In the aftermath of this spring’s colossal Avengers: Endgame, a new team of heroes is now poised to rise up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: the Eternals.
At the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios unveiled its highly anticipated Phase 4 lineup. Alongside new projects featuring familiar names such as Thor: Love and Thunder and WandaVision, Marvel properly introduced fans to The Eternals.
Directed by up-and-coming filmmaker Chloé Zhao, who helmed the 2018 docudrama The Rider before graduating to superhero fare, The Eternals centers on a race of superpowered immortals who have lived on Earth for 35,000 years.
“It’s about this group of incredible immortals, but through their journey, we really get to explore what it means to be human,” Zhao said.
The Eternals made headlines last year when it was reported that Angelina Jolie would be joining the cast, and Marvel confirmed at Comic-Con that Jolie will play the warrior Thena. Jolie, who has an iconic action movie pedigree, said she’s already training for The Eternals.
“I’m going to work 10 times harder, because I think what it means to be a part of the MCU, what it means to be an Eternal, to be a part of this family — I know what we all need to do, we have all read the script, we all know what the task ahead is, and we know what you deserve, so we are all going to be working very, very hard,” Jolie said.
Jolie is joined by a stacked cast, including Richard Madden as Icarus, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff (making history as the MCU’s first deaf superhero) as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, and Don Lee as Gilgamesh.
Marvel Studios’ president, Kevin Feige, introduced the film as “full Jack Kirby,” a shout-out to the legendary comic book creator who invented the Eternals in the 1970s. What little we know about the film’s plot is in line with comic book mythology, as the Eternals were created by cosmic beings known as Celestials and sent to Earth to protect the planet from the Deviants, their evil, similarly near-immortal counterparts.
While The Eternals is not Marvel’s next movie scheduled for release — that will actually Black Widow, hitting theaters next May — The Eternals is coming to theaters November 2020.