It feels like… well, an eternity since Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige announced that then-somewhat-unknown director Chloe Zhao would direct Eternals, a big-budget riff on the late-period Jack Kirby creation that was so skillfully modernized by Neil Gaiman in the early aughts. And before you get mad at us: Yes, if you traveled in film circles back then, you probably did know who she was and you also might have seen The Rider when it was in theaters (would you like a no-prize?), but the average Marvel fan might not have. It was a big announcement, given that it was one of the few post-Endgame movies that would actually introduce us to new characters, and that semi-momentous feeling was assisted by the casting: Angelina Jolie was going to be in a Marvel film!
Yet, in the years following that announcement, Eternals was delayed thanks to COVID, and Zhao’s star rose independently: Her film Nomadland took the world by storm when it hit the festival circuit last fall, and the buzz and acclaim it generated put it on a path that would lead directly to the director winning the Best Picture statuette at the Oscars last month. It’s an interesting circumstance for Marvel: though they’ve worked with beloved directors like Taika Waititi, Ryan Coogler, and even Kenneth Branagh (only counting the MCU entries, of course), they’ve never had this level of recently-bestowed prestige in their director pool.
But enough of that: You’re here for the Eternals trailer, which Marvel dropped earlier on Monday (after teasing some footage from it a while back in a big promo video), and man, it looks… well, interesting. Sure, it looks nice and like a Chloe Zhao film, but we have to imagine that this is roughly like what a certain breed of MCU skeptic felt when it was announced that Marvel was making a Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
Here’s a synopsis and a cast list, just in case you need a summary of everyone involved in this massive project:
“Marvel Studios’ Eternals features an exciting new team of Super Heroes 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,’ an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s most ancient enemy, The Deviants.
The outstanding ensemble cast includes Richard Madden as the all-powerful Ikaris, Gemma Chan as humankind-loving Sersi, Kumail Nanjiani as the cosmic-powered Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as the super-fast Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as the intelligent inventor Phastos, Salma Hayak 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 the aloof longer Druig, and Angelina Jolie as the fierce warrior Thena. Kit Harrington was cast as Dane Whitman.”
Eternals will hit theaters everywhere November 5. Will you understand what the hell is going on with this movie by then? It’s doubtful, but it’s Marvel, so you’ll probably see it anyway!