You can now catch the star-studded cast of Marvel’s Eternals right in the comfort of your home. The new set of heroes brings another side to the growing Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which was previously fronted by the Avengers (who took their leave after the events of Endgame). But what is it about the Eternals that’s so exciting and where do they fit in the current MCU storyline? Before you start streaming the movie on Disney+ — for free — here's everything you need to know about the cast and the plot.
What’s an Eternal?
Unlike the Avengers who are mostly superhumans created by humans or the Guardians Of The Galaxy who are mostly made up of aliens from other planets, the Eternals are humans from the Stone Age who were experimented on by cosmic gods known as Celestials. These are gods that transcend the likes of Thor or Odin because they were the first cosmic gods created when the first universe (among the multiverses) came into existence. We've met only one Celestial prior to the ones in Eternals: Ego, who is the father of Guardians’ Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord.
The Eternals possess superhuman abilities and are nigh-immortal, meaning they possess agelessness and quickly heal from injuries. Their enemies are the Deviants, who are similar to the Eternals in abilities but are more similar in form to the homo habilis or ape-men. The only Eternal-Deviant hybrid that’s been introduced in past MCU films was Thanos (Josh Brolin).
Who plays the Eternals?
Marvel adds more characters for us to take note of (and possibly love) after giving us 76 main characters in Infinity War and Endgame. There’s Gemma Chan (of Crazy Rich Asians fame) playing Sersi, an Eternal who can manipulate inanimate matter. Her love interest is Ikaris played by Richard Madden (Game Of Thrones) an Eternal who can fly and shoot cosmic beams from his eyes. Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) is Kingo, an Eternal who can shoot cosmic beams from his hands. Salma Hayek (House Of Gucci) takes on the role of Ajak, the leader of the Eternals. Angelina Jolie (Maleficent) is Thena, an Elite Eternal warrior who can create any weapon using cosmic energy.
Where do the Eternals fit in the current MCU timeline?
If the Eternals were so powerful, then why didn’t they help the Avengers in the fight against Thanos? While the more obvious answer is because introducing all the heroes at once means fewer movies to make a franchise of (insert laughs here), the film revealed that it's because they didn’t want to meddle with Thanos considering he’s a fellow Eternal. If that really is the case, then why now?
It’s all because of the “Emergence”. Following the events of the Infinity War and Endgame where Thanos made half the universe’s population disappear (an act that was later reversed by the Avengers). The move created a huge amount of cosmic energy that was released into the universe. This stirred the Deviants back to freedom after being imprisoned for a millennia. That’s why the Eternals have to interfere and deal with their sworn enemies once again after thousands of years of peace and hiding amongst regular humans.
Interesting supporting characters and intriguing cameos
If you think that’s all there is to be excited about the film, some supporting characters and leaked information about other personalities joining the movie will surely add to your anticipation of it.
Kit Harington (Game Of Thrones) plays Dane Whitman, Sersi’s mortal love interest in the film. The casting is interesting for two reasons: prior to playing love rivals in Eternals, Kit Harington and Richard Madden played brothers/cousins Jon Snow and Robb Stark on Game Of Thrones; and Dane Whitman eventually becomes the Black Knight, another hero in the MCU.
Speaking of origin stories, Harry Styles was also confirmed for the film. The movie’s after-credits scene feature theWatermelon Sugar hitmaker as Thanos’ brother Eros, an Eternal who will eventually be an ally against evil forces and take on the name Starfox. Cool, right? Stream it now via Disney+!
(Cover photo from: @eternals)
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