'The Eternals' movie cast, characters, release date, plot, and more

Everything we know about what could be Marvel's weirdest movie yet.

The Eternals

On this side of Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios and the rest of us are looking forward to the future of the MCU that looks a little bit more diverse, and a huge part of that will be The Eternals, the first film to be released after Black Widow

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige admitted in April 2018 that a film based on Jack Kirby’s The Eternals was in development. By September 2018, The Hollywood Reporter announced Marvel Studios had hired Chinese director Chloé Zhao, butt it wasn’t until San Diego Comic-Con in July 2019 that the film was officially announced.

In the comics, the Eternals are a race of cosmically-powered beings created by the Celestials. They’re essentially immortal, which accounts for the name “Eternals.” Like the Asgardians, many of them are mistaken for gods in human mythology. Does that mean Eternals will feel like a more diverse Thor movie with an ensemble cast? Maybe? But maybe not.

Here’s everything we know about The Eternals in terms of release date, cast, characters, story, and everything else you might need to know:

Ego is one of the few Celestials confirmed for the MCU, so was he involved in creating the Eternals?
Ego is one of the few Celestials confirmed for the MCU, so was he involved in creating the Eternals?

What are the Eternals in Marvel Comics?

The Celestials are a race of godlike beings fans of the MCU should recognize. Star-Lord’s father, Ego, is a Celestial prominently featured in Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2. Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster is supposed to be another, but we never get the sense in Thor: Ragnarok that he’s a super-powered individual.

At the dawn of mankind in Marvel Comics, a Celestial called Nezarr the Calculator visited Earth and granted a certain number of prehistoric humanoids the ability to tap into a cosmic power that vaguely resembles the Infinity Stones.

Using that power, Eternals are able to augment their own life force, making them invulnerable and essentially immortal. Using psionic powers, they can manipulate matter at the molecular level to do almost anything. Power levels, specialties, and interests vary with the characters, but their immortality seems to unify them into some kind of strange family. Because their existence spans most of human history, their stories and conflicts could conceivably overlap with all sorts of human events.

Sersi in Marvel Comics.
Sersi in Marvel Comics.

What’s the Plot of The Eternals?

By all accounts, The Eternals should follow a large group of titular immortals and span vast swaths of human history. One leak lists Babylon 800 B.C. as a setting and time period. Other leaks indicate that Game of Thrones star Kit Harington plays archaeologist Dane Whitman, perhaps in the present day, who discovers evidence that the Eternals exist. This may or may not happen in a place called the Tomb of the Gods.

Gemma Chan is said to play the Eternal Sersi, who might fall in love with Whitman. This forbidden love could serve as the central conflict in the story, or at the very least play a major part. The whole thing is said to have ancient aliens vibes, according to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.

The Wrap reported in April 2018 that “multiple screenwriters have taken meetings and have been asked to come up with a story that focuses on the female Eternal known as Sersi.”

The character first appeared as Circe in Jack Kirby’s Strange Tales #109 in June 1963, essentially making her Circe the nymph or goddess of magic that appears in Homer’s Odyssey. Marvel’s Thor is an Asgardian that humans worshipped as a god, and Circe is something similar to that but in the Greek pantheon of gods.

In the comics, Sersi is unique in how much she loves living among humans despite her immense power. She eventually settles in New York City, uses illusion magic to entertain humans, and becomes a party planner. Were these characters living on Earth all along? Or do they only exist in a post-Endgame reality?

When Zhao was announced as director in September 2018, further details emerged that the film was a “love story between Ikaris, a man fueled by cosmic energy, and Sersi, who relishes moving amongst humans.” But it seems like things have changed since then.

We don’t know anything official about the plot of the movie just yet.

The Eternals
The Eternals might not look like this in the movie.

When Is The Eternals Release Date?

The Eternals release date was confirmed at Marvel SDCC 2019. It will be released on November 6, 2020, making it the second film Marvel will release after Black Widow in May. It’s unclear whether or not the film will be released before or after the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, currently scheduled for a fall 2020 release.

That Hashtag Show reported in March 2019 that The Eternals production should start in September 2019 in the UK and continue through at least January 2020, keeping the film on track for a release around fall 2020. That was indeed the case when filming began in September 2019.

eternals cast d23
The 'Eternals' cast gathered on stage at Disney's D23 convention in August 2019.

Who’s in The Eternals Cast?

The official Eternals cast was announced at Marvel’s SDCC presentation in July, with a few additions made at D23 in August, but it’s also possible that additions will be made in the future. There’s also no telling who might appear in the mid- or post-credits scenes for the film.

The cast lineup is as follows: 

  • Angelina Jolie as “Thena”
  • Salma Hayek as “Ajax”
  • Richard Madden as “Ikaris”
  • Lauren Ridloff as “Makkari”
  • Kumail Nanjiani as “Kingo”
  • Brian Tyree Henry as “Phastos”
  • Don Lee as “Gilgamesh”
  • Lia McHugh as “Sprite”

The D23 panel included the following additions:

  • Barry Keoghan as”Druig”,
  • Gemma Chan as “Sersi”
  • Kit Harrington as “Dane Whitman/The Black Knight”

The Eternals will be released November 6, 2020.