After the phenomenal success of 'Wonder Woman' in 2017, 'Aquaman' in 2018, and now 'Shazam!', it seems that DC is on a roll. The latest superhero film to be released by the studios was such a wild success that Warner has already confirmed a sequel, less than a week after its initial release.
As always, fans have been sharing their thoughts and theories about the film on Twitter and, in an exclusive interview with eCartelera (our Spanish site), Marta Milans (who played the role of Rosa Vasquez, Billy Batson's foster mother) has confirmed one of the most popular theories. Although the full interview will be coming soon, we are able to share this exclusive advance in which the actress confirms that one of Billy's foster siblings, the silent Pedro Peña, is gay.
The character, played by Jovan Armand in his child form, and D.J. Cotrona as an adult superhero, caught the attention of some of the most attentive fans in one particular scene when the siblings end up in a strip club: as they leave the club the teenager declares, "not my thing". This offhand remark sparked a debate on Twitter, with many believing that the character was hinting towards his sexuality.
"You've guys have got it, that's just right. It's the right sort of introduction and it fills me with pride because it is done in such an elegant way," Milans told the journalist at eCartelera. She took this moment to praise the diversity within the fictional family. "I have a black daughter, who is absolutely marvellous, an Asian son, Pedro, who is hispanic, I have a child will a physical disability. This is what I want future of the world to be like, like we saw in 'Black Panther'," Milans explained. "That wasn't done in Hollywood before because nobody thought that a film with only black people would succeed, but it ended up being the first superhero film to win an Oscar."
She explained her dislike of labels: "what we have to aspire towards is a world in which it is no longer a case of "this one is black, this one is gay, this one is trans, this one is Asian"... no, it's "this is Pepita López, this one is called Rosa Vasquez, this one is called Pedro Something-or-other"... and they are people, full stop. Just people who like one thing or another, or belong to this religion, or come from this background or are this race. It is not what defines the person."
As her first major studio production, the actress highlighted the "power" that large studios, like Marvel and Warner, have to normalise and address topics of racial diversity and homosexuality. With regards to 'Shazam!' she concluded, saying: "I think it's lovely that it is presented through the children's personalities and characteristics, because at the end of the day they're all children and there is this innocence in each one of them which gives them space to be who they are without being judged or criticised".
What Does Twitter Think?
It was not only the actress who wanted to celebrate the diversity in David F. Sandberg's new superhero film, and fans of DC have taken to twitter to praise this step towards more diverse cinema.
#Shazam Spoilers? J. Rafell (@Jemo009) 7 de abril de 2019
I loved that DC introduced a gay latino superhero in the big screen...Hello Pedro!
Ok so now that Shazam is officially out (pun intended) and I can finally talk about It, can we discuss the fact that Pedro is gay?!? ?taylor? (@royaltheataylor) 6 de abril de 2019
Did yall catch pedro coming out? Shazam giving us a black female superhero and a gay mexican superhero we had to stan that? kenzie ???? (@kimvelvets) 5 de abril de 2019
Shazam POSSIBLY gave us our first gay superhero character. Take notes fatties @MarvelStudios? ? (@madmaxportman) 8 de abril de 2019
We are all eager to see Pedro's character explored even further in the sequel, where all five foster siblings will hopefully be teaming up as the ultimate superhero family.