Marvel’s Eternals trailer is here, and with an all-star cast and an Oscar-winning director (in the form of Chloé Zhao) it looks like an ambitious, surprisingly cerebral new addition to Marvel Cinematic Universe lore. It doesn’t reveal much, but what it does is more than enough to make us hopeful for all the cosmic surprises that MCU Phase 4 has in store for us.
Watch the Eternals trailer here if you haven’t already…then we’ll get to talking about who all these cool new characters are!
And here’s the official synopsis, courtesy of Marvel Studios:
“Marvel Studios’ Eternals welcomes an exciting new team of Super Heroes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The epic story, spanning thousands of years, features a group of immortal heroes forced out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s oldest enemy, The Deviants. The outstanding ensemble cast includes Richard Madden as the all-powerful Ikaris, Gemma Chan as humankind-loving Sersi, Kumail Nanjiani as cosmic-powered Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as the super-fast Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as the intelligent inventor Phastos, Salma Hayek as the wise and spiritual leader Ajak, Lia McHugh as the eternally young, old-soul Sprite, Don Lee as the powerful Gilgamesh, Barry Keoghan as aloof loner Druig, and Angelina Jolie as the fierce warrior Thena. Kit Harington plays Dane Whitman.”
So who are all these cool new characters joining the MCU? We’ve got a breakdown for you here.
Richard Madden as Ikaris
Eternals is going to give us a veritable Game of Thrones reunion with Richard Madden as Ikaris, the most famous member of the Eternals. Of course “most famous” is relative when dealing with Marvel creations this relatively obscure, but hey, it worked for Guardians of the Galaxy, it’ll work here.
It’s not yet clear exactly what everyone’s power sets will be like in this movie, but in the comics, Ikaris had the powers of flight, energy projection, super strength, and limited teleportation. Like most of the characters in this trailer, Ikaris was created by Jack Kirby in 1976.
With him in the above photo is…
Gemma Chan as Sersi
Sersi is a powerful sorceress, and the member of the Eternals with perhaps the most love for humanity, and the trailer hints at that by seeing her walking among regular folks in different time periods. We’re also willing to bet that she’s the Eternal most likely to pop up in other MCU movies, as the character has been a card-carrying member of the Avengers in the comics.
Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo
Another Jack Kirby creation (albeit one who didn’t make his way into the pages of The Eternals comics until 1977), Kingo has a power set similar to Ikaris. In the comics, he became an action movie star, although based on the brief glimpse we get of him in this trailer, he may have opted to become a Bollywood actor instead. Check out Nanjiani’s badass Marvel-ready physique!
Lauren Ridloff as Makkari
Every good super team needs a speedster, and what’s better than a speedster? A nigh-immortal one! Like Quicksilver, Makkari (note the similarity in name to “Mercury”) has been known to be a little bit impatient thanks to the gift of speed. Fans of comics to screen adaptations will recognize Lauren as Connie from The Walking Dead.
Anyone spot any MCU Easter eggs in this reading room? One thing is for sure, that isn’t Dane Whitman’s Black Knight armor…because we saw that in a museum in Spider-Man: Far From Home!
Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos
Phastos is a relatively recent addition to Eternals lore, first appearing in 1985 where he was created by Peter Gillis and Sal Buscema. Phastos is an engineer, inventor, and weapons master…all useful skills when you’re practically immortal. Here he seems to be using his innate cosmic abilities to create something wondrous and beautiful.
Fans of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (and really, who ISN’T) will know this isn’t his first trip to the Marvel Universe, having voiced Jefferson Davis in that film.
Salma Hayek as Ajak
The voice you hear in the trailer is that of Salma Hayek as Ajak. The original comics lineup of the Eternals was pretty male-heavy, and Ajak was portrayed as a man on the page. One of the key figures of the early Kirby comics, Ajak has been worshipped as a god at various points in history.
Lia McHugh as Sprite
Sprite may look young, but they’re as ancient, wise, and wily as the rest of the team. Think of Sprite as the trickster of the team (at least if the comics are anything to go by), and their antics could cause havoc for the Eternals’ place in the MCU.
Don Lee as Gilgamesh
You’ll note the similarities of many of the Eternals’ names to mythological gods and warriors. That’s no accident, as it’s generally accepted that these characters’ adventures were interpreted into folklore and mythology over the centuries. Here, one of the oldest recorded stories in human history now has a place of sorts in the MCU. Here he’s played by Don Lee, and if you haven’t seen Train to Busan yet, you should just go ahead and fix that immediately. Thank us later…it’s one of the best horror movies of the century.
In Eternals comics, Gilgamesh was known as “The Forgotten One” for some time, but it was ultimately Sprite who convinced him to return to the fold. He adopted the name of Gilgamesh “officially” when he joined the Avengers for a time. Perhaps it’s no accident that our best look at him in this trailer comes when the team is having a discussion about who will lead Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the wake of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers.
This version of Gilgamesh was created by (wait for it), Jack Kirby, and first appeared in the comics in 1977.
Barry Keoghan as Druig
Another Kirby creation, Druig is Ikaris’ cousin. Described as an “aloof loner” in the film’s synopsis, Druig has a checkered past in the comics, and could cause some trouble at some point.
This isn’t Barry’s first brush with a comic book-related project. At one point he was set to star in the long in-development and troubled TV adaptation of Y the Last Man, and also has a role in the upcoming The Batman.
Angelina Jolie as Thena
Warrior, scholar, and all-around badass Thena is another potential leader of the Eternals, although in the comics that has brought her into some conflict with Ikaris from time to time.
Kit Harrington as Dane Whitman
Remember that Game of Thrones reunion we promised? Well, it’s here in the form of Kit Harrington’s Dane Whitman. But Marvel fans may recognize the name of Dane Whitman as belonging to the heroic Black Knight (another occasional member of the Avengers…hmmmm…there’s a lot of those in this trailer). We wrote more about the history of Marvel’s Black Knight here.
What else is hiding in this trailer? Well…
Is That a Celestial?
If you look very closely in the fiery part of that volcanic eruption, it seems there’s a giant figure there. Could this be one of the Celestials, one of the giant beings who travel the cosmos conducting experiments on the inhabitants of various planets? And speaking of which…
What are these two up to?
That sure appears to be a partially formed human body in the background there. Is this a hint that the existence of super powers in the MCU is a result of cosmic intervention by the Celestials?
We’ll find out when Marvel’s Eternals opens on Nov. 5.