After a year without any new releases, Marvel Studios is racking up movies and TV shows like infinity stones this year. Following the likes of WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be Eternals, one of Marvel’s most intriguing movies yet.
Eternals is one of Marvel’s wilder comic-book storylines. It follows a race of superpowered immortal beings who have secretly lived on Earth for thousands of years.
If you’re confused yet excited, you’re not the only one. The first trailer for Eternals recently dropped and there is a lot going on. Here’s what you need to know about this mysterious new Marvel movie.
Celestials vs Deviants vs Eternals
At the core of Eternals are three races of alien god-like beings. They are, of course, at war with each other.
The Celestials are like the prime creators. They were responsible for creating our Eternals characters. They’ve had a hand in major human evolutionary events and have also been known to use infinity stones every now and then.
The Celestials spawned the Eternals during a series of genetic experiments. At the same time, they also created the Deviants, a race of monstrous mutated beings.
The Eternals have acted as guardians of humanity for centuries, protecting them from their enemies, the Deviants. They’ve been hiding in secret, helping us out from time to time, but they never interfere. This might explain why they didn’t show up when Thanos snapped away half of the population they were trying to protect.
In Marvel’s Eternals, however, something significant happens, bringing these super-beings out of hiding.
What is Marvel’s Eternals all about?
Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao is behind the wheel for Eternals and this looks to be pretty different to anything we’ve seen in the MCU before.
Eternals covers multiple civilisations across multiple countries spanning multiple time periods, so it has a lot of ground to cover. And that’s before you add in the absolutely stacked cast of characters, but more on that later.
The latest trailer gives us a good idea of what to expect from Eternals and at the same time leaves us with plenty of questions. Although one thing is certain – Chloe Zhao knows how to capture a sweeping landscape.
Who’s who in the zoo?
The MCU has always been good at juggling multiple characters, but the Eternals will introduce us to 10-plus new faces in one hit. Comic book readers shouldn’t get too comfortable either because Eternals has swapped around the genders and roles of some of the characters for the movie adaptation.
To help you keep up, here’s a little cheat sheet.
- Sersi (Gemma Chan) – Sersi will take the lead role in Eternals, according to Kevin Feige. She’s chocked full of super-powers including immortality and invulnerability as well as the ability to manipulate matter. Sersi is particularly fond of humanity and has been blending in as a museum curator during her time on Earth.
- Ikaris (Richard Madden) – As the most powerful of the Eternals, Ikaris is the kind and charismatic leader of the group with incredible powers of strength, flight and can project cosmic energy (from his eyes, naturally). He and Sersi have been romantic partners for centuries.
- Ajak (Salma Hayek) – Ajak was written as male in the comics but will be played by Salma Hayek in the big-screen version. Ajak is the spiritual leader of the group and has helped to guide the Eternals in advancing humanity. She can heal both humans and Eternals and has the power to communicate with the Celestials.
- Phastos (Brian Tyree) – Phastos is an inventor, he can create whatever he can imagine provided he has the materials. This iteration of Phastos will also be the first openly LGBTQ+ superhero in the MCU.
- Thena (Angelina Jolie) – Thena is the warrior of the group and can use her cosmic energy to form any weapon imaginable. She’s described as surly and aloof and is an expert at martial arts.
- Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) – the MCU has been left without a speedster since Quicksilver’s departure and Makkari is here to fill that gap. Makkari (who also switched genders from the comics) uses her speed to scout planets for the Eternals and is also the first deaf character seen on-screen in the MCU.
- Gilgamesh (Don Lee) – Gilgamesh is described as both the strongest and kindest member of the team. He’s very close to Thena and is a similarly fierce warrior who can project an exoskeleton of cosmic energy.
- Kingo (Kumail Ninjiani) – Kingo has become obsessed with the idea of fame and has risen to success as a Bollywood star. He has to give it all up when the threat of the Deviants arises and has the power to shoot cosmic projectiles from his hands.
- Sprite (Lia McHugh) – Sprite is another Eternal who has undergone a gender swap from their comic counterpart. Sprite has the power to cast illusions but has also been trapped in her 12-year-old body for eternity, and has thus been treated as a child by humans for most of her life.
- Druig (Barry Keoghan) – Druig has the, rather scary, power to control the minds of humans and is a bit of a wild card. He’s long disagreed with how the Eternals have interacted with mankind and has withdrawn from the group.
- Dane Whitman (Kit Harington) – Dane is one of the few human characters that appear in the Eternals. In the comics, he wields the superhero mantle of Black Knight but he has connected to the Eternals thanks to his romantic relationship with Sersi.
Got all that? There are just a few characters to remember.
When can you see Eternals in Australia?
Eternals has been pushed back multiple times due to the pandemic, it was originally going to release in November 2020 but will now release late 2021 instead.
The film is scheduled for release in Australian cinemas on October 28, 2021.
There’s no word yet on whether Eternals will get a simultaneous cinema and streaming release, like Black Widow, or if it will be a cinema exclusive. Either way, judging by the trailer, this is one you’ll definitely want to see on the biggest screen possible.