While Marvel’s Eternals are hardly a household name at the moment, the celestial beings look set to be a major part of the studio’s future blockbusters.
They had been due to make their screen debut in November 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic hit, pushing their grand entrance by a full year as cinemas were left shuttered around the world.
Nevertheless, anticipation for the project remains high, as Marvel have wrangled an impressive all-star cast to portray their latest band of intergalactic misfits, just as they did with Guardians of the Galaxy (to great success).
Angelina Jolie (Maleficent), Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Richard Madden (Bodyguard) and Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) are among those confirmed to appear, with roles likely to extend across other upcoming Marvel movies.
Fans wishing to see them in action are out of luck for the time being, as no trailers or footage from Eternals has been released just yet, despite the film being completely shot, edited and ready for exhibition.
At this point, it’s likely we won’t get our first look until this year, with Marvel currently focusing their efforts on impending Disney Plus series WandaVision and on shoring up a stable release date for Scarlett Johansson’s long-awaited Black Widow.
So when will Eternals emerge onto the big screen? And how exactly does the film fit into current Marvel movies order? You can find all your biggest questions answered below.
Eternals release date
Eternals will be released in cinemas on 5th November 2021, having moved from 12th February after the latest Disney release shake-up due to the pandemic.
The film was previously scheduled to hit the big screen on 6th November 2020, meaning its delay equates to almost a full year, as is also the case with Black Widow, another movie in Marvel’s Phase Four schedule.
It’s not yet clear if Eternals could be delayed again, given that other superhero films, such as Wonder Woman 1984, have been continuously forced to postpone their release due to COVID-related cinema closures.
However, it is hoped by studios, cinemas and fans that movie-going habits will be able to bounce back in 2021, where many of this year’s biggest releases have taken refuge.
We do know that filming on Eternals was able to be completed before the pandemic, 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
Hollywood A-lister Angelina Jolie will star as the ultra-powerful character of Thena, alongside The Big Sick’s Kumail Nanjiani as 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 superhuman abilities (including strength, flight, a healing factor, psychic powers, durability and cosmic energy manipulation).
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 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 Eternals, though *not* in her earlier role of Minn-Erva – in a rare case of the MCU doubling up, she will play an entirely different character named 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 Eternals.
Although, 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 niche source material, 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 Eternals “which is gonna be crazy.”
In a positive push for inclusivity, producer Kevin Feige has also confirmed that Tyree Henry’s Phastos will be a gay character, who will also be part of the MCU’s first LGBT+ kiss.
“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 Eternals?
No, Marvel is yet to release footage from the movie.
But it’s not all bad news: 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:
View this post on Instagram
Here is the Marvel’s Eternals poster I did for the San Diego Comic-Con 2019. This was an exclusive poster given out on Sunday at the event. I cannot believe I was able to do this poster for @sdcc_2019 !! Thanks to @marvelstudios and @ryan_meinerding_art for letting me paint this poster. Be sure to check this movie when it comes out… we are working really hard on this one too! Enjoy! – @marvel #eternals #marvel #digitalart #digitalpainting #zbrush #photoshop #mcu #exclusive #painting #conceptart @rodneyimages
What is Eternals about?
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 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:
New #Eternals synopsis details
• Have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years
• Explores the MCU post-Avengers: Endgame
• Will battle The Deviants after an 'unexpected tragedy'
— Fandom (@getFANDOM) January 15, 2020
Eternals is set to feature the MCU’s first LGBT+ kiss
In February 2020, it was confirmed that 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.
“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.
The MCU’s first openly gay character appeared in Avengers: Endgame, portrayed by co-director Joe Russo in a cameo appearance.
Will 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 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.
After all, given that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has been so delayed they might want to find some way to keep the characters in the MCU in the meantime.
Eternals will be released on 12th February 2021.
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Should you watch them by chronological or release date? Check out our guide to the Best Marvel movie order.