Eternals will officially mark the third film feature in Phase 4 of the MCU, and here’s everything to know regarding the release date, cast, story details, and trailer. Directed by Oscar-winning Chloé Zhao (Nomadland), Eternals will follow an alien race with a long history in Marvel Comics. In the same vein as Guardians of the Galaxy, Eternals will feature an ensemble cast while introducing several new characters into the fold as the film follows these very otherworldly beings who are grounded and bound to Earth.
Unlike many of the other projects that make up Phase 4, which have been in development for quite some time, the plans for Eternals were first announced in 2018. Seeing as Zhao was in the running for Black Widow, Marvel Studios put her name at the top of the shortlist. She was eventually hired to helm of the project before the studio began casting for the diverse list of characters, most of whom were officially announced during 2019’s San Diego Comic-Con.
Though Eternals will focus on a group of characters not yet seen in the MCU, their race is heavily connected to previously explored storylines. The ancient aliens were a subspecies created by the Celestials, a mysterious group with immense powers explored briefly in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. By focusing on the Eternals, the MCU will shed more light on the Celestials while setting up more storylines for Phase 4 and beyond. Here’s what to expect from the upcoming MCU project.
Filming for Eternals officially began in the fall of 2019 and wrapped in early February 2020. Aside from filming in the Canary Islands, production spent a lot of time near Oxford, England, and areas around London. Luckily, the film wrapped production before the global pandemic forced everything to shut down. Despite Eternals wrapping filming, its release was still pushed back. The special effects crew was able to work remotely through the pandemic, but the release date was initially delayed from November 2020 to February 2021. Later, Marvel and Disney pushed the film back yet again, with the film now slated to be released in theaters (bypassing Disney+ Premier Access) on November 5, 2021.
Eternals features a stellar cast of veteran actors and rising stars. The list includes Angelina Jolie, who plays Thena, an Eternal that can form weapons out of cosmic energy. She has an extremely close bond to fellow Eternal Gilgamesh, played by Don Lee. Richard Madden stars in the film as Ikaris, a leader of the Eternals with superhuman strength. The fellow Eternals consist of Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), Sprite (Lia McHugh), Sersi (Gemma Chan), and Druig (Barry Keoghan). Salma Hayek notably plays Ajak, the spiritual leader of the Eternals. Kit Harington will also play a key role in the film, portraying the human Dane Whitman, a Marvel Comics character who went by the moniker of Black Knight, while Haaz Sleiman will play Phastos’ husband. Ozer Ercan, Jashaun St. John, and Zain Al Rafeea, are also a part of the sprawling cast.
Eternals is set following the events of Avengers: Endgame, which saw the downfall of Thanos and the return of his victims during the Blip. The Eternals, who have been secretly living on Earth for thousands of years after being created by the Celestials, are reunited to battle the Deviants, their evil counterparts. Many have probably wondered why the Eternals have not gotten involved with the fight against Thanos or any other event and catastrophe throughout history. But the immortal alien race is tasked first and foremost with protecting humanity from the Deviants and to only observe them without interference. While some, like Sersi and Kingo, have more seamlessly blended in with humanity, others aren’t so keen to be involved so closely with them. The film will also include a love triangle between Sersi, Ikaris, and Dane Whitman, whom she is dating in the present day.
The first official trailer for Eternals was released in May, with the teaser offering fans the first real glimpse at the cosmic beings as well as their backstories. The trailer also provided a look at Sersi and Ikaris’ love throughout the ages and how, despite being so different, the Eternals were bound to each other through their mission and centuries of having lived together on Earth. The final trailer for Eternals landed in August. What’s more, the trailer showcased how Eternals would be different to the other MCU films, grounded as it is while also embracing the sweeping mythology surrounding the central characters.