The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a singular success story in movie-making history. No franchise in the medium’s 100+ year history has ever created a series of 20+ interconnected films in which every single one is a critical and box office success. But with every new movie, the MCU faces the possibility of the first failure in this high wire act. But that doesn’t mean the company is playing it safe. In fact, Marvel’s Eternals represents a swing for the fences of such immense proportions it will be a marvel to see the company pull it off.
But then again, Marvel turned a franchise with a sweary raccoon and a monologos tree into one of the most popular trilogies in the whole pantheon. Doubters, to the left.
So what are the Eternals? Well, they’re no weirder than the Guardians gang. This ensemble represents some of the most powerful creatures in the Marvel universe. They are timeless, ageless, immortal, and have seen a lot in their 7,000+ years on Earth. The Celestials created them as the original "Defenders of Earth." Perhaps proving their shared strange DNA, the Celestials previously turned up in the GOTG films. (Ego, Starlord’s father, is one. Also, the city of Knowhere exists within the severed head of a deceased Celestial.)
Here’s what we know about Eternals so far.
Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ Teaser
Though Eternals finished filming way back in February of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic shutdown delayed its release by a full year. That means Marvel has been biding its time, and there hasn’t yet been a trailer for it.
But at the Disney Investors Conference in December of 2020, Marvel unveiled the official updated logo, giving fans a feel for the film’s expansive story spanning centuries of time and space.
Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ Cast
If the Eternals are timeless and ageless, that meant casting some serious A-list talent. Once you bring aboard one A-list Oscar winner, suddenly you’re casting an entire crew of people who either are at that level or have that kind of talent.
Here’s a rundown of the star-studded cast and who they play:
- Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians) plays Sersi, an empath who can manipulate matter. Kevin Feige confirmed in an interview with Variety she is the film’s lead character.
- Angelina Jolie (Girl, Interrupted) plays Thena, a warrior capable of forming weapons out of cosmic energy.
- Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) plays Ikaris, the flying, cosmic energy projecting fighter with superhuman strength.
- Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) plays Kingo, a fame-obsessed narcissist who can create cosmic energy projectiles.
- Salma Hayek (Frida) plays Ajak, a healer and the Eternal’s spiritual guide.
- Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) plays Phastos, an inventor who secretly guides the human race’s technological advancements.
- Lauren Ridloff (The Walking Dead) plays Makkari, a sonic boom creating super-speeder; she’ll be the first deaf superhero in the MCU canon.
- Lia McHugh (The Lodge) plays Sprite, the preteen Eternal who creates lifelike visual hallucinations.
- Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk) plays Druig, the group misanthrope who can control minds.
On top of that, Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) plays the human swordsman Dane Whitman.
Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ Plot
Directed by Oscar winner Chloe Zhao, the current Eternals official synopsis doesn’t give much away:
So what are the Deviants? Like the Eternals, they were created by the Celestials, but not purposefully. They were byproducts of the creation process, a mutant offshoot. The Celestials initially let them multiply as food for the Eternals, like sentient cattle.
But the Deviants proved to have superpowers of their own and formed not only society but also religion. (They worship the Dreaming Celestial, which they call "He Who Sleeps in Darkness.") They claim their god gave them dominion over Earth and battled the Eternals for it far in the past. Since losing that war, the Eternals have guarded the planet in peace.
Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ Release Date
Initially, Eternals was planned as the second film to arrive as part of Phase 4 and the third title overall, following Falcon & The Winter Soldier. Its original release date was Nov. 6, 2020. The shutdown pushed it back twice, first to March 2021 and then to November.
It will now be the third big-screen release of Phase 4 and the ninth title overall when accounting for Disney+ TV series releases. It will arrive in theaters on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.
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