Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige recently got roasted for marveling at the beauty of shooting outdoors when it came to Oscar winning director Chloé Zhao’s approach to The Eternals. Now, it’s rather easy to see why Feige was taken aback after over a decade of green-screening movies: this movie looks unlike any other Marvel Cinematic Universe project that we’ve ever seen. This film shall be Phase Four’s third movie — following Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — but it will be the first in which we’ll not only see a ripped Kumail Nanjiani but another very important thing.
The Eternals, of course is the first MCU movie for which the director, in Feige’s words (to Variety), stood firm in “fighting for practical locations,” which he dubbed her “signature style.” Well, we’re finally getting a look at that style, and it’s remarkable to behold (those are honest-to-god beach shots, and that’s absurdly unusual in 2021) even in teaser form. Also, there’s a brand new (old) batch of immortal superheroes, who are (via the synopsis) “forced out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s oldest enemy, The Deviants” in what ends up being a story that spans thousands of years.
The ensemble cast brings more A-list names into the MCU, too. There’s Richard Madden as the omnipotent Ikaris; Angelina Jolie as the intense warrior Thena; Kumail Nanjiani as cosmically-inclined Kingo; Salma Hayek as spiritual leader Ajak; Brian Tyree Henry as the innovative Phastos; and Kit Harington playing a guy named Dane Whitman (who’s also known as the Black Knight). The film also stars Gemma Chan, Lauren Ridloff, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, and Barry Keoghan.
When it comes to The Eternals, one interesting matter to note is that Thanos, the genocidal villain from the final two Infinity Saga movies, is actually linked in lineage to The Eternals. That might not mean much in the grand scheme of Phase Four, but it’s amusing that Thanos’ nickname, the Mad Titan, in fact refers to him belonging to the Titan species, which makes him, yeah, a relative. Will Thanos even get a mention in The Eternals? We’ve seen no clues yet in that direction, although Feige remains unparalleled at weaving mythology together in ways that make sense, years later (see WandaVision), so we’ll probably see some sort of dot-connecting, eventually.
The Eternals will arrive in theaters on November 5. Here’s a cosmos-filled poster, too.