Of all the upcoming Marvel movies, Eternals is arguably the most mysterious with precious little known about the blockbuster despite the fact filming wrapped almost a full year ago.
Although it might not have name recognition just yet, this cosmic group of characters could very easily become the next Guardians of the Galaxy if their MCU debut goes smoothly – and there’s plenty of reasons to be optimistic that it will.
For starters, the movie has assembled an astonishing ensemble cast that includes Angelina Jolie (Maleficent), Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Richard Madden (Bodyguard) and Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) among others.
Meanwhile, director Chloe Zhao has made a big name for herself on the indie circuit, with her previous two dramas The Rider and Nomadland both releasing to widespread critical acclaim.
With such a high caliber of talent on the flick, it’s no surprise that fans are itching to get their hands on a trailer, but alas, Marvel are holding back for the time being – with no shortage of other projects to focus on.
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 necessitated by the pandemic.
The film was initially 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 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.
Filming on Eternals was 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
What is Eternals about?
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 writer/artist 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 of 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 the arch-nemeses to the Eternals in the comic books, as a rival race also created by the Celestials, who are monstrous in appearance and regularly mutate, making them unpredictable enemies.
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 star Richard Madden has also been confirmed as 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.
The actress said in an interview that she was surprised to be brought back into the MCU so soon after her initial appearance, but added that Eternals is quite different to everything that has come before it.
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.
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.
Producer Kevin Feige added during an appearance on Good Morning America: “He’s married, he’s got a family, and that 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 a cameo appearance.
When will there be an Eternals trailer?
Marvel is yet to release any footage from the movie and will likely hold off on promoting the film until after the intended release of Black Widow in May.
Depending on how smoothly the release of Scarlett Johansson’s spy flick goes, Marvel Studios may choose to begin promoting Eternals shortly after – but notably, martial arts flick Shang-Chi will see release first, so will likely take priority.
RadioTimes.com predicts we will get our first look at the Eternals trailer in July 2021, which would give Marvel Studios five months to generate hype, while not drawing focus away from its preceding projects.
Eternals will be released on 12th February 2021. You can watch most of the MCU movies now on Disney+ – sign up now for £59.99 a year and £5.99 a month. Check out our guide to the best Marvel movie order and our list of the best movies on Disney+ or visit our TV Guide.