It’s been a big year for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with several hit shows landing on Disney Plus and the studio’s blockbuster favourites returning after a year of delays.
Taking the baton from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is what looks to be another inventive entry into the franchise in the form of Eternals, which unites an all-star cast under Academy Award-winning director Chloe Zhao.
The film is now less than a month away and so we’re seeing Marvel’s hype machine rev up, dropping a series of bitesize TV spots that show this powerful new super-team in action.
The most popular thus far is titled Team, which puts Angelina Jolie front and centre in her latest action role, with the Hollywood legend due to play fierce warrior Thena. Get your formal introduction to the new hero in the clip below.
If you want to see more from the Eternals movie, then you can also check out the Change and Protect teasers, while the two full-length trailers are also embedded further down this page for your convenience.
It was recently announced that Eternals will appear on the film festival circuit, suggesting Marvel Studios views it as an awards contender, with its premiere scheduled for Rome Film Fest on Sunday 24th October. Expect initial reactions to hit social media from the lucky attendees.
If you’re keen to find out more about Marvel’s Eternals, you have come to the right place! Read on for all your essential information and be sure to check out our guide to the Marvel movies order if you’re planning a marathon rewatch.
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Eternals release date
Eternals will be released in cinemas on Friday 5th November 2021, a full year since it was originally slated, following two major pandemic-related delays.
Filming on Eternals was completed shortly before COVID-19 became a global health crisis, as confirmed by star Gemma Chan on Twitter in February 2020.
It’s a wrap. pic.twitter.com/za0yVQDCfj— Gemma Chan (@gemma_chan) February 4, 2020
In late April 2021, shortly after her double Oscar win for acclaimed indie flick Nomadland, director Zhao told Variety that she was in the “final stretch” of completing Eternals, meaning the film should be ready well before its November launch.
The only potential hurdle will be what impact COVID-19 is having on the cinema industry this winter, as many venues around the world were forced to close their doors in 2020 due to the spread of the illness.
The Eternals introduces a race of super-powered aliens to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who made their comic book debut in 1976, created by legendary comic book creator Jack Kirby.
Created by the all-powerful Celestials (who have previously been mentioned in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies), the Eternals are ancient beings who have been living in secret on Earth for thousands of years.
Their exact abilities vary, but all are potentially capable of such incredible feats as flight, super-strength and durability, making them among the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe.
The Eternals movie will be set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, when “an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s most ancient enemy, The Deviants.”
The Deviants are monstrous in appearance and regularly mutate, making them unpredictable enemies and the powerful arch-nemeses of the Eternals.
Marvel are keeping characteristically quiet about exactly what Zhao’s movie has in store for fans, but movie buffs will be reassured that the celebrated filmmaker has indeed penned the script herself.
“I am the writer on The Eternals, the credits just aren’t updated yet,” she told Margaret Gardiner. “I don’t know what it would be like if I didn’t write the film… if I wasn’t a huge part of the writing process. I haven’t experienced that in my career, I’m scared of that if that happens one day.”
Unlike most other Marvel Studios movies, which usually have one major star leading the action, Eternals will feature a large ensemble cast that share similar amounts of screen-time.
In an interview with Variety, producer Kevin Feige said that if you had to name one person as the “lead” of the movie, it would be Humans star Gemma Chan, which is why her casting was so crucial to the project’s success.
“For Sersi, for instance — and if there was a lead in this ensemble, it is Sersi, it is Gemma Chan — we looked at and read all sorts of women for that part,” he explained. “And ended up really believing that Gemma was best for it.”
Chan previously played an entirely different character in the MCU, taking a secondary villain role in 2019’s Captain Marvel as Minn-Erva, and admitted she was surprised to be brought back in such a different capacity.
Despite her prominent role in the film, the Humans star has said that her character is actually “not the strongest and she’s not the best fighter”, instead naming her empathy as her most valuable asset (via Entertainment Weekly).
Sersi is shown to have a true affection for the human race, while she has also shared a millennia-spanning love story with Ikaris, to be played by Bodyguard star Richard Madden.
The character may appear Superman-esque to some viewers, with his all-encompassing powers of strength, flight and shooting laser beams from his eyes, among other abilities.
“I had to work out, how do you play someone who’s seen everything and done everything?” Madden told EW. “How do you play them to not be bored of everything because you’re seen it and done it?”
In exciting news for Game of Thrones fans, Madden’s old co-star and on-screen sibling Kit Harington will also feature in Eternals as superhero Black Knight, real name Dane Whitman.
“It’s brilliant,” Madden said in another interview with EW. “It’s been about 10 years since we’ve worked together, I think. So we’ve moved on a bit onto different things, so I’m really excited to get back on set.”
Hollywood A-lister Angelina Jolie will join the MCU in The Eternals, taking the role of fierce warrior Thena, while Kumail Nanjiani has caught attention with his physical transformation for the role of master swordsman Kingo Sunen.
The Eternals trailer offers a glimpse of Jolie throwing herself into action sequences, which lines up with previous comments she made about her exhaustive physical training tackling “everything from swords to ballet”.
“She’s a warrior,” Jolie told USA Today. “I’m going to have to work very hard to give the Marvel Cinematic Universe the Thena they deserve.”
Meanwhile, co-star Salma Hayek – who plays Eternals leader Ajak – has revealed she initially had very low expectations when she got word that Marvel wanted a meeting, but the studio got her interest by hiring Zhao as the director.
“I said, ‘forget it,'” she said in an EW feature. “I said, ‘God knows what kind of grandmother they want me to play.’ I’m used to being [told] I’m going to be the extra or the old prostitute. And then they said the director was Chloé Zhao, and I said, ‘Okay! Let’s have the meeting!'”
Other confirmed castings include:
- Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, the MCU’s first deaf superhero
- Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos
- Lia McHugh as Sprite, an ancient Eternal in the body of a child
- Don Lee as Gilgamesh, the Forgotten One
- Barry Keoghan as Druig
Given the niche source material, Marvel seem to be plumping for some well-known names and faces, resulting in a particularly starry group of superheroes.
- For the latest news and expert tips on getting the best deals this year, take a look at our Black Friday 2021 and Cyber Monday 2021 guides.
Eternals gay character explained
The Eternals will feature the MCU’s first ever openly LGBT+ superhero, with news breaking in February 2020 that the film will feature a kiss between two men.
In an interview with NewNowNext, actor Haaz Sleiman confirmed his character would be married to Eternals member Phastos (played by Atlanta star Brian Tyree Henry) and that they would be raising a child.
“It’s a beautiful, very moving kiss. Everyone cried on set. For me, it’s very important to show how loving and beautiful a queer family can be,” he said.
Producer Kevin Feige added during an appearance on Good Morning America: “He’s married, he’s got a family, and [his sexuality] is just part of who he is.”
The MCU’s first openly gay character appeared in Avengers: Endgame, portrayed by co-director Joe Russo in an early support group scene, but some took issue with the fleeting nature of the cameo.
Marvel’s Eternals trailer
In May 2021, Marvel Studios finally dropped the first official trailer for The Eternals, set to timeless classic ‘The End of the World’ by Skeeter Davis.
The film gives our first look at the star-studded cast in their exciting new roles, including Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden and Kumail Nanjiani, before ending on a group shot of the fully assembled team. Check out the teaser below.
The final Eternals trailer dropped in August and revealed the film is directly connected to the events of Avengers: Endgame, stating that the sudden return of the universe’s population provided enough energy to spark “the emergence”.
It’s unclear exactly what that means at this stage, but the trailer shows cataclysmic scenes of planet Earth being all but destroyed, unless the Eternals can unite to prevent it in the next seven days.
The new trailer is also notable for hinting towards an explanation for why the Eternals did not intervene during the events of Infinity War and Endgame, seemingly following instructions from their Celestial creators. Check out the new footage below:
Marvel’s Eternals hits cinemas on 5th November 2021. You can watch most of the MCU movies now on Disney+ – sign up now for £7.99 per month or £79.90 for a full year.