The Marvel Cinematic Universe just got a little more inclusive. Transgender actor Zach Barack will appear in Spider-Man: Far From Home, NBC News reported Monday. The upcoming movie is the 23-year-old actor's only IMDB credit so far, but NBC News noted that he is also set to appear in L.A.'s Finest on Spectrum TV.
As NBC News pointed out, Barack appears to be the first openly transgender actor with a substantial role in a large-scale superhero movie. And fans were quick to share their excitement about the casting news.
"Y'all!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A trans actor in a big movie!!!!!!!!! And it's Spider-Man!!!!!! And he has lines!!!!!!! It's a significant role!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Y’all!!!!!!!!!," @carter_is_gay tweeted. "It's so rare i see myself represented in movie i'm gonna literally sob," @baneiish wrote on Twitter.
Other people shared similar messages about how they were tearing up at the news. Some people, like @WindexNoises, even tweeted that Barack's journey to Hollywood has inspired them to go after their own aspirations about becoming actors. "My dumbass is over here trying not to sob because @zach_l_b, a trans actor, is in spiderman far from home. which means I can pursue my dream of acting too," wrote @WindexNoises. It's clear that the casting means a lot for those who have long been underrepresented on screen.
Barack's Far From Home casting was first announced last week, though not much is known about his role in the Spider-Man sequel. When Variety announced the news, Orange Is The New Black star and fellow transgender actor Laverne Cox tweeted a message of congratulations to Barack. It may be his first major role, but he already has the support of some seriously big names.
"Congrats @zach_l_b #TransIsBeautiful," Cox tweeted. Barack retweeted the message, adding a heart and smiley-face emoji.
The best part of the casting news is that it looks like Barack's character will play a significant part in the movie. He'll be a classmate of Peter's, according to NBC News. And Barack's manager, Ann Thomas, told NBC News that the role is "not a background character" in Far From Home. "He has lines," Thomas told the outlet. So it sounds like Sony really is putting in the work to cast him in a more meaningful role, rather than just having him in the background.
Plus, there's another transgender actor in the movie, too. Tyler Luke Cunningham, who has appeared on the BBC series Boy Meets Girl, will be a "featured extra" in Far From Home, according to NBC News. It's nice to see that the MCU is — finally — showcasing some diverse talents on the big screen.
Fortunately, there are a bit more details about the movie's plot, even if Barack's role isn't super clear yet. It looks like Peter and his classmates are headed to Europe on a school trip. Peter wants to leave the whole being Spider-Man thing in New York and just enjoy the trip, but Nick Fury has other plans. It's possible that Barack plays one of these classmates on the school trip, or perhaps he comes in later in the film after they've all (hopefully) safely returned to New York.
Whatever twists the movie has in store, it's just exciting to know that there will be LGBTQ representation on screen. Hopefully, this is the first of many such casting announcements in the MCU.