'The Eternals' Movie Cast, Characters, Release Date, Trailer, and Plot

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

The Eternals

Now that Avengers: Endgame has finally hit theaters, MCU fans are looking ahead to Phase 4 and what the future holds. Among the handful of already confirmed Phase 4 films — which includes the upcoming, Black Panther 2, Doctor Strange 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy 3— is The Eternals. Endgame did a good job of setting the stage for the former confirmed films. In the case of The Eternals, which have not been explicitly name-checked in the MCU thus far, this is completely new and exciting territory.

Thankfully, a rich comic book history and some comments from those involved will help give us a good idea of what we can expect. In April 2018, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige did admit that a film based on Jack Kirby’s The Eternals was in development. “Eternals is one of many many many things that we are actively beginning to have creative discussions about to see if we believe in them enough to put them on a slate,” Feige told The Wrap.

By September 2018, The Hollywood Reporter announced Marvel Studios had tapped Chinese director Chloé Zhao to helm the film. Beyond that, here’s everything we know (or think we know) about The Eternals.

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 (Star-Lord’s father, Ego, being one of them). 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 cosmic power akin to 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.

Sersi in Marvel Comics.
Sersi in Marvel Comics.

What’s the Plot of The Eternals?

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.” Zhao’s comments are intriguing but it should be noted that The Eternals scripting process is still in the early stages. The story will likely evolve throughout the production process. If so, the love story may not be as central in the final version as it’s being positioned right now.

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

When Is The Eternals Release Date?

No release date for The Eternals has been announced, but we have a very good guess for when it might be scheduled.

That Hashtag Show reports that The Eternals production should start in September 2019 in the UK and continue through at least January 2020, putting the film on track for a release around fall 2020.

That could very well make The Eternals the November 6, 2020 release date that Disney already has lined up for a Marvel movie.

Who’s in The Eternals Cast?

In early March 2019, That Hashtag Show reported that Marvel Studios was seeking an openly gay actor for the male lead in The Eternals. No casting announcements for this have been made just yet, but that actor could play Ikaris (if the character is written to be queerer than his comic book counterpart) or another Eternal working alongside Ikaris and Sersi.

The Hollywood Reporter on March 27, 2019 reported that Angelina Jolie was in talks to star, meaning she’d probably be playing Sersi. Jolie has been choosier about the films she’s joined in of late with Maleficent 2 being her most notable upcoming role. It’s likely she was pegged to star in part because of her skill and reputation as an actor but also because of her working relationship with Disney, Marvel’s parent company.

On April 5, 2019, The Hollywood Reporter noted that Kumail Nanjiani was in talks to join Jolie. No details were confirmed on his role. Nanjiani’s acting career has taken off in recent years. Following the hit success of The Big Sick in theaters and Nanjiani earning award nominations from it, he’s appeared in an episode of the rebooted Twilight Zone on CBS All Access and will soon be seen opposite fellow MCU vet Dave Bautista in the action-comedy Stuber.

Then, in May 2019, The Wrap reported that Game of Thrones alum Richard Madden was also in talks to join the film. As you might expect, no details on the role Madden is being considered for were confirmed at time of reporting. Madden is fresh off of the critical and commercial success of British political thriller Bodyguard which earned him a Golden Globe for Actor in a Drama TV Series. Before The Eternals hits theaters, you can catch him in the upcoming Elton John musical biopic Rocketman, starring alongside Taron Egerton.

To date, Jolie, Nanjiani and Madden are the only actors who’ve been connected to The Eternals. None have released statements yet on the film or joining the MCU.

The Eternals might be released in late 2020.

Media via Marvel Studios, Marvel Comics