After a year without any new releases, Marvel Studios is racking up movies and TV shows like infinity stones in 2021. 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. 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.
So, do you need to see any other MCU movies prior to Eternals? Not really.
Chloe Zhao has said if you know about the snap during Avengers: Endgame that eradicated half the universe, that’s all the backstory you’ll need going into Eternals.
Still, if you’re itching for a Marvel rewatch here are some of the films that will help you on the journey to Eternals.
Can I see the final trailer?
Disney dropped the final trailer for Marvel’s Eternals on August 19. The clip offers a solid peek into the world of god-like beings, which we are certainly not complaining about.
Check out the final Eternals trailer below:
Who’s who in the Eternals cast line-up?
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 to the cast line-up for the Eternals film.
- 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.
What are the reviews saying?
Now that Eternals has premiered around the world, reviews are beginning to emerge.
At the time of writing the film had a 53% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes with many saying the film is visually stunning but is far from perfect.
Adam Graham or the Detroit News simply wrote: “Eternals is too much of a not good enough thing”. Yeah, not great.
Sara Michelle Fetters of MovieFreak.com, however, was a little more forgiving, writing that:
“Eternals shoots for the stars, and if the finished feature isn’t quite out of this world, it’s still close enough to getting there that my interest in seeing where these characters go next is exceedingly high.”
Here are some spoiler-free reactions that will help you get a sense of what to expect from the new Marvel movie.
Chloe Zhao's #Eternals feels different than any other Marvel film so far. It's epic in scope, bursting with emotion, features so many beautiful moments, and is full of breathtaking imagery. pic.twitter.com/rZBYvz5dgN
— tim leong (@timleong) October 19, 2021
— Brian Davids (@PickYourBrian) October 19, 2021
#Eternals is probably the most shocking and surprising Marvel movie you’ll see. Many twists and turns. Kumail Nanjiani Is hilarious in every scene. As always, stay to the VERY end. pic.twitter.com/Z3Hm6Vxznx
— Kirsten (@KirstenAcuna) October 19, 2021
Be aware that some reviews have already spoiled the post-credits scenes from Eternals, so be cautious when on social media!
What is the release date in Australia?
Marvel’s Eternals had its world premiere in Los Angeles on October 19, which naturally captured the attention of the masses.
— Eternals (@TheEternals) October 19, 2021
Fans won’t be able to catch the film on the big screen for a few more weeks, though. Eternals has been pushed back multiple times due to the pandemic – it was originally going to release in November 2020, then it was slated for an October 28 release date, and now it’s set to hit cinemas in Australia on November 4, 2021.
If you’re wondering whether or not the film will get a simultaneous cinema and streaming release, Disney has announced that its remaining 2021 films – which includes Eternals, The Last Duel, West Side Story, Ron’s Gone Wrong and The King’s Man – will be released to cinemas for 45 days before hitting streaming services.
This article has been updated since its original publish date.