In April of 2018, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed a film based on the Eternals comic book and concept was in development. Soon after,Based on characters and situations imagined by Jack Kirby, the Eternals are a race of fantastically powerful proto-humans engineered by the Celestials (more on them in a moment) to harness vast amounts of “cosmic energy.” Generations of infighting and wars against another Celestial experiment, the Deviants, followed. The film will center on an Eternal named Sersi (Gemma Chan) with the powers of flight, strength, immortality, and molecular manipulation. Confirmed cast members include Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Angelina Jolie as Thena, and Kit Harington as Dane Whitman – a.k.a. the Black Knight. The film will also feature Marvel’s first real attempt at including gay characters, as Henry’s Phastos will reportedly be married to a man and raising a child alongside him. After initially losing its November 2020 slot to Black Widow, Disney moved the film to November 5, 2021 during a restructuring of its release calendar in September of 2020. In late May, Marvel finally released a teaser for the film indicating the Eternals have been present throughout human history despite, apparently, not lifting a finger during recent worldwide calamities.
How It Fits in the MCU: Because the Eternals and the Celestials are old and powerful — the Celestials are some of the oldest creatures in the universe — they run into just about everyone. When the Kree happened to learn about the Eternals, they tried duplicating the Celestial experiment and created Inhumans on Earth. In Marvel’s 616 universe, Thanos is himself related to the Eternals thanks to their colonization of Titan in the distant past. Meanwhile, the Celestials have already appeared in passing during both Guardians films. In the first film, one appears in a hologram during The Collector’s explanation of the Power Stone. And in the second film, Peter Quill’s father Ego self-identified as a Celestial. Whether or not this means Ziran the Tester will feature in Eternals or any other MCU film remains to be seen.
Release Date: November 5, 2021