Marvel's Eternals: Everything You Need to Know
The next chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe begins with BLACK WIDOW and continues with ETERNALS, a space epic that will introduce new characters, worlds, and an all-star cast to the blockbuster superhero franchise. Directed by Chloe Zhao (THE RIDER), ETERNALS is still a mysterious new property — even for major fans and especially for those who are unfamiliar with the Marvel comics that inspired it.
Marvel has just released the first ETERNALS teaser trailer, and it pulls back the first layer of mystery surrounding the movie — we now know how the characters look and sound! There's still a lot to learn about ETERNALS, so let's take a closer look at what we do know so far, including who’s who in this exciting new world.
The Eternals Release Date
ETERNALS will emerge into the MCU on November 5, 2021.
Watch the First Eternals Trailer!
The first teaser trailer for ETERNALS comes on the heels of the Best Director Oscar won by the film's director, Chloé Zhao, for her movie NOMADLAND. (Which also won Best Picture.) The very first shot of this teaser seems like a conscious nod to NOMADLAND, in fact, and the footage shows off a slightly more naturalistic style than Marvel is known for.
We also learn that the Eternals have watched and in some cases helped out humanity for years — at least, we assume that is Earth and humanity they're talking about! They haven't taken direct action "until now," we learn from the trailer. While you might rightly ask what the Eternals were doing when Thanos attacked, we don't know that "now" is in our present day. Marvel's description of the movie calls it a tale "spanning thousands of years," so we'll wait to learn more before assuming that this new/old crew just watched Thanos wreak havoc without trying to do anything to stop him.
The Eternals Cast
[Image Credit: Universal Pictures]
Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek lead one of the most impressive casts Marvel Studios has assembled to date.
Leading the Eternals in their valiant battle against the Deviants is Ajak, played by Salma Hayek. She’s joined by Academy Award-winner Angelina Jolie as the warrior, Thena; "Game of Thrones" star Richard Madden as the cosmic-powered Ikaris; and DUNKIRK’s Barry Keoghan as his cousin Druig. THE BIG SICK’s Kumail Nanjiani plays samurai superstar and master swordsman Kingo, while Brian Tyree Henry of "Atlanta" is the weapons expert and inventor, Phastos. Lauren Ridloff from "The Walking Dead" plays the super-fast Makkari. Ridloff, the former Miss Deaf America, will play the first deaf superhero in the MCU.
And Gemma Chan, who previously played a different role entirely in CAPTAIN MARVEL, will play the Eternal known as Sersi. ETERNALS is also giving "Game of Thrones" fans a very cool reunion, with Kit Harrington playing the sword-wielding superhero Dane Whitman, putting him back on screen with Richard Madden. Also on deck for the Eternals team: Lia McHugh from horror movie THE LODGE as Sprite and TRAIN TO BUSAN breakout Don Lee as Gilgamesh, aka "The Forgotten One."
Who – or What – Are The Eternals?
The Eternals were created by the legendary Jack Kirby, and first published by Marvel Comics in 1976. The shortest version of the story goes something like this: A powerful alien race known as the Celestials has contributed to the evolution of various sentient life forms, including humans. The Celestials are also responsible for two other races, which evolved out of human life: The Eternals, created to defend life on Earth, and the Deviants – their evil counterparts. We haven’t really seen any of these races in Marvel movies before, except for the Celestials, which appeared as sparkling golden aliens in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2.
A Whole New World
ETERNALS isn’t the first movie in Marvel's Phase Four – that would be BLACK WIDOW – but it is the beginning of a new chapter in the superhero universe. Like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, Marvel’s latest space epic introduces a whole ensemble of new heroes and villains played by an incredible cast of stars.
ETERNALS won’t be too much like GUARDIANS from a story perspective, however; it’s more like Marvel’s version of Greek mythology. The story spans 7,000 years (!) and centers on the Eternals as they battle the Deviants to protect the people of Earth, who don’t even know the Eternals exist.
That might seem like we actually know quite a bit about ETERNALS, but Marvel hasn’t revealed who’s playing the film’s villains, the Deviants. Is it a surprise? Will one or more of the Eternals be revealed as a Deviant in disguise? With months to go before the movie's release, we’re anxious to learn a lot more about ETERNALS and what Marvel has in store.
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All images courtesy of Marvel Studios, unless otherwise specified.