Well, it was bound to happen. Disney isn’t going to take any chances with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and they’ve had to shuffle release dates once again. Considering that Marvel Studios projects are the most valuable box office gems in their collection, there’s no way they would accept the limited returns that Warner Bros. has been seeing with Tenet recently, and despite conflicting reports of the numbers Mulan made, it would seem they aren’t yet confident enough in their Disney+ premium distribution to risk it on Black Widow, Eternals, or Shang-Chi.
As part of a studio wide release date shuffle that included plenty of non-Marvel films, the cosmic Eternals movie has been delayed from February 2021 to Nov. 5, 2021. For comparison, Black Widow will now open on May 7, 2021 (which was previously reserved for Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has moved to July 9, 2021.
Eternals wrapped principal photography back in February, before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and has been in post production. Considering that Eternals was one of creator Jack Kirby‘s most cosmic and out there concepts, any additional time that can be spent perfecting the effects is a good thing.
Eternals is the story of gigantic space gods called Celestials who helped seed life (and future super powers) on Earth. They created humans (who need no explanation), the heroic and immortal Eternals who protect humanity, and the evil Deviants. It’s like Marvel’s Chariots of the Gods filtered through Jack Kirby at his peak.
Eternals stars Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Angelina Jolie as Thena, and Kit Harrington as Dane Whitman, Marvel’s Black Knight. Barry Keoghan is the villain of the film.
Chloe Zhao directs Eternals from a screenplay by Matthew and Ryan Firpo. Zhao’s most recent effort, the Frances McDormand starring Nomadland has been hitting the festival circuit and is already generating considerable awards buzz.
Hopefully this will be the final release date shuffle for the MCU, and we’ll all be able to comfortably enjoy these movies in theaters in 2021 with a safe, effective vaccine in our arms. Until then, stay home, wear a mask when you go out, wash your hands, and be careful so we can get this over with and get back to our lives. Stay safe.