Eternals: Everything We Know About Marvel’s Newest Super Team


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Meet Marvel’s newest super team. The Eternals are an immortal alien race sent to Earth by the Celestials to defend humanity and have been silently keeping watch for 7,000 years (yes, even through Thanos’ infamous finger snap). With Eternals arriving in theaters this November, we’ll soon be able to see this band of heroes in action on screen.

Directed by Oscar winner, Chloé Zhao, the film takes place after Avengers: Endgame as the team must work together to defeat the Deviants. Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie will star, along with Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, and more A-listers. Marvel Studios has already released trailers for the film too.

Here is everything to know about Eternals, from the plot to the release date.

Marvel released the first teaser trailer.

Marvel Studios released an official teaser for Eternals in May 2021. The footage debuts Eternals‘ 10-member team and confirms the mysterious villains, the Deviants. In addition to previewing stunning visuals, the snippet also gave fans a glimpse of the Eternals’ group dynamic. While eating dinner together, Sprite asks, “So now that Captain America and Iron Man are both gone, who do you think is going to lead the Avengers?” Ikaris confidently responds, “I can lead them,” as the table bursts out laughing in disagreement.

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Eternals will be released on November 5, 2021.

That’s nearly a year after the movie’s original due date. Disney+ has yet to confirm if the film will also be available for same-day Premier Access, similar to Mulan and Black Widow, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues on.

Entertainment Weekly revealed an exclusive photo.

In the image, all 10 of the Eternals are suited up in formation, seemingly getting ready for battle.

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The film will have an all-star cast.

“The outstanding ensemble cast includes Richard Madden as the all-powerful Ikaris, Gemma Chan as humankind-loving Sersi, Kumail Nanjiani as cosmic-powered Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as the super-fast Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as the intelligent inventor Phastos, Salma Hayek as the wise and spiritual leader Ajak, Lia McHugh as the eternally young, old-soul Sprite, Don Lee as the powerful Gilgamesh, Barry Keoghan as aloof loner Druig, and Angelina Jolie as the fierce warrior Thena. Kit Harington plays Dane Whitman,” per Marvel.

In a Variety interview, Zhao discussed the importance of casting Salma Hayek as Ajak, the Eternals leader. “Ageism in Hollywood is a very concerning issue that we must stand against as artists.” She added, “Aging is a beautiful part of life that should be celebrated. It’s really an honor for us to have Salma lead the ‘Eternals’ family. I can’t take all the credits. When [executive producer] Nate Moore first showed me the treatment, which he worked on with [writers] Kaz Firpo and Ryan Firpo, I was impressed with the age diversity of the characters they put together. It was a big part of what got me really excited about Eternals.”

When Hayek was told Marvel wanted to meet with her, she thought it was for a small supporting role. I said, ‘Forget it,’” she recalls, laughing. “I said, ‘God knows what kind of grandmother they want me to play.’ I’m used to being [told] I’m going to be the extra or the old prostitute. And then they said the director was Chloé Zhao, and I said, ‘Okay! Let’s have the meeting!’” she told Entertainment Weekly.

Chan, who appeared in Captain Marvel as the Kree sniper Minn-Erva, will re-enter the Marvel universe as a different hero, Sersi. Despite her previous MCU casting, Marvel’s Creative Chief officer, Kevin Feige, said not casting Chan “would have been shooting ourselves in the foot,” per EW. He recalled casting Chris Evans for Captain America after he’d starred in Fantastic Four. “Some people said, ‘Oh, well, Chris Evans played the Human Torch [in 2005’s Fantastic Four]. Maybe we shouldn’t consider him.’ And we said, ‘No, that’s okay,’ and the rest is history.”

In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly, Nanjiani spoke about working with the cast. “It doesn’t look like any of the other Marvel movies. I was on set shooting, and the director showed me just a still of all of us together in the scene. And I was like, ‘I mean, look at all of us together.’ We all look so different. It’s me and a huge buff guy from Korea [Ma Dong-seok] and Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie and Gemma Chan and Lauren Ridloff. You don’t ever get to see people like this together in the same room, let alone in awesome superhero costumes.”

Feige will serve as a producer and Mitchell Bell will be co-producer. Nate Moore will executive produce the film.

poster for the eternals

The official poster for Marvel Studios’The Eternals.

Marvel Comics

Nomadland‘s Chloé Zhao will direct.

Hollywood Reporter announced that Oscar winner Chloé Zhao would direct Eternals, who was initially in the running to direct Black Widow.

According to Hollywood Reporter, Zhao’s pitch “brought reams of visuals” about “10 little-known immortal Marvel characters.” Feige told the outlet that “her initial pitch to us was fascinating, and frankly, one of the reasons we moved forward on the movie was because of the vision that she brought to it.”

In a Variety interview, Zhao spoke about the importance of staying true to her vision for the project. “It’s just been such an incredible experience working with the team at Marvel. I want to be careful saying ‘my vision,’ even though I do want people to know they did support what I wanted to do. I want people to know that,” she said. “But I also want to make sure they know that I got the support of this incredibly talented team, some of the most talented artists in the world. And it really is a village to make this film, but they did let me lead. Yes.”

Zhao wrote the screenplay with Ryan Firpo and Kaz Firpo. The film is based on the 1976 Eternals comics by Jack Kirby, who also created Captain America and The Incredible Hulk.

Zhao also explained how Kirby and being a fan of MCU inspired her to direct the film. “Jack Kirby and his imagination, his incredible work, is really the foundation of it. On top of that, there is what Marvel Studios has built, this incredible journey they have going on,” she told Variety. “And then, I was a fan of the genre and grew up with sci-fi and manga and fantasy films. And how can we have this big melting pot and cook up something that may just taste a little bit different? It was just an exciting thing; all of us went in wanting to do that. We’ll see.”

Angelia Jolie spoke about her experience working with Zhao in an exclusive Entertainment Weekly interview. “It really felt like she was pulling out of us something that was more personal, from a deeper side of ourselves. She wasn’t looking to put something on top of us, like a character. She was looking for us to reveal ourselves as the character.”

Angelia Jolie was drawn to the Eternals family dynamic.

Jolie, no stranger to action-packed sci-fi roles, will play Thena, an elite warrior who can manifest weapons. As she read Zhao’s pitch for the film, she knew immediately that she wanted to be involved. “I just wanted to be a part of this family. I have a slightly unconventional family myself, so it felt familiar,” Jolie told EW.

She also added, “Standing there next to each other, the first time we all stood in our suits together and took off our secrecy cloaks and had to stand there for the shot, what you felt was just a lot of support. We were smiling at each other, and there was just a lot of kindness.”

Eternals takes place after Avengers: Endgame.

Feige told Variety that the upcoming film is a “very bold and very ambitious, sprawling 7,000-year story of humanity and our place in the cosmos.”

Marvel also shared more details in an official synopsis.

“Marvel Studios’ The Eternals features an exciting new team of Superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ancient aliens who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s most ancient enemy, The Deviants.”

According to Hollywood Reporter, a source said that “one aspect to the story involves the love story between Ikaris (Richard Madden), a man fueled by cosmic energy, and Sersi (Gemma Chan), who relishes moving amongst humans.”

In Nanjiani’s EW interview, he discussed what fans could expect from the film. “And it’s really such a science-fiction story. It’s a superhero story, but in some ways, it’s the most sci-fi of all the Marvel movies, and it’s the most epic of all the Marvel movies. And the story spans thousands of years. So it’s really not like any of the other Marvel movies.”

The film will introduce Marvel’s first LGBTQ+ superhero.

Henry will play Marvel’s first openly gay superhero in Eternals, which will feature an onscreen kiss. In an interview with NewNowNext, Haaz Sleiman opened up about his role as Phastos’ (Henry) husband. “I’m married to the gay superhero Phastos, played by Atlanta’s Brian Tyree Henry, and we represent a gay family and have a child,” he said, per EW.

He continued and spoke about their onscreen kiss. “It’s a beautiful, very moving kiss,” Sleiman told the outlet. “Everyone cried on set. For me, it’s very important to show how loving and beautiful a queer family can be,” he continued. “Brian Tyree Henry is such a tremendous actor and brought so much beauty into this part, and at one point, I saw a child in his eyes, and I think it’s important for the world to be reminded that we in the queer community were all children at one point. We forget that because we’re always depicted as sexual or rebellious; we forget to connect on that human part.”

Feige said that an LGBTQ+ romance “was always sort of inherent in the story and the makeup of the different types of Eternals. I think it is extremely well done, and I look forward to that level of inclusion in our future movies being less of a topic,” per Hollywood Reporter.

The film introduces Marvel’s first deaf superhero.

Ridloff will play Makkari, an Eternal who is deaf with super-speed powers. In an interview with Movie Web, Ridloff talked about her role, saying, “I am more thrilled than overwhelmed about being given the opportunity to represent the deaf community. I’m very thrilled about that—just to bring in that storyline within the MCU. I think there’s plenty of room for more stories like that.”

Ridloff’s character is the complete opposite of the original Makkari in the comics. “What made it even more interesting to me was that they decided to make this switch, this gender swap. We couldn’t go more opposite to the original with this casting. Traditionally in comic books, it’s this big muscular, buff, blond guy, and he’s hearing. And they considered me — a woman, Black, deaf — to play this role,” Ridloff said, per EW.

The movie was barely filmed in a studio.

Eternals’ filming locations included the Canary Islands and London, England. Paparazzi spotted Madden and Harington on set near the city’s Camden Town area.

In an Entertainment Tonight interview, Hayek said of the project, “I think it definitely has its own DNA within the Marvel universe. It is different. It was directed by a woman [Chloé Zhao], and we didn’t do most of the things in the studio. They’re real locations which are unusual for Marvel. I’m very excited about the film, [and] it definitely has the special vibe to it that is unique. I’m really excited about it, and I love my character, and I love the cast.”

In an interview with Variety, Feige said that Zhao “was really fighting for practical locations, for practical elements — yes, in a movie that is full of visual effects and characters with extraordinary powers but doing as much as possible on far-flung locations. And that starts to reap benefits visually immediately.”

Zhao recalled filming a scene on a windy cliff. “It was probably the windiest cliff that I have ever been on,” she said. “You’d have to have a helicopter to achieve the wind that we had that day,” she told EW. “We had our whole cast standing on that cliff in their costumes, and we played really loud operatic music on the speaker, just blasting that through the wind. Seeing my cast coming together in formation as the Eternals, with the beauty of this ancient-looking landscape, and the ocean and the sky, that was… I mean, I couldn’t stand because I felt like I was getting lifted by the wind. But other than that, it was pretty awesome.”

The film finished filming before the pandemic.

In early February 2020, Chan tweeted a mirror selfie of herself wearing an Eternals hat and captioned the post, “It’s a wrap,” hinting that the cast and crew have officially finished filming.

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There is a love triangle involved.

EW revealed that much of the film would focus on Sersi’s love triangle with Eternal member Ikaris (Madden) and human Dane Whiteman (Harington)–seemingly marking a Games of Throne reunion between the two actors. Sersi and Ikaris have a long history together, but have drifted apart.

“You’ve got to have this huge compassion for the human beings you’re with, but then also, you’ve got this huge disconnect from them because you’ve lived through all of this time,” Madden told EW of Sersi and Ikaris’ relationship. “That’s what is so good about Sersi and Ikaris together, that they are two opposing sides of how they connect with the world. That’s what balances them.”

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