We're slowly starting to learn more about what the Marvel Cinematic Universe will look like after Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home as Marvel Studios pushes its Phase 4 plans – plans to include Eternals on November 5, 2021 come to theaters.
Directed by Chloé Zhao (The Rider) and based on a script by Matthew and Ryan Firpo, Eternals will introduce a new pantheon of powerful heroes and villains into the MCU and already has several high profile actors including Angelina Jolie and Kumail Nanjiani. Here is everything we know about Eternals.
Check out Kro first
We've known for some time through the release of Eternals-related action figures that the Eternals' existential enemy, the Deviants, would play a role in the upcoming movie. But now we have our first look at Kro and it seems the MCU version of the character looks a lot darker than it does in the comics. Kro is a shapeshifter by nature. Its powers are in some ways similar to the Venom symbiote if the packaging is a clue. The packaging also shows that it is a “harbinger of a global threat”.
First, check out the vicious KRO in ETERNALS. pic.twitter.com/GFj5vPWwzJ
– ????????????????????????????????? (@Eternalsnews) October 3, 2020
New description of Kro in "ETERNALS" ???? pic.twitter.com/fiv7npmBiD
– cosmic (@cosmic_marvel) October 3, 2020
The release date
The coronavirus pandemic has delayed many big films, which resulted in Disney shuffling its release schedule. Eternals was originally supposed to premiere on November 6, 2020, but was pushed to make way for Black Widow, which was originally slated for May. The film was then postponed to February 12, 2021, the date that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings were previously slated for, only to be delayed again. Currently, Eternals is slated to hit theaters on November 5, 2021, more than a year after the original release date.
ETERNALS has been delayed and will now be released on November 5th, 2021! pic.twitter.com/IaDqbuwvO3
– ????????????????????????????????? (@Eternalsnews) September 23, 2020
When the film hits theaters, it will be the second film in Phase 4 of the MCU and the 25th film overall.
More Marvel romance
Not only will Eternals feature the first openly gay couple in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but they will also experience even more romantic intrigues. In an interview with Vanity Fair Italy, Gemma Chan confirmed that her character Sersi has a romantic history with both Ikaris (Richard Madden) and the Black Knight (Kit Harington).
"In particular, it is the story of a group of immortal aliens who came to Earth 7,000 years ago. So the conspiracy is going on for a very long time," said Chan. "Sersi is the one with the greatest affinity for people, in fact he's involved in two love stories, a total novelty for Marvel events and one of the reasons that drew me to this project."
While this isn't an absolute novelty for Marvel (see: Wanda and Vision), it appears that Eternals will feature more superhuman romances than previous films in the MCU.
Marvel's first queer couple on a big screen
In an interview with Logo, Haaz Sleiman announced that he would play the man who is married to Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) in Eternals. This makes Phastos the first queer superhero to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Marvel's first on-screen gay character appeared on TV's Runaways.)
Marvel President Kevin Feige has been angry for some time that the MCU would have an openly gay character in an upcoming movie. After initial reports that Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) was exploring her bisexuality, as she does in the Thor: Love & Thunder comics in 2021, Feige later made it clear that the MCU's first gay hero would arrive at Eternals.
Jesse Grant / Getty Images
Thanks to this interview we now know that the character will be Phastos, one of the eponymous Eternals. Sleiman stated that the film shows what married life is like for the couple who have a child together – halfway new terrain for the MCU, which shocked audiences by revealing Hawkeye's family in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Ah, superhero training. We're not sure what kind of regimen it takes to achieve this look, but we know we probably won't. Oscar nominee Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), who plays eternal member Kingo in the film, showed off his new, tattered body on Instagram as the film heads for production. It is obvious that he takes his role as the new superhero / demigod seriously.
See this post on Instagram
I never thought I'd be one of those people to post a thirsty shirtless man, but I've worked way too hard for way too long so here we are. You either die a hero or you live long enough to make yourself the villain. I found out a year ago that I was going to be in Marvel's Eternal and decided to change my looks. I couldn't have done this if I hadn't spent a full year with the best coaches and nutritionists paid by the world's largest gym. I'm glad I look like this, but I also understand why I've never done it before. Without these resources and time it would have been impossible. A big thank you to @grantrobertsfit who worked with me earlier this year and made me understand the real physical pain for months. Once we started shooting, a big thank you to @davidhigginslondon and his team (@ellispartridge, @thebeardypt, @tomcheesemanfitness) for training me almost every day and making me strong, limber and injury free. I can almost touch my toes now. (And thank you for making me make fraudulent meals, David.) Matthews Street catering for your delicious and healthy meals. And finally, biggest thanks go to @emilyvgordon for complaining and talking about the fact that I only exercised and dieted for the last year. I promise that one day I will be interesting again. #thirstyshirtless (Photo by @markupson.) (Edit: I left out a very important person: @lancecallahan who trained me for 6 years and helped me build the foundation on which I could do this. Thank you!)
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Nanjiani said he approached Kingo by portraying him as how Nanjiani didn't want him. "I really approached him as the opposite of the opportunities I was given and the opportunities many other brown men traditionally got in Hollywood," he explained. "I think we are this group in which we can be the exemplary minority, so the smart nerds or exactly the opposite, terrorists, depending on the project." These are the two ends of the spectrum that we occupy and very little in between. I have to play a nerd so I wanted this guy to be cool. I played weaklings so I wanted this guy to be strong. Brown men had to play terrorists, so I wanted this guy to be full of joy. So, really, that character was defined for me by what I didn't want him to be. "
Nanjiani is joined by a diverse and impressive cast for Eternals. Oscar winner Angelina Jolie was the first familiar face to sign up. During the Marvel Studios panel at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2019, it was announced that Jolie will play Thena, a powerful Eternal who is known for her knowledge and fighting ability and is similar to the Greek goddess Athena.
Eternals won't be Jolie's first foray into comic films. She previously starred in Wanted 2008, an adaptation of the comic book of the same name, and has starred in various other action-packed sci-fi and fantasy films over the years, including the Tomb Raider franchise (based on the video games) and Malicious in 2014 . However, this will be her first live-action film based on a superhero comic.
Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images
Richard Madden will play another main character, Ikaris, who is a central character in the film's history and one of the most powerful Eternals. Madden is best known for playing Robb Stark in HBO's Game of Thrones.
Along with Jolie, Madden and Nanjiani, Eternals Train to Busan actor Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Frida star Salma Hayek as Ajak (the leader of the Eternals), Lauren Ridloff as Makkari and Atlanta actor Brian will star Tyree Henry as Phastos and Lia McHugh (The Lodge) as Sprite.
The Eternals is based on a world created by comic book legend Jack Kirby in 1976. The Eternals are a type of powerful immortal beings created by the Celestials – the massive beings featured in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy film as part of their evolutionary experiments Earth eons ago. The Eternals were embroiled in an endless war with the Deviants, their equally powerful but destructive counterparts.
Acclaimed writer Neil Gaiman co-wrote a popular reboot of The Eternals with artist John Romita Jr., first published in 2006, that brought the characters into the modern era of Marvel Comics. In the story, one of the Eternals – Ikaris – discovers that his memory was erased at some point and that he and his fellow-Eternals and the deviants have lived on earth in human form for an unknown time, without being aware of their power, abilities and origins . He sets out to wake up his eternal fellow human beings and to find out what happened to them.
Updated October 5, 2020: New pictures of Kro added.