The Eternals: Everything we know about Marvel’s phase 4 movie

We’re slowly starting to learn more about how the Marvel Cinematic Universe will look in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, as Marvel Studios moves ahead with its Phase 4 plans — plans that include The Eternals, which is slated to hit theaters November 6, 2020.

Set to be directed by Chloe Zhao (The Rider) from a script penned by Matthew and Ryan Firpo, The Eternals will introduce a new pantheon of powerful heroes and villains to the MCU, and already has some high-profile actors attached, including Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie. The most recent news includes a picture from cast member Kumail Nanjiani, and let’s just say he looks a bit … different. Here’s everything we know about The Eternals.

The cast

Ah, superhero training. We’re not sure what kind of regimen is required to achieve a look like this, but we do know we’re probably not going to do it. Oscar nominee Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), who plays Eternals member Kingo in the film, showed off his new shredded body on Instagram as the film moves toward production. It’s obvious he’s taking his role as a new superhero/demigod seriously.

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I never thought I’d be one of those people who would post a thirsty shirtless, but I’ve worked way too hard for way too long so here we are. You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel’s Eternals and decided I wanted to transform how I looked. I would not have been able to do this if I didn’t have a full year with the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world. I’m glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before. It would have been impossible without these resources and time. So big thanks to @grantrobertsfit who started working with me at the beginning of the year and made me understand true physical pain for months and months. Then, once we started shooting, a massive thanks to @davidhigginslondon and his team (@ellispartridge, @thebeardypt, @tomcheesemanfitness) for training me almost every day and making me strong, limber and injury free. I can almost touch my toes now. (And thank you for forcing me to do cheat meals David.) Matthews Street Catering for their delicious and healthy meals. And finally, the biggest thanks goes to @emilyvgordon for putting up with me complaining and talking about only working out and dieting for the last year. I promise I’ll be interesting again some day. #thirstyshirtless (Photo by @markupson.) (edit: I left off one very important person: @lancecallahan who trained me for 6 years and helped me build the foundation I could use to do this. Thank you!)

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Nanjiani is joined by a diverse and impressive cast for The Eternals. Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie was the first familiar face to sign on. During Marvel Studios’ panel at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2019, it was revealed that Jolie will play Thena, a powerful Eternal who is known for her knowledge and fighting prowess and is similar to the Greek goddess Athena.

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Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com 

The Eternals won’t be Jolie’s first foray into comic book movies. She previously starred in 2008’s Wanted, an adaptation of the comic of the same name, and has starred in various other action-packed sci-fi and fantasy films over the years, including the Tomb Raider franchise (based on the video games) and 2014’s Maleficent. This will be her first live-action film based on a superhero comic, though.

Richard Madden will play another lead character, Ikaris, who is a central figure in the film’s story and one of the most powerful Eternals. Madden is best-known for playing Robb Stark on HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Along with Jolie, Madden, and Nanjiani, The Eternals will star Train to Busan actor Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Oscar-nominated Frida star Salma Hayek (pictured below) as Ajak (the leader of the Eternals), The Walking Dead actress Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Atlanta actor Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, and Lia McHugh (The Lodge) as Sprite.

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The story

The Eternals is based on a world created by comics legend Jack Kirby in 1976. The Eternals are a species of powerful immortal beings created by the Celestials — the massive beings introduced in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy movie — as part of the latter’s evolutionary experiments on Earth eons ago. The Eternals were locked in a never-ending war with The Deviants, their similarly powerful, but destructive counterparts.

Acclaimed writer Neil Gaiman, along with artist John Romita Jr., penned a popular reboot of The Eternals that was first published in 2006 and brought the characters into the modern era of Marvel Comics. In the story, one of the Eternals — Ikaris — discovers that he had his memory erased at some point, and that he and his fellow Eternals and the Deviants have been living on Earth in human form for an unknown period of time, unaware of their powerful abilities and origins. He sets out to “wake up” his fellow Eternals and learn what happened to them.

The release date

The official release date for The Eternals was announced in July 2019 during Marvel Studios’ panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego. The film will premiere November 6, 2020, making it the second movie in Phase 4 of the MCU and the 25th film overall.

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