Jack Kirby’s Eternals are joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here’s everything we know so far…
With Avengers: Endgame bringing an end to the Infinity Saga, and the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home providing an end-of-phase epilogue that looks set to introducing the multiverse concept to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the possibilities for the MCU’s Phase 4 are seemingly endless.
Marvel isn’t saying much about the Marvel Phase 4 slate at the moment – we’re expecting a huge slate announcement at San Diego Comic-Con in July – but they have lots of exciting movie projects on the boil. One of those projects is The Eternals, centred around a group of immortal ancient aliens created by Marvel legend Jack Kirby.
So, what can we expect from the MCU’s next big ensemble movie? Here’s everything we know so far – we’ll keep this updated, so pop back for the latest.
Marvel’s The Eternals story
In the comics, the titular beings are an offshoot of the evolutionary process that created sentient life on Earth. Their creators, the alien Celestials, intended the Eternals to be the defenders of Earth, which leads them into conflict with their evil opposites, the Deviants.
THR reported that one aspect to the movie adaptation “involves the love story between Ikaris, a man fueled by cosmic energy, and Sersi, who relishes moving among humans.” When Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr. took on The Eternalsin 2006, Sersi was a central character, albeit one who didn’t remember her immortal heritage (a sort-of similar situation to Carol Danvers’ hazy-past predicament in Captain Marvel). It’s easy to see how that could make for a central character in a movie.
Matthew and Ryan Firpo, whose Black List script Ruin has made waves, will write the screenplay.
We’ve already seen other Eternals concepts appear on screen in Guardians Of The Galaxy and its sequel. One of the Celestials had a brief appearance in the first movie during The Collector’s Infinity Stones recap, and the mining facility Knowhere – a key location – is actually the severed head of a Celestial. Meanwhile, Vol. 2‘s big bad, Ego (Kurt Russell), was the first living Celestial we’ve seen as a major character.
The problem, of course, is that the last time Marvel tried to adapt one of Jack Kirby’s more out-there concepts, it was The Inhumans, which was a spectacular failure on TV after floundering around as a potential movie for several years. Of course, it’s all about the execution, as Guardians Of The Galaxy and its wildly successful sequel both proved.
Marvel’s The Eternals cast
The Wrap has reported that Salma Hayek is being eyed to star in The Eternals, but there are no details about the character she might play at present.
Richard Madden (Game Of Thrones, Bodyguard) is reportedly in talks to play Ikaris, a key member of the Eternals. Marvel hasn’t confirmed the casting, but Madden will reportedly be playing an Eternal named Ikaris – a flagship member of the Eternals, appearing all the way back in 1976’s Eternals #1 from Jack Kirby. Ikaris was born over 20,000 years ago in the region of Siberia, then known as Polaria. He is considered one of the most powerful known Eternals in existence.
Angelina Jolie is apparently set to play Sersi – a character who’s gotten herself involved in many of the pivotal moments of human history and has crossed paths with The Avengers in the comics. The Big Sick/Stuber star Kumail Nanjiani is on board for a mystery role, too, as well as Train To Busan‘s Ma Dong-seok, who’s reportedly joined the cast in an unnamed part (via The Wrap).
Marvel’s The Eternals director
Chloé Zhao (Songs My Brother Taught Me, The Rider) will direct the Eternals movie. Zhao was apparently at one point under consideration to direct Marvel’s Black Widow movie, too (although the job eventually went to Cate Shortland).
Marvel’s The Eternals release date
The Eternals will start rolling cameras in 2019, according to THR.
No release date has yet been announced, but, with production starting this year, you can safely expect that the film is going to be one of the nine untitled Marvel movies currently on the release schedule between 2020 and 2022. Expect everything to become clear this summer.