James McAvoy wants to see more diversity in Marvel Comics movies.
The latest installment of the Marvel Comics franchise X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which is slated for release next month (June 19), will focus on Jean Grey, played by Sophie Turner, who loses control of her telepathic and telekinetic powers and becomes the Phoenix.
James, who reprises his role of Professor Charles Xavier in the flick, said that the film feels particularly appropriate for the moment.
“I don’t know it felt like a feminist script, but it certainly felt like we were in a film that was responding to a time where feminism is having a positive impact,” he told the Press Association. “I think that (director Simon Kinberg) wanted to and was able to – and felt that the market was ready for – do that kind of dynamic in the cast, which is a brilliant sign. I was pleased to be a part of that, and support Sophie and Simon in that.”
The It Chapter Two star went on to reflect on the lack of diversity in previous Marvel offerings and insisted the studio needs to keep pushing forward when it comes to representation.
“It’s nuts to think that even Marvel have only had, how many female-led (films?)… Is it one? Captain Marvel. And we’re getting Black Widow coming,” he considered. “It’s nuts to think even with that whole stable as well there’s so few. It’s good that things are changing, that representation just needs to carry on.”
The X-Men films are not currently part of the main Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, having long been distributed by 20th Century Fox rather than Marvel Studios. However, both studios are now owned by Disney, paving the way for future crossover projects.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which also features Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicholas Hoult, hits theaters June 5, 2019.