When it comes to giving the best on-screen superhero experience, the Marvel Cinematic Universe does just that. They have made success stories out of even obscure superhero characters. The likes of the Guardians of the Galaxy; Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot, and even Mantis have become household names.
And now heralding the launch of Marvel’s phase 4 is The Eternals. An immortal group of cosmic superheroes created by the legendary Jack Kirby, one of Marvel’s most prolific and influential comic book creators.
Once upon a time, he said: “Once we’ve learned enough about the universe, we will admit to ourselves that we will never know everything.” And this encompasses The Eternals and why Kevin Feige dedicated the movie to him.
Originally set to be released in November 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Eternals has been delayed to February 12, 2021. Fortunately, we are set to receive The Eternals’ trailer in the virtual Comic-Con@Home on July 22-26 of 2020.
THE ETERNALS CAST
Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige confirmed The Eternals director Chloe Zhao, best known for Sundance Film Festival’s hit The Rider and cast members including;
Bodyguard’s Richard Madden, playing The Eternal Ikarus, Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani, playing master swordsman and Bollywood star Kingo. The Walking Dead’s Lauren Ridloff, playing Eternals speedster Makkari; Atlanta’s Brian Tyree Henry, playing super-intelligent Eternal Phastos; Grown Ups’ Salma Hayek, playing wise and powerful Eternal leader Ajak; Newcomer Lia McHugh, playing ancient child-like Eternal Sprite; Train to Busan’s Don Lee, playing superstrong Eternal Gilgamesh; Maleficent’s Angelina Jolie, playing warrior Eternal Thena and Gemma Chan playing powerful matter manipulating Eternal, Sersi.
Three Eternals from the Marvel comics have been gender-swapped, making The Eternals not only the most racially diverse superhero movie but the most gender-balanced casting of any MCU movie.
Besides the Eternals, Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington, plays Dane Whitman, Black Knight.
New cast members will be announced as production continues.
Spoiler Alert: The following content might be considered a spoiler.
Who Are The Eternals And What Direction Will Marvel’s Take With The Movie?
During the Infinity saga, we learned of the origin of the Infinity Stones from The Collector, which transpired on the colossal head of a dead Celestial, Nowhere.
The Celestials, considered to be the biggest and oldest beings to be shown in the MCU so far upon the release of Marvel’s phase 4, The Eternals.
You might be wondering why I speak of the Celestials when the movie is based on The Eternals, but to know The Eternals you must first understand their origin and not just how they came to be but the origin of the Marvel Universe. Yes, I said universe, not Multiverse.
According to Marvel lore, at the beginning before the multiverse existed, “…there was one cosmos. One universe. One reality. One totality…”
Yes, at the beginning of the Marvel universe the was only one universe and its name was the First Firmament.
The First Firmament was basically a sentient universe and in itself, it created the Aspirants. The Aspirants were powerful beings that worshipped the First Firmament, seeking his approval in all life that they created. But some decided to rebel. These groups of rebels became known as the Celestials.
The two groups battled and the Celestials won, banishing their parent, the First Firmament to the outer reaches of the universe using weapons so powerful it created the Multiverse. Within this multiverse, the Celestials dedicated themselves to creating new life forms including the Eternals.
Millions of years after the multiverse, the Celestials visited Earth and began carrying out experiments on early humans. These experimentations resulted in subdivisions of the ape-man, like the Eternals (Homo immortalis). These were hairless, upright beings that tapped into cosmic power and were god-like to humans as well as the embodiment of perfection and immortality.
But the Celestials’ experiments were also responsible for the creation of the Deviants (Homo descendus), deformed humanoid creatures burdened with a genetic mutation.
The Eternals, as perfect as they may be, they have their faults in not just character but in health. There exists a genetic predisposition known as the Deviant Syndrome which mutates the genetic construct of an Eternal, fortunately, this is rare and has only appeared in one Eternal. Thanos. This is the reason for this appearance.
When the Celestials experimented on Earth, they left traces of their cosmic power in the soil that over time eventually modified the human genome to create the X-gene. This gene has been dormant until the cosmic surge of energy in Endgame was released, activating the gene in humans and further creating mutates.
Moving into the Eternals movie, many would wonder where these cosmic beings were when the Avengers were battling for the fate of the universe in the highly acclaimed Avengers Endgame?
The answer is more interesting than you’d think. The Eternals did not show during Endgame because their memories had been altered by one other Eternal, Sprite. She can manipulate and control the minds of almost any form of life.
So, in The Eternals movie, the Eternals would be living normal human lives without knowing who they truly are pre-Endgame. Afterward, their memories return and it is due to the Gauntlet snap that had occurred.
As explained in Endgame, just a single snap from the Infinity Gauntlet releases cosmic energy at an immeasurable scale.
Now imagine this powerful burst of cosmic energy released not once, not twice but three times during the 5 years and besides that, two bursts where released on the same day. For me, I would think that had to be enough to break the mind control held over beings whose power originates from cosmic energy.
As for Kit Harrington’s Black Knight character, he would not start as the Black Knight but rather as Dayne Whitman, an archaeologist from a long lineage of Black Knights and later progress during the story into a Black Knight himself. As for Dayne Whitman, he travels around the world in search of the tombs of the space gods and learns of their existence.
Gemma Chan’s Seri character as an Eternal would try to stop him because the tomb of the space gods (The Celestials) can be used to summon them and unfortunately, they are not the good guys. As seen in Guardians of the Galaxy, they are the destroyer of worlds not just creators. This makes them the main villains of the story rather than the Deviants.
No details have been given about Dayne Whitman’s transition into the Black Knight but it would have some to do with embracing his family lineage and obtaining the Ebony blade to defend the world.
The Ebony blade was a powerful weapon created by Merlin and handed to Sir Percy of Scandia, the first Black Knight. The blade was said to be nearly indestructible and powerful enough to teleport its user to wherever it was, even across planets. It’s strong enough to cut through vibranium and adamantium and is also able to deflect magic attacks.
The Ebony Blade also stores the Black Knight suit of armor, it is said to be able to appear on his body like Ironman’s suit in Endgame. Handling the Ebony Blade also pretty much makes you immortal, but even though the Black Knight may sound awesome and overpowered, there is a downside to it, a curse.
Unfortunately, Marvel balances out his power, with a curse that has been in his family for generations. The more he kills, the more he would succumb to bloodlust until he is tainted with so much evil, he turns into a monster.
To Conclude, just as Guardians of the Galaxy was made into a phenomenal hit in not only box office but in rating and reviews of critic and fans alike, I’m sure The Eternals would make just as much of an impact or more.
As Kumail Nanjiani said at Comic-Con, Marvel knows how to balance out entire genres into one whether it be a comedy, action, romance, fantasy, science fiction, adventure, and so on, despite it being a superhero movie it is always so much more. And The Eternals is the beginning of a new phase for the MCU and we are prepared for another journey.