Directed by Chloe Zhao, the film will add another outer-space superhero team to the MCU roster alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy – but how much do we know about the films’ story? Who’s starring in it? And when is it out?
In the comics, the Jack Kirby-created Eternals are a race of vastly powerful aliens with incredible abilities (including atomic manipulation, super-speed, super-strength and so on), which they’ve primarily used in an endless battle against their foes the Deviants.
Essentially, the Eternals are an entire society of super-powered, near-immortal beings who have occasionally come into contact with more mainstream Marvel heroes, leaving quite a lot of scope for where a film storyline could go.
On Wednesday 15th January 2020, Marvel released more The Eternals synopsis details to Fandom, confirming the Deviants as the villains. It also looks like the Eternals might have felt the snap of Thanos’s fingers just as badly as Earth, with exploring the MCU post-Avengers: Endgame listed as one of the film’s main themes:
In February 2020, it was confirmed that The Eternals would feature the MCU’S first ever LGBT+ kiss. In a heartfelt interview with NewNowNext, actor Haaz Sleiman confirmed his character would be married to Eternals member Phastos (played by Atlanta’s Brian Tyree Henry) and that they would have a child.
Who is in the cast of the Eternals?
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – JULY 20: (L-R) Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Director Chloe Zhao, Lia McHugh, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Lauren Ridloff and Don Lee of Marvel Studios’ ‘The Eternals’ at the San Diego Comic-Con International 2019 Marvel Studios Panel in Hall H on July 20, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images
Hollywood A-lister Angelina Jolie will star alongside The Big Sick’s already-attached Kumail Nanjiani, with Jolie playing the ultra-powerful character of Thena and Nanjiani playing master swordsman Kingo Sunen.
Jolie’s physical training tackled “everything from swords to ballet,” she told People.
“She’s a warrior,” Jolie said “I’m going to have to work very hard to give the Marvel Cinematic Universe the Thena they deserve.”
Game of Thrones’ and Bodyguard’s Richard Madden has also been confirmed for a role, playing a character called Ikaris known for his numerous abilities (including strength, flight, a healing factor, psychic powers, durability and cosmic energy manipulation).
(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)Roy Rochlin / Getty Images
“It’s brilliant,” Madden told 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.”
Other confirmed castings include:
Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, the MCU’s first deaf superhero
Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos
Salma Hayek as Ajak, leader of the Eternals
Lia McHugh as Sprite, an ancient Eternal in the body of a child
Don Lee as Gilgamesh, the Forgotten One
Barry Keoghan as Druig
Captain Marvel‘s Gemma Chan will also be appearing in The Eternals, though *not* in her earlier role of Minn-Erva – in a rare case of the MCU doubling up, Chan will play an entirely different character, Sersi.
Featuring in the rumoured-but-unconfirmed space is Hollywood legend Keanu Reeves, currently enjoying a career renaissance thanks to the fan-favourite John Wick movies and possibly now in the frame for another main role in the Eternals – though given that he wasn’t included in the SDCC or D23 line-up, it could be more likely that Marvel have him in mind for another upcoming movie.
Perhaps, given the relatively unknown subject manner Marvel are plumping for some well-known names and faces – but whatever the reason, this is looking like a particularly starry group of superheroes. And speaking to GQ Britain, Richard Madden teased that “there’s some more actors yet to be announced” for The Eternals “which is gonna be crazy.”
In a positive push for inclusivity, MCU creative caretaker Kevin Feige has also confirmed that Phastos will be gay.
“He’s married, he’s got a family, and that is just part of who he is,” Feige told Good Morning America.
Is there a trailer for The Eternals?
No – at this early stage the film hasn’t even been filmed yet, so we’re probably a way off seeing any footage.
Here’s a first glimpse at the movies’ Celestials (the alien beings who created the Eternals) though, as put together by Marvel Studios’ senior visual development concept artist Rodney Fuentebella:
Will The Eternals cross over with Guardians of the Galaxy?
Quite possibly. As the Guardians were Marvel’s first spacefaring franchise it at least seems likely that some of the alien races and planets introduced in those movies could cross over into The Eternals, with Marvel’s world-building (or should that be universe-building?) in full effect.
And who knows? We could even see a few of the Guardians of the Galaxy characters, or the newly-spacebound Thor, turn up in the movie in guest roles to help introduce the audience to these new figures.