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Marvel’s The Eternals Movie: Release Date, Cast, Villain, Characters and More

(Image credit: Credit: Albert L. Ortega/Getty)

Don’t feel out of touch if you haven’t heard of The Eternals before San Diego Comic-Con 2019.

The upcoming film is Marvel’s next stab at a team-up franchise after the massive success and unwavering popularity of Guardians of the Galaxy. The Eternals, who derive from a separate species of humans called Celestials, were conceived by the legendary comic book innovator Jack Kirby in 1976. He conjured up a team of 35,000-year-old immortal defenders that faces an enemy called the Deviants. Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden and more stars will help bring the ancient aliens to life.

Directed by Chloe Zhao, The Eternals join MCU’s Phase 4, a two-year map of Marvel movies and Disney Plus original shows. There’s already speculation over how the Eternals fit in among the likes of Black Widow and Doctor Strange, but their title film is sure to reveal more. From the release date to the team members, here’s everything there is to know about the Eternals movie. 

Latest The Eternals News and Updates (August 2019)

  • News out of D23 Expo: Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones' Jon Snow) is in The Eternals!
  • Gemma Chan, who starred in Crazy Rich Asians and had a role in Captain Marvel, is reportedly in talks to join The Eternals cast. Whether she would reprise her role as Minn-Erva or take on a new identity is currently unknown.

The Eternals release date: when does it come out?

At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Marvel announced The Eternals will be released in theaters on November 6, 2020. It’s going to be the first movie to give us a glimpse at the post-Endgame MCU.

Is there a trailer for The Eternals yet? 

Nope, not yet. According to IMDb, The Eternals is in the pre-production stage, which means we won’t be seeing film footage for quite some time. Marvel will likely release teasers before a full-length trailer—we’ll be sure to let you know when they pop up. 

 What is The Eternals about?

According to the comics, The Eternals stem from common mythology dating back to the dawn of the human race. Ancient overseers known as The Celestials arrived on Earth to divide its inhabitants into three sects: humans, Eternals, and Deviants. 

In case their name doesn’t make it clear, the Deviants are the bad guys. They’re unstable, violent, and less evolved. Think: Skrulls. While the Deviants certainly pose a major threat for the Eternals, who are sworn to protect Earth from evil, the Eternals have been their own worst enemies, too. When Civil War broke out among them long ago, the Eternals fractured into two groups: one led by Kronos and the other led by Uranos. Kronos and the “good guys” won, remaining on Earth, so Uranos and his followers were exiled. They then fou-ght the Kree (who we learned more about in Captain Marvel) and settled on Titan. 

Now, Titan should sound familiar if you followed our friend Thanos’ story through MCU Phases 1-3. Yup, Thanos is an Eternal, born to a Titan leader. If what we know about him says anything about the Eternals living on Titan, we can guess they’re on the high end of the jerk spectrum. 

Unlike their Titan-counterparts, the Eternals back on Earth look like humans. They’re the ones who we’ll meet in the upcoming movie. Aside from being immortal, they have sweet superpowers and can regenerate from injuries imposed by conventional, human weapons. If you thought Thor was impressive, you haven’t seen anything yet. 

Who are The Eternals (and who's in the cast?)

The Eternals created in the comics are inherently complicated. They blur the lines of old mythology, otherworldly aliens, and human development. Their histories are intertwined with endless subplots, superpowers, and allegiances, too. Marvel likely simplified their role in the multiverse for a movie-going audience, while bringing an exciting dose of diversity to re-imagine the characters. Without further ado, here are the Eternals (and who will play them in the film):

Angelina Jolie (Malificent, Lara Croft) takes a leading role in The Eternals as Thena, for whom Athens was named. Thena is extremely intelligent, excels in hand-to-hand combat, and has the starter pack of Eternal superpowers: flying, superstrength, regeneration, ect.

Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones) is going to be Dane Whitman, the Black Knight. The news broke at the D23 Expo on August 24.

Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) plays Ikaris, the leader of the Eternals (in the comics, at least) whose name derives from his lost son Icarus. Yes, the one who famously flew too close to the sun. Ikaris has total mental control over his physical form, can resist temperature extremes, and shoot heat beams from his eyes. 

Salma Hayek (Frida, Wild Wild West)  joins the team as Ajak, an Eternal who battled in the Trojan War and is named after famed warrior Ajax. Ajak has the same powers as the rest of the Eternals, but also possesses the ability to communicate with the Celestials.

Kumail Nanjiani is the samurai Kingo, known as one of the most skilled swordsmen on the planet. While he can use basic Eternals powers, he prefers traditional battle. 

Lauren Ridloff (The Walking Dead) plays the speedy Makkari. Makkari cannot fly like the rest of the Eternals, but light speed is a fair trade off. She’s known for a signature crash helmet, too.

12-year-old Lia McHugh (The Lodge) is Sprite, the Eternals' token trickster. Sprite may look like a child, but she can rework molecules and warp reality better than the rest of the team. She’s deceptively dangerous.

Brian Tyree Henry (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Widows) also stars in The Eternals as the anti-war Phastos. Phastos carries a special hammer with him and is a genius engineer.

Last but not least, we have Don Lee (Train to Busan) as Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh should sound familiar from history class -- he was a hero in ancient Mesopotamian mythology. He’s the strongest of the Eternals and can withstand attacks better than most. 

Is there an Eternal's villain?

Of course. While it's not confirmed, We Got This Covered reported a source close to the Marvel studio said Maelstrom will make an appearance in the film, perhaps in an end scene as a set up for the Eternals sequel. He's a major antagonist in the comics and could factor into a larger plot in upcoming MCU phases. 

Wow... anything else?

As if that's not enough Eternals information to digest. Fun fact: the Knowhere skull from Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Infinity War is actually the skull of a Celestial. That should give you a pretty decent sense of the Celestials' enormity. As should this user's tweet featuring the film's Jack Kirby-esque movie poster: