With Avengers: Endgame now in our rearview mirrors, Marvel’s San Diego Comic-Con 2019 panel made it clear that Marvel Studios is looking to the future for a more diverse MCU that essentially begins with The Eternals.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige admitted in April 2018 that a film based on Jack Kirby’s The Eternals was in development. “Eternals is one of many many many things that we are actively beginning to have creative discussions about to see if we believe in them enough to put them on a slate,” Feige told The Wrap. In the comics, the Eternals are a race of celestial-powered beings created by the Celestials that are immortal. Like the Asgardians, many of them are mistaken for gods in human mythology.
By September 2018, The Hollywood Reporter announced Marvel Studios had tapped Chinese director Chloé Zhao to helm a film about these characters, but it wasn’t until SDCC that the cast began to fill out and we learned more about what will happen in the film.
Here’s all of that and so much more:
What are the Eternals in Marvel Comics?
The Celestials are a race of godlike beings (Star-Lord’s father, Ego, being one of them). Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster is supposed to be another. At the dawn of mankind in Marvel Comics, a Celestial called Nezarr the Calculator visited Earth and granted a certain number of prehistoric humanoids the ability to tap into cosmic power akin to the Infinity Stones.
Using that power, Eternals are able to augment their own life force, making them invulnerable and essentially immortal. Using psionic powers, they can manipulate matter at the molecular level to do almost anything. Power levels, specialties, and interests vary with the characters, but their immortality seems to unify them.
What’s the Plot of The Eternals?
The Wrap reported in April 2018 that “multiple screenwriters have taken meetings and have been asked to come up with a story that focuses on the female Eternal known as Sersi.”
The character first appeared as Circe in Jack Kirby’s Strange Tales #109 in June 1963, essentially making her Circe the nymph or goddess of magic that appears in Homer’s Odyssey. Marvel’s Thor is an Asgardian that humans worshipped as a god, and Circe is something similar to that but in the Greek pantheon of gods.
In the comics, Sersi is unique in how much she loves living among humans despite her immense power. She eventually settles in New York City, uses illusion magic to entertain humans, and becomes a party planner. Were these characters living on Earth all along? Or do they only exist in a post-Endgame reality?
When Zhao was announced as director in September 2018, further details emerged that the film was a “love story between Ikaris, a man fueled by cosmic energy, and Sersi, who relishes moving amongst humans.” Zhao’s comments are intriguing but it should be noted that The Eternals scripting process is still in the early stages. The story will likely evolve throughout the production process. If so, the love story may not be as central in the final version as it’s being positioned right now.
When Is The Eternals Release Date?
The Eternals release date was confirmed at Marvel SDCC 2019. It will be released on November 6, 2020, making it the second film Marvel will release after Black Widow in May.
Earlier, That Hashtag Show reported that The Eternals production should start in September 2019 in the UK and continue through at least January 2020, keeping the film on track for a release around fall 2020.
Who’s in The Eternals Cast?
The official Eternals cast was initially announced at Marvel’s SDCC presentation in July, with a few additions made at D23 in August. The cast lineup is as follows:
- Angelina Jolie as “Thena”
- Salma Hayek as “Ajax”
- Richard Madden as “Ikaris”
- Lauren Ridloff as “Makkari”
- Kumail Nanjiani as “Kingo”
- Brian Tyree Henry as “Phastos”
- Don Lee as “Gilgamesh”
- Lia McHugh as “Sprite”
The D23 panel included the following additions:
- Barry Keoghan as”Druig”,
- Gemma Chan as “Sersi”
- Kit Harrington as “Dane Whitman/The Black Knight”
The Eternals will be released November 6, 2020.