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Eternals: release date, trailer, cast, MCU links, and more

Eternals
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Eternals has almost arrived. Marvel's next blockbuster is heading to cinemas very soon, and we have the lowdown on everything you need to know about the MCU adventure that promises to change everything.

And don't just take our word for it – Kevin Feige recently said of Eternals: "The impact Eternals will have on the MCU will be nothing less than redefining the cinematic universe entirely." Now that's a big promise from the head of Marvel Studios. Scroll down for even more on Eternals, including release date, trailers, cast, and interviews.

Eternals release date

Eternals

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Eternals was intended to be the second Marvel Phase 4 movie. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the whole release schedule was torn up, and Eternals now arrives on November 5, 2021. And don't expect the movie on Disney Plus anytime soon – it's going to be a wait until it's streaming.

Eternals was first due to arrive in cinemas in November 2020 slot and was initially pushed back to February 2021, taking Shang-Chi's original release slot. However, as the pandemic continued and Black Widow, Eternals found itself at its current November slot.

Eternals trailer

In the first Eternals teaser, we learn that the titular ancient superhero team has held off from directly interfering in human history throughout the years – but it seems something has happened to change that – perhaps the Thanos snap brought them back, or something more horrible awaits. Although the trailer doesn't give much away, it does show off the star-studded cast. There's also plenty of action, and there's even a reference to two familiar former Avengers right at the end of the clip.

The final trailer has also been released, which tees up the next big threat after Thanos. In the footage, Gemma Chan's Sersi explains to Kit Harington's Dane Whitman that the Eternals didn't step in to prevent Thanos because they only handle the Deviants, and there are several moments in the trailer where we see the new heroes fighting these sinister, monstrous creatures. There's a look at two Celestials, too – towering cosmic beings who told the Eternals not to interfere in human affairs.

Salma Hayek's Ajak also reveals the next big threat: the emergence has been given enough energy in the wake of the Avengers undoing the Blip in Endgame, though what exactly that means remains a mystery. What's clear is they only have seven days to prevent disaster, though. We also see a Deviant, confirmed by Marvel.com (opens in new tab) to be Kro, telling Angelina Jolie's Thena that she "can't protect any of them."

The leader of the Eternals-opposing Deviants in the comics, Kro has a sinewy, skeletal figure with a red mark on his forehead. His appearance differs from what readers may expect – in the comics, Kro is much more human and pink in color. Perhaps darker, direction for the MCU’s grandest movie yet?

Eternals cast

Eternals Gemma Chan

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

Marvel’s newest super-team is full of big names, and equally, some promising newcomers. Angelina Jolie will play the warrior Thena, and Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden will step into the role of Ikaris. Meanwhile, Kumail Nanjiani is Kingo, a master swordsman and Bollywood film star; Brian Tyree Henry is the inventor Phastos; Train to Busan's Don Lee is Gilgamesh, and Barry Keoghan is Druig.

Playing her second role in the MCU following Captain Marvel (opens in new tab)’s Minn-Erva, Gemma Chan is playing the Eternal Sersi alongside Salma Hayek’s Ajak and Kit Harrington’s Black Knight. Big cast, right? And this doesn’t even include the Eternal’s enemies, the Deviants, for which there is no casting news just yet.

Nanjiani has said of the diverse call sheet: "I was on set shooting, and the director showed me just a still of all of us together in the scene… We all look so different. You don’t ever get to see people like this together in the same room, let alone in awesome superhero costumes." The actor added that it will be “the most epic of all the Marvel movies.”

Salma Hayek also spoke on her excitement to Total Film. “At 53 – finally! – I can be a superhero,” the actress said. “I play Ajak, who is the leader of the superheroes and all of them are people you would never have imagined. Except for Angelina [Jolie]. Angelina – she was born to be a superhero!”

The Eternals story

Eternals

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

The official synopsis for The Eternals reads: "Marvel Studios’ The Eternals features an exciting new team of superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ancient aliens who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, (opens in new tab) an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s most ancient enemy, The Deviants."

Wondering who on Earth The Deviants are? No problem: The Deviants, like The Eternals, were created by the Celestials and are, at their core, a dark version of our heroic Eternals. The two groups have come into conflict time and time again within the pages of Marvel Comics, and it seems they’ll be bringing their disputes to Earth for Phase 4. For more details on who they are and their abilities, we have your back; check out The Deviants explained. (opens in new tab)

Gemma Chan's Sersi will be the movie's main lead, according to Kevin Feige, who said "if there was a lead in this ensemble, it is Sersi, it is Gemma Chan," and director Chloé Zhao said about the character: "It has always been a passion for me to create a nuanced female superhero that is rarely seen in this genre. Gemma was very interested in this idea as well and took on the challenge. She brought a beautiful sense of gentleness, compassion, and vulnerability to Sersi that I believe will invite viewers to rethink what it means to be heroic."

Chan herself added: "Sersi is not your typical superhero: she's not necessarily the best fighter, she doesn't have the most obviously impressive powers. The main thing is she's an empath. She has a connection with humans, and with the world and the earth. That is her strength, so I leant into that."

As for Kit Harington's character, the actor told Total Film more about the role, explaining he's "the human character of the story. He's not an Eternal. He's a character who works with the Natural History Museum in London. But he's not an Eternal – that’s the main takeaway!"

We also spoke to Zhao bout the film. "I think we stand alone as a film for sure," she commented. "But I do think we will have a very big effect on the future of the MCU with what happens in this film. Which, you know, as a fan, is really satisfying for me! I geek out."

She also revealed that we'll know why the Eternals didn't step in to stop Thanos. "[The audience] will understand why," Zhao assured. "Not only why, but how complicated not interfering made them feel. We explore that. You'll see that in the film. The Eternals were instructed not to interfere with any human conflict unless Deviants are involved. There's a reason why that’s the case. And that was the instruction from the prime Celestial Arishem."

Zhao then spoke a bit about the ancient aspect to the movie. "What excited me is the idea of going back in time, and exploring [the time] before Thanos was born, before anyone was born," she said. "Where does the MCU go back in time? And that brings us to the mythology of the Celestials. Anything involving the Celestials is going to be at a huge scale level of complication, let's put it that way."

First LGBTQ+ Marvel kiss to feature in Eternals

Eternals

(Image credit: Marvel/Disney)

For those craving more love and swoon-worthy romance in the MCU (we’re still not over Wanda and Vision either), Marvel has heard you loud and clear. Gemma Chan confirmed in an interview with Vanity Fair Italy (opens in new tab) that there will be plenty of romantic intrigue in Eternals. 

“Specifically, it is the story of a group of immortal aliens, who arrived on Earth 7,000 years ago, so the plot takes place in a very long period of time,” Chan said. “Sersi is the one that has the most affinity with humans, indeed it is even involved in two love stories, an absolute novelty for Marvel events and one of the reasons that attracted me to this project.”

Chan later revealed more about the relationship between her character and Richard Madden's. "[Sersi] and Ikaris are kind of immortal soulmates. That was a fun thing to play." She added: Over a span of a thousand years, how do you play a normal relationship?"

Alongside Sersi’s love interests, Haaz Sleiman revealed to NewNowNext (opens in new tab) that the MCU is getting its first openly gay couple on the big screen. The actor will be playing the (currently unnamed) husband of Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), and told the outlet that their first kiss for the camera was “beautiful, very moving.” 

Sleiman added that filming the scene made for an emotional day on set. “Everyone cried… For me, it’s very important to show how loving and beautiful a queer family can be.” After ten years, an openly LGBTQ+ character in the MCU has been a long-time coming. If Sleiman’s comments are anything to go by, it could be a welcome step for LGBTQ+ Marvel fans.

For more Marvel content, be sure to check out the best movies on Disney Plus. Spoilers: yes, Iron Man does appear on the list! 

Millicent Thomas was once a freelance games and film journalist, writing for publications including GamesRadar, Total Film, Space.com, GamesIndustry.biz, Wireframe, Little White Lies, Culturess, SciFiNow, and more. She is now in international PR and marketing for Ubisoft.