In a rather surprising interview during a press junket for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, director James Gunn reportedly made the unexpected revelation that singer and actor Miley Cyrus makes an un-credited appearance in the new Marvel film. Spoiler warning: The rest of this post contains information you may want to avoid if you'd like to go into the theater without knowing anything about Guardians Vol. 2.
On her site Sarah Scoop, lifestyle blogger Sarah Ruhlman first revealed the exciting news that the former Disney star was returning to her roots by voicing a character in Marvel's Guardians Vol. 2, which opens on May 5. In a brief post-credits scene, we apparently see a number of popular characters who were in the comics, but have not yet appeared in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. One such character is known as Mainframe — who is depicted as a "talking metal head" — and was voiced by Cyrus.
As Matthew Mueller of ComicBook.com explains, Mainframe was an original member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, which was set place in the 31st Century. In the comics, it was Iron Man who created Mainframe, an android designed to continue his legacy after he retired. The character is depicted as a male in the Guardians comics, so it’s interesting (not to mention totally awesome) that the filmmakers decided to cast Cyrus as Mainframe, instead of a male actor.
Female characters are too often underrepresented in superhero movies, so it’s good to see that Marvel may be flipping the gender of Mainframe. Additionally, being that Mainframe is a robot, Cyrus’ casting could open up some other cool possibilities. It may be a stretch, but perhaps the filmmakers could depict Mainframe as gender fluid. I definitely think that it would be great to see more gender and sexual orientation diversity in future Marvel films.
In my opinion, Cyrus could absolutely be the person to bring about that diversity. She has been an active supporter of the LGBTQ community, and has spoken about gender fluidity in the past. "My whole life, I didn’t understand my own gender and my own sexuality," she told Variety in 2016. In the interview, Cyrus also told a story about a gender fluid person she met at an LGBTQ center in Los Angeles. The star said,
"I saw one human in particular who didn’t identify as male or female. Looking at them, they were both: beautiful and sexy and tough but vulnerable and feminine but masculine. And I related to that person more than I related to anyone in my life. Even though I may seem very different, people may not see me as neutral as I feel. But I feel very neutral. I think that was the first gender-neutral person I’d ever met. Once I understood my gender more, which was unassigned, then I understood my sexuality more."
Whether Mainframe is depicted as gender fluid or female, I am definitely excited about the fact that Cyrus is taking on a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.