Marvel Studios has given us our first proper trailer for Eternals, and it really doesn’t give much away, other than showing us its all-star cast in action. We took an in-depth look at the footage, and here are some of the details we think are important. We’ve written an accompanying article introducing the Eternals and explaining who they are; if you haven’t done so already, you can read it HERE.
The Eternals Arrive On Earth
In the comics, the Eternals were created alongside humanity by a cosmic race of beings known as the Celestials. Their origin story in the MCU appears to have been rewritten, portraying them as a group of ancient aliens sent to Earth to guide human civilisation. Kumail Nanjiani, who plays Kingo discussed the Eternals’ origin in more detail at Comic-Con 2019; “We were sent to Earth thousands of years ago to protect Earth from these monsters, the Deviants,” he explained. “By this point, we’ve been on Earth for a long time.” The trailer’s opening shot seems to show the Eternals’ arrival on Earth as we see their ship appear over a group of farmers thousands of years ago. The huge ship could serve as the Eternals’ base of operations and allow them to travel the planet.
Sersi & Ikairis
Gemma Chan’s Sersi and Richard Madden’s Ikaris are seen looking down on Earth. It’s been confirmed that Sersi is very much the main character of the film. In the comics, Sersi is the member of the Eternals who interacted with humanity the most, becoming one of the Avengers at one point. She falls in love with the Earth, dedicating herself to its defence, something that Ikaris, the leader of the Eternals, isn’t too impressed by.
Thena’s Cosmic EnergyMaking her MCU debut is Angelina Jolie as Thena, a warrior and diplomat who has helped the Eternals find common ground with other civilisations. The trailer shows Thena in costume, surrounded by cosmic energy. The introduction of cosmic energy could be critical going forward, potentially setting up the Fantastic Four and Galactus. Cosmic energy was also referenced in WandaVision.
Ajak The trailer gives us a good look at Salma Hayek’s Ajak, the Eternals’ spiritual leader. She possesses the ability to heal both humans and Eternals and has a unique ability to communicate with the Celestials.
Phastos’ Cosmic Energy Next, we see Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry, an inventor who can manipulate matter to create anything he imagines. He’s seen manipulating cosmic energy and has been known to help humanity to develop technologically secretly. The flares of cosmic energy look just like they do in Jack Kirby’s comics. Phastos will also be one of the MCU’s first openly gay characters. Introducing Phastos‘ husband and child, Eternals will also feature the MCU’s first onscreen gay kiss.
The Eternals’ Role in HistoryThere is several scenes that show what part the Eternals played in the development of human civilisation. A voice-over suggests that they have always been observers and have also served to direct humanity by helping people progress as a culture. Their actions have led the Eternals to be treated as gods, taken directly from the comics. Eternals creator Jack Kirby’s intention was for the Eternals to have been the inspiration for the legends of Greek gods, even going so far as writing a running gag that humans are bad at spelling, which is why Thena became known as Athena and Ikaris as Icarus.
Thena in CombatCasting such a big star as Angelina Jolie as Thena means the character is more than likely to be one of the film’s stand out characters. Thena is a fierce warrior who can reshape cosmic energy to create any weapon she can imagine. Expect lots of action where Thena is concerned.
BabylonIn the footage released for the summer sizzle reel, we saw the Eternals in front of what looked like the gates of Babylon. In this new trailer, we get a wider shot that shows an aerial view of the ancient city. Babylon is an important location in the comics because it was the place where Thena began her controversial relationship with the deviant warlord Kro, who is set to appear in Eternals. There is even a story where a time-travelling Captain America teams up with Eternal Gilgamesh to defend Babylon from an alien army.
Captain America ReferencesMCU fans will all know that franchise crossovers are a big part of Marvel movies. Even though the Eternals seem unconnected to the wider MCU, there are seemingly three references to Captain America in this trailer alone. The first comes in the form of a shield seen during a fight that features Thena. The shield being used by the enemy she’s fighting carries the star and stripes featured on Cap’s shield. In another blink, and you’ll miss it moment, the original Captain America shield can be seen on the wall of a plane, behind a bar. Could the shield references prove important? Probably not; however, the third reference, which comes at the very end of the trailer as the Eternals are seen sitting around a dinner table, is unquestionably a reference of importance. The Eternals are discussing who will lead the Avengers now that Iron Man and “Captain Rogers” are gone. This moment may seem like a jokey throwaway reference, but it’s actually important in reminding viewers that this film takes place in a post Endgame world. It also seems interesting that Captain America is referred to as “Captain Rogers”, which seems like a more familiar name than we’re used to.
Sersi’s ConfusionAlthough most of its story will be set in the present day, Eternals will span thousands of years, highlighting the Eternals’ involvement in humanity’s history. Sersi is seen walking through ancient Babylon, and then in modern-day London; interestingly, she seems confused. It’s possible that the Eternals spent so long fitting into human civilisation they forgot who they really are. If this is the case, then it is lifted straight from Neil Gaiman’s Eternals comic run, which begins with the Eternals living normal lives, completely unaware of their own true identities. Could this also be an explanation as to why they haven’t previously stepped in to help humanity deal with outside threats, like Loki, Ultron or a certain purple Titan who wiped out half of all life?
Babylon FallsIn another shot from the past, we see the fall of Babylon. It’s a brutal moment that reminds us that although the Eternals have been there to inspire human progress, they have also stood by and let tragedy and atrocity happen. So why have they chosen to come forward; what threat is humanity facing that has made them involve themselves? It must be something on a scale greater than anything seen previously.
DruigWe get a good look at Barry Keoghan, who plays Druig. One of Druig’s powers is that he can manipulate the minds of others. He appears in the trailer as some kind of cult leader cut off from the rest of the Eternals.
The Uni-MindAs powerful as the Eternals are as individuals, one of their greatest abilities is to unite their minds into a single consciousness, known as the Uni-Mind. The trailer shows a brief shot of the heroes combining their powers and cosmic energy (there it is again.) Which looks very much like they are joining together to form the Uni-Mind. It has been used in the comics to select a new leader, study other beings, and, more interestingly, save a species from the threat of extinction.
Eternals has been described as the MCU’s first romance movie, and the trailer shows the love between Ikaris and Sersi. The couple has a long history together, with their romance spanning centuries, but things may not end up going well for them. In the comics, Sersi becomes the lover of the Black Knight, and set photos have shown Gemma Chan’s Sersi sharing a kiss with Kit Harrington’s Black Knight.
The trailer shows a brief glimpse of Kit Harrington as Dane Whitman, a scientist who inherits the cursed Ebony Blade, a weapon that dates back to the time of King Arthur. Being in possession of the blade forces Whitman to become The Black Knight. Black Knight’s role in Eternals is unclear, but it is bound to be important, especially for the wider MCU, given his role as an Avenger.
Eternals Stand Together
A shot at the end of the trailer shows the Eternals standing united, seemingly to face an incoming threat. This is the first time we’ve seen all of these costumes together in this way. They are very similar in style to that of Jack Kirby’s comics, albeit with a toned-down colour palette.
In the pilot episode of Game of Thrones, Rob Stark, played by Richard Madden, bids farewell to half-brother Jon Snow, played by Kit Harrington “Next time I see you, you’ll be all in black” The two brothers never see each other again; however, the prophecy is set to come true in Eternals, when Madden’s Ikaris comes face to face with Harrington’s Dane Whitman AKA… The Black Knight. :)
Eternals’ 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.
Eternals opens in theatres on November 5th.