A whole new era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was unveiled in 2019 when Marvel revealed its Phase Four plans at the San Diego Comic-Con.
One of the most exciting takeaways from the reveal was Eternals. Based on a comic book first written by Jack Kirby in 1976, the film will introduce “an exciting new team of Super Heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ancient aliens who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years.”
With Phase Four kicking into gear, here is everything we know so far about the film, from provisional release date to trailers, plot, cast and beyond.
Who are the Eternals?
Eternals is based on a comic book written by Jack Kirby for Marvel, which began in 1976. Set millions of years in the past, it sees powerful aliens called The Celestials experiment on humans. While doing so, they create a race of superhumans known as the Eternals and a second villainous race, The Deviants.
The Eternals and The Deviants battle each other throughout history and warring Gods from ancient Greek, Norse, and Roman mythologies. Later, the Eternals leave Earth to explore other planets.
According to a synopsis, Eternals will frame “an exciting new team of Super Heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ancient aliens who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years.”
Eternals release date: When is the film coming out?
As announced upon the Phase Four MCU unveiling, Eternals was meant to hit cinemas on November 6, 2020 – but the coronavirus pandemic means the blockbuster will be released on November 5, 2021.
Eternals trailer: is there a teaser yet?
The first teaser was released on May 24, 2021, showcasing each of the new heroes as Salma Hayek’s Ajak declares: “Throughout the years we have never interfered, until now.”
Eternals cast: who is in the new film?
Angelina Jolie is set to lead the cast, playing “fierce warrior” Thena. Discussing her role, Jolie said she would work “twice as hard” on the project as she realised “how important it is to be part of the MCU”.
Joining Jolie in the film are Kumail Nanjiani as “the cosmic-powered Kingo”, Gemma Chan as “humankind-loving Sersi”, and Salma Hayek as “the wise and spiritual leader Ajak”.
Speaking of the diverse cast for the film, Nanjiani said: “I was on set shooting, and the director showed me just a still of all of us together in the scene… We all look so different. It’s me and [Ma Dong-seok, who will play Gilgamesh] 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.”
Oscar-winner Chloe Zhao directs Eternals (Nomadland, Songs My Brother Taught Me, The Rider) written by brothers Matthew and Ryan Firpo.
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
Angelina Jolie as the fierce warrior Thena
Additionally, Kit Harington plays Dane Whitman
Eternals is directed by Academy Award–winner Chloé Zhao and experience it in theaters this November.
Plot details: what is going to happen in Marvel’s new movie?
Eternals will take place after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Revealing the first glimpses of a plot, the description says: “An unexpected tragedy forces [the Eternals] out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s most ancient enemy, The Deviants.”
The film will see the titular immortal alien race created by the Celestials to protect humanity from the Deviants.
Eternals will also be the first MCU film to feature a same-sex kiss and openly gay couple. Speaking to NewNowNext, actor Haaz Sleiman, who will play Phastos’ husband, has talked about the two characters’ relationship.
“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 explained.
“It is a beautiful, very moving kiss. Everyone cried on set. For me, it is essential to show how loving and beautiful a queer family can be.
“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.”
Marvel boss Kevin Feige previously dropped some hints about what we could expect from the plot of Eternals, telling Collider: “Eternals are one group, but we like the idea of introducing an ensemble, doing an ensemble movie from the start, as opposed to building up as we did with the first Avengers. More like Guardians, not tonally, but in terms of introducing a new group of people.
“You were asking about ’60s, and ’70s before. Jack Kirby did an immense, amazing epic with Eternals that spans tens of thousands of years, and that’s also something we haven’t really done, which is why that among many other things post-Endgame, we find appealing.”
In an interview, Eternals star Kumail Nanjiani has called the film “the most epic” Marvel movie yet, hinting at a truly unique new chapter for the MCU.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the actor said: “It is an epic. Moreover, it is such a science-fiction story. It is a superhero story, but, in some ways, it is the most sci-fi of all the Marvel movies, and it is 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.”