It’s been almost two years since the Marvel Cinematic Universe wrapped up phase 3 with Spider-Man: Far From Home. Though a lot has changed within the MCU in the past couple of years, they recently revealed their plans for continuing phase 4 in 2021.
Though phase 4 has technically already begun — thanks to Disney Plus shows like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier — Marvel is gearing up for a busy end of 2021 with a number of movie releases, including Eternals.
This film promises to be a massive, star-studded spectacle–here’s what you need to know!
What Will Eternals Be About?
While there are plenty of Marvel moviegoers who worship the comics and know everything about every character, there are plenty of casual fans who know next to nothing about this storyline. Don’t worry, by the end of this article you’ll be fully prepared to see this film.
According to Marvel, “Marvel Studios’ Eternals features 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. 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.”
Who Are the Eternals?
In short, the Eternals are ancient aliens who have been around for a very long time. Though they look just like humans, they possess superpowers (duh!) that were given to them by the Celestials. If you’ve watched Guardians of the Galaxy then you’ve heard about the Celestials before!
If you haven’t watched Guardians of the Galaxy (or have just simply forgotten), the Celestials are basically “Space Gods.” They visited Earth millions of years ago, conducted a number of experiments, and ended up creating two races — the Eternals and the Deviants.
As you can expect with any superhero film, each Eternal has a special set of powers. While some have superhuman strength, others can fly, teleport, or even fire rays from their hands or eyes.
Who Is Starring in the Film?
Marvel always manages to get the biggest actors to star in their movies, and Eternals is no exception. Here is the list of the cast and the characters they will be playing:
- Angelina Jolie — Thena
- Richard Madden — Ikkaris
- Salma Hayek — Ajax
- Brian Tyree Henry — Phastos
- Kumail Nanjiani — Kingo
- Don Lee — Gilgamesh
- Lia McHugh — Sprite
- Gemma Chan — Sersi
- Kit Harrington — Dane Whitman
- Lauren Ridloff — Makkari
- Barry Keoghan — Druig
Nomadland‘s Chloe Zhao Will Direct
Though Chloe Zhao finished filming Eternals over a year ago, there’s a solid chance she will be the first director to win an Academy Award for Directing the same year their a Marvel film released.
For those who don’t know, Zhao’s film Nomadland is the favorite to win Best Picture at the 2021 Oscars, and Zhao herself is the favorite to win the directing Oscar. If she does so, she’ll be only the second woman in history to win that award. The first was Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2010. Learn more about Zhao and other amazing female directors in Hollywood right here!
Anyway, back to Eternals. Though Zhao has been working in Hollywood for a number of years, Kevin Feige — who is the head of Marvel Studios — revealed Zhao’s pitch for the movie was the best he had ever heard.
“Not only does Chloe make remarkable, small, personal movies in a remarkable, small, personal way, but she thinks in grand, cosmic, gigantic terms, which fit perfectly with what we wanted to do,” Feige told Rolling Stone.
“Eternals is a very big, sweeping, multimillennial-spanning story. And she just got it.”
What About the Villains?
Though nothing has been confirmed, it’s probably safe to assume the villain (or villains) in Eternals will include a Deviant.
Well, as it turns out, Kohl’s–yes, the department store–may have given away who the Eternals will be facing off against in the film. A number of Eternals t-shirts are now featured on the retailer’s website, with one of them featuring Kro the Deviant and another featuring a Celestial named Arishem the Judge. If we’re to trust Kohl’s (and I don’t know why we wouldn’t), there’s a good chance these two will be in the film.
When Will It Be Released?
Eternals is still set for a November 5, 2021 release, which certainly sets it up for success. Not only will the film generate a lot of “holiday buzz,” but it could also generate awards conversations as well.
With Zhao now cemented as a true Hollywood auteur, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Eternals in the 2022 Oscars race.