At this year's Comic Con panel, Marvel formally announced that The Eternals was one of several big-budget movies set to come out in their newly-announced Phase 4. While there were a few bits of information out about the film prior to this announcement, including Angelina Jolie's involvement, this is the first time we got any firm details on what we can now expect from this newest addition in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe.
And, while there are only a handful of updates made available about the film at this time, as Marvel has been vigilant about keeping information secret from the public, The Eternals is shaping up to be one of Marvel's most intriguing and hopefully promising new movies, particularly when it comes to their new slate of movies after the climatic Avengers: Endgame.
We can't confirm everything about this blockbuster at this time (there are even some folks who aren't entirely clear if the title is The Eternals or simply Eternals), but we can report on what we know for sure about this new film and we can provide details that will hopefully get you excited to see what Marvel has to offer with one of their latest movies — especially at the start of this newest Phase.
What Is The Release Date For The Eternals?
At the aforementioned Comic-Con panel, it was revealed that The Eternals was officially set to be released on November 6th, 2020. That's certainly a tight window between now and then, with a little over a year before this blockbuster is set to screen in front of audiences everywhere. But, the film has reportedly been in pre-production since March of this year, and it sounds like The Eternals is already in the thick of preparations so that it can gear up for production.
When (And Where) Did Production On The Eternals Begin?
As we have noted earlier, production on The Eternals was already expected to begin no later than in the next few months. And, ComicBook.com reported that the production appears to have already begun in the early stages, with sets being built in Buckinghamshire, England, which is where the blockbuster was rumored to begin filming a few months ago.
With pre-production now underway, this would mean that The Eternals is shooting around the same time as Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, which is scheduled to be released only a few short months later, in February 2021. The pre-production work for The Eternals reportedly started around late July. Clearly, this movie will film for at least the next few months before post-production fully gears up.
Who Will Direct The Eternals?
In September 2018, it was revealed that Chloe Zhao would be at the helm of The Eternals. The Chinese filmmaker already earned a wealth of acclaim for her sophomore feature, The Rider, which appeared on a number of top 10 lists last year. Zhao was also in the running to direct Black Widow before the position was given to Cate Shortland.
But, it's clear that producer Kevin Feige and the rest of the folks over at Marvel were impressed with the director's work and they wanted to bring her on-board to helm one of their latest superhero blockbusters. This, even though the rising filmmaking talent has only made independent films to date, including her feature directorial debut, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, which came out only a few years earlier.
Certainly, The Eternals is a big leap for Chloe Zhao, but she has acquired an exceptional cast for her latest film (which we'll discuss in just a little while) and it's clear that Marvel has a lot of confidence in this young filmmaker to prove herself in a major way with this latest film. It is also worth noting that The Eternals will now be the third Marvel film directed by a female filmmaker, following this year's Captain Marvel and the upcoming Black Widow. That is certainly an exciting development, and it's hopefully a sign of what's to come with regards to a diversity of filmmakers directing these movies.
Who Is Writing The Eternals?
In May of 2018, it was revealed that cousins Ryan and Matthew K. Firpo were in talks to write the screenplay for The Eternals. The related writers have only previously had their short film screenplays brought to life, which makes the prospect of them jumping on board to write this major motion picture all the more exciting.
Although, it should be noted that their script for the war thriller Ruin has acquired a great deal of interest — most notably because Margot Robbie and Matthias Schoenaerts are currently attached to star. Production for that film has been slow, so there's a chance that The Eternals might make it to the screen before this project gets off the ground. But, it's apparent that Kevin Feige and his team are impressed by these two writers.
Who Are The Eternals?
Created by Jack Kirby in 1976, The Eternals are a band of humanoids who were considered an offshoot of the evolutionary process which created sentinent life inside the Marvel universe. They were once intended to be the protectors of Earth, and they've gone to war with their counterparts, The Deviants. They are basically superhumans, unaffected by cold and heat and they can live for thousands of years without threat of disease or easy destruction. They've got a mental bond that prevents them from being seriously/fatally hurt, and they're capable of extraordinary feats like mind reading and flight.
In short, they're basically the best of the best, in many respects. Although they do have some limitations (obviously), which will likely be explored in this film. They have several years of history, but it sounds like the characters chosen to be at the forefront of this introductory tale range from a variety of generations, with some characters arriving from the first generation, the third generation, the fifth generation and several others. It's unclear how closely this story will follow the origins of the characters from the comics, or when we'll be introduced to the characters with respect to the current timeline of the MCU.
Who Will Angelina Jolie Play In The Eternals?
It has been confirmed that Angelina Jolie will play Thena, one of the genetically-engineered crime-fighters in the titular Eternals. She was the first person to be cast in the film, which was considered a bit of a surprise. The actress has focused less on acting and more on directing and producing in recent years, with the exception of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, which is expected to be released in the fall.
Jolie also has other upcoming projects, including Taylor Sheridan's Those Who Wish Me Dead and Brenda Chapman's Come Away, both of which are expected to be released later this year or sometime next year. So, it does like she's decided to step back into acting a bit. Even though Jolie keeps herself busy in both her professional and personal life, she found the time to join the MCU.
Who Will Kumail Nanjiani Play In The Eternals?
Actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani has kept himself exceptionally busy in the last few years, and now he's set to star in The Eternals in the role of Kingo. Ever since breaking out on television with Silicon Valley and at the cinema with The Big Sick, a semi-autobiographical dramedy he also co-wrote, the actor has been working on a variety of different projects for screens both big and small.
He was recently seen in Men in Black: International and Stuber, along with an early episode of CBS All Access' reboot of The Twilight Zone, and he recently filmed the final season of Silicon Valley, which is expected to debut next year. Nanjiani also did another voiceover role for The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle and he starred in The Lovebirds, both of which are expected to be released next year. This is another huge role for the up-and-coming talent, and it continues his ascension to Hollywood's high ranks.
Who Will Salma Hayek Play In The Eternals?
Earlier this summer, it was revealed that Salma Hayek was being considered for a role in The Eternals. This information was confirmed at Comic-Con when she was announced as one part of the ensemble. The actress is set to play the role of Ajak, and it will be fun to see Hayek in another high-profile role.
The actress has proven her action chops in the past, notably with her work in Desperado, Once Upon A Time in Mexico and, most recently, The Hitman's Bodyguard. Hayek is also set to appear in the sequel The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard, which is expected to come out next year. Even though the actress has proven herself throughout multiple genres and in a variety of films, The Eternals will be one of her biggest projects yet.
Who Else Is Expected To Appear In The Eternals?
In addition to the actors and actresses mentioned above, The Eternals is also expected to star Games of Thrones' Richard Madden, The Walking Dead's Lauren Ridloff, Atlanta's Brian Tyree Henry and Don Lee. They'll each be playing Ikaris, Makkari, Phastos, and Gilgamesh, respectively. The Eternals is also expected to star Lia McHugh as Sprite, and it was recently announced that Gemma Chan and the great young actor Barry Keoghan have reportedly joined the cast as well, although their roles have not been confirmed at this time. Clearly, it's shaping up to be a tremendous cast.
As we said before, there are still a lot of details left unclear about The Eternals at this time. But with the release date fast approaching (even if it's still over a year away), we should expect to see and hear more about this film and these characters in the months to come. For now, however, this is the extent of what we know about this new blockbuster, and we'll continue to keep you posted on the details here at CinemaBlend, so be sure to bookmark this guide for all updates!