (Michael Rooker).
Sylvester Stallone is also rumoured to be making an appearance in the seuel (Spoilers!) as the superhero Starhawk, while Smallville’s Michael Rosenbaum is also playing an undisclosed role.
The hint came after another Marvel film was rumoured to be featuring a gay character.
Black Panther, to be released in February 2018, is about T’Challa, the superhero king and protector of fictional African nation Wakanda.
Early reports from the set suggest the film will include lesbian characters, appearing to take inspiriation from a comic released last year which explored a lesbian relationship.
Comic book spin-off World of Wakanda centred on the lesbian relationship between two members of the Black Panther’s female bodyguards. The book described itself as “a love story,” with “tenderness matched only by its brutality.”
The progress from Disney subsidiary Marvel comes after an infamous blink-and-you’ll-miss-it ‘gay moment’ in Disney blockbuster Beauty and the Beast.
The live-action remake was the first major Disney film to feature an unambiguously gay character, and smashed box office records despite an attempted evangelical boycott.
But in terms of an actual LGBT storyline, it disappointed fans.