Get ready to meet a whole new cast of Marvel characters.
By Aurora Amidon Published on July 30, 2021
Welcome to Great Expectations, a recurring series where we break down key information about an upcoming movie or show. In this issue, we take a look at what to expect from Marvel’s Eternals and where to see it.
Just when you thought every corner of the Marvel Universe was explored on screen, here comes Eternal. Based on the comic series of the same name by Jack Kirby from 1976, the film follows the immortal super aliens who created all life and who secretly live among us.
Eternals is one of the first episodes of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which started this year with the WandaVision series. It’s a brand new era for the franchise as some of the Avengers have sadly withdrawn from the universe in some form or another. The next few films will have to prove that the MCU is sustainable even without characters we know and love (spoiler alert, we think this will definitely be the case).
Eternals is directed by Chloe Zhao, who has a hot streak after winning not one but two Oscars for Nomadland earlier this year. She also co-wrote the script Patrick Burleigh (Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway).
Everything you need to know about Marvels Eternals can be found here.
Eternals release date (and where to watch it)
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the release of Eternals was delayed by about a year. Now the release date is set to November 5th, 2021. From then on, it will hit theaters and eventually be available for streaming on Disney +.
Occupation of the Eternals
If there’s one thing you can rely on in a Marvel movie, it’s a rock-solid cast. In Eternals Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians) plays Sersi, an eternal who can control matter. Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) plays her love interest, Ikaris, the leader of the Eternals military faction. Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) is Kingo, an Eternal who has the power to control cosmic energy.
Barry Keoghan (The Killing of a Sacred Deer) plays Druig, an Eternal who specializes in mind control. Salma Hayek (Frida) is Ajak, the leader of the spiritual faction of the Eternals, Angelina Jolie (Maleficent) is Thena, an etertainl warrior with the ability to craft an infinite number of weapons with her bare hands. Lia McHugh (The Lodge) is Sprite, a twelve year old eternal who can create realistic holograms. Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) is Phastos, an eternal master of engineering, and Lauren Ridloff (Sound of Metal) is a lightning fast Eternal looking for new planets.
Also in the ensemble is Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) as the human warrior Dane Whitman, who comic book fans know will become the Black Knight, and Don Lee (Train to Busan) as a super strong Eternal, plus Gil Birmingham (Hell or high water), Harish Patel (Gunda), Haaz Sleiman (The visitor), Ozer Ercan, Jashaun St. John, and Zain Al Rafeea (Capernaum). It is a lot, we know. But admit it: did you really expect anything other than Epic from an MCU cast?
The act of the Eternals
Although the Eternals are extraterrestrial beings, they have a penchant for living on Earth and pretending to be human. In fact, they have been doing this for seven thousand years. Sersi, for example, has been posing as a museum curator for some time. And Kingo managed to become a popular Bollywood star. But now it is time for them to indefinitely give up their lives on Earth and protect the planet from the deviants, their powerful mutated counterparts. Eternals will see the cast of ancient superheroes in an epic battle to protect the universe.
Check out the trailer
Given its sheer scope, it goes without saying that Eternals is different from other Marvel films. And the teaser confirms that – but not just because of its seven thousand year span. Just from the look of the teaser it is clear that Zhao will bring her own directorial style to the film. Much of the lighting is natural and a number of scenes were filmed on location. Both are highly unconventional for a Marvel movie. After being hired by Kevin Feige, Zhao was given the freedom to bring her own sensitivities into the adaptation, and we think this will only add to that.
Check out the Eternals trailer here and see what you think of Zhao’s take on the comics.
A possible appearance by Kang the Conqueror
Basically, given that Eternals covers so much time, it’s basically inevitable that we’ll run into a number of characters from the MCU in the movie. Marvel Studios has already announced that the film will take place “after the events of Avengers: Endgame”. At the end of the teaser trailer, the connection between the superheroes is confirmed when an Eternal asks, “Now that Captain Rogers and Iron Man are both gone, who do you think will lead the Avengers?”
But Eternals may have more MCU connections than the trailer suggests. A fan theory, courtesy of Redditor ScarletWarlock911, suggests that Kang the Conqueror, who recently made his introduction to the Loki series, may appear. They argue that since the film is likely to begin in Babylon, the film must mention Kang – also known as Rama-Tut, an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. Some commentators think it’s a bit of a chore, but others think the theory fits. Personally, I believe when it comes to the MCU, anything is possible.
Related Topics: Chloe Zhao, Eternals, Filmmaker Friday, Great Expectations, Marvel
Aurora Amidon spends her days leading the Great Expectations column and convincing people that Hostel II is one of the best movies of all time. Read her mostly embarrassing tweets here: @aurora_amidon.