Earlier today, Marvel Studios gave us our first look at footage from Eternals, the studio’s upcoming phase 4 movie about a team of godlike beings hiding in plain sight on Earth.
For many years, the first weekend in May has been well known for big superhero movie releases. Marvel Studios still managed to mark the occasion while cinemas remain closed due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. As well as footage of previous MCU projects, the emotional sizzle reel narrated by Stan Lee revealed several new release dates and titles for upcoming films. The short clip also gave us the first footage from Academy award-winning director Chloé Zhao’s Eternals.
Eternals will introduce a new set of characters to the MCU, a group of immortal beings with incredible powers who have lived on earth since the dawn of civilisation. Never dying or ageing, the Eternals have inspired some of humanity’s greatest myths. If you want to learn more about the Eternals in preparation for the movie, Neil Gaiman’s ‘Eternals’ is a great place to start and will give you all the backstory you need.
Let’s have a look at some of the footage and break down what we can see.
One of the first things we see in the footage is Salma Hayek’s Ajak riding a horse in what looks to be fairly modern clothing, appearing to confirm when part of the film is set. The main part of the movie is based after Avengers: Endgame but will also explore the distant past. Ajak is very different to the comics version, where the character is male. Ajak is a healer who has the ability to communicate with the Celestials, the cosmic beings who created the Eternals.
“When you love something, you fight for it.”
Along with the first look at Ajak is the line of dialogue, “When you love something, you fight for it” This line has possibly been included to fit the tone of the sizzle reel, which feels very much like a love note to the cinema. In the context of the film, though, it appears to be a rallying cry to the Eternals to stand together in defence of Humanity.
Ceremony on the beach
We get a very brief shot of what appears to be some kind of ceremony on a beach. It’s hard to make much out, but judging by the costumes, it appears to be taking place in the ancient past. It’s hard to tell who the centre characters are as it’s fairly blurred.
Another brief shot shows us a shot of the Eternals assembled, still wearing civilian clothes; I think we will have to wait for the full trailer to get any costume reveals. You get the sense that this is a scene where the Eternals are making a stand together for some reason. Perhaps against some kind of threat to humanity.
We get to see Angelina Jolie’s character, Thena, holding a golden sword. Thena mostly serves as a diplomat for the Eternals, building bridges between them and their rivals, the Deviants. According to leaked merchandise, Thena’s powers allow her to manifest any handled weapon she can think of, hence the golden sword.
Eternals will explore the history of the MCU, and this shot appears to take place outside the ancients gates of Babylon. A significant location to the Eternals is where Thena and Deviant warlord Kro began their controversial relationship.
“The ones who changed everything”
The clip ends back where it started with Gemma Chan’s Sersi speaking to Kumail Nanjiani’s Kingo. “We’re the ones who changed everything” This is likely referring to the fact that the Eternals have been on earth for millions of years and were responsible for many great moments in history, influencing social, technological and political advancements. Sersi is one of the most important characters in the comics; she has a relationship with Dane Whitman, aka Black Knight, who Kit Harrington plays in Eternals. Kevin Feige recently confirmed that Sersi is the lead character in Eternals.
Eternals will be the third of four MCU movies released this year when it follows Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Eternals will release in cinemas on November 5, 2021.