Eternals Receives Mature Rating in Russia for Openly Gay Superhero

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Eternals Receives Mature Rating in Russia for Openly Gay Superhero

Seemingly due to the movie’s gay superhero, Eternals has received an 18+ rating in Russia, making it the first MCU film to get a mature label.

Marvel’s Eternals gets saddled with a mature rating in Russia because of its openly gay superhero. Following the blockbuster success of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the MCU will once again return to theaters in November with Eternals. The millennia-spanning film was originally scheduled to premiere last year, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed it to 2021. Just like Shang-ChiEternals will receive a theaters-only release and hopefully continue to further the domestic box office’s recovery. Aiding the movie’s prospects are its star-studded cast and director, Chloé Zhao, who made history earlier this year by winning Best Director at the Oscars.

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Eternals stands to be among the MCU’s most diverse projects yet, between its inclusive ensemble and its firsts. In addition to having the franchise’s first deaf hero in Lauren Ridloff’s Makkari, Eternals holds its first openly gay character. Brian Tyree Henry plays Phastos, one of the Eternals who creates the team’s weapons and tech. He’s confirmed to be married to another man, and the two will reportedly share a kiss onscreen. After years of fans calling for genuine LGBTQ representation in the MCU, Eternals has the potential to be a major step forward.

And yet, it’s receiving some slight pushback from Russia over this. According to Kino Metro, a Russian film site, Eternals has been rated 18+, which is the country’s mature equivalent and considered to be “prohibited for children.” For comparison’s sake, per The Direct, most MCU films receive a 12+ (The Avengers, Ant-Man and the Wasp) or a 16+ (Avengers: Endgame, Black Widow) in Russia, making Eternals the first to go higher. The country has done this before over gay content in movies, as it gave Power Rangers an 18+ rating as well in 2017.

Whether this also means Russia will cut some of the scenes from Eternals that outwardly depict Phastos’ sexuality remains to be seen, though there has been precedence for this in other countries. For example, the brief lesbian kiss in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was removed in countries like the United Arab Emirates back in 2019. Censorship like this or rating a movie higher simply because it includes LGBTQ content is disappointing, particularly since projects with heterosexual romances never get the same treatment.

Nevertheless, Eternals is now well on its way to release. The movie, which boasts a cast including those like Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, and Salma Hayek, is one of the most anticipated of the fall and promises to be unlike past Marvel movies. In regards to its inclusive group of characters, Eternals comes months after Loki confirmed Tom Hiddleston’s title character is bisexual, a move that was praised by fans but also seen by some as not nearly enough in LGBTQ representation. Eternals can continue to push the franchise towards true positive change, though it will be up to the fans to decide if it is a success in that area.

Source: Kino Metro, The Direct

Rachel LaBonte is a news, feature, and movie review writer for Screen Rant with a deep passion for film and television. A graduate of Emerson College, she majored in Media Arts Production while specializing in screenwriting. She’s been a writer ever since high school when she realized she was rather good at it and joined as many entertainment news clubs as she could while in school. Most notably, she wrote for Emerson’s website Emertainment Monthly, and one of her film reviews won an Evvy (Emerson’s student awards) for Best Review. Her deep love of movies led to her working at a movie theater for five years, which she loved despite the angry customers. An avid reader who constantly buys books before reading the ones she already owns, Rachel is a huge fan of superheroes (especially of the Marvel variety) and wizards and will likely never be able to catch up on all the movies/TV shows she longs to watch.

Eternals stands to be among the MCU’s most diverse projects yet, between its inclusive ensemble and its firsts. In addition to having the franchise’s first deaf hero in Lauren Ridloff’s Makkari, Eternals holds its first openly gay character. Brian Tyree Henry plays Phastos, one of the Eternals who creates the team’s weapons and tech. He’s confirmed to be married to another man, and the two will reportedly share a kiss onscreen. After years of fans calling for genuine LGBTQ representation in the MCU, Eternals has the potential to be a major step forward.

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