- Marvel Studios’ president Kevin Feige announced six upcoming Marvel movies at San Diego Comic-Con.
- One of them will introduce a new group of superheroes called the Eternals.
- The movie, starring Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, and Richard Madden, will be in theatres Friday, November 6, 2020.
- The new film is gender-swapping a few of the original characters, including Ajax and Sprite.
- INSIDER breaks down what you should know about the new superhero group and the characters each actor will be playing.
Marvel announced its upcoming movies for the next two years at San Diego Comic-Con and a lot of new characters are about to be introduced to the MCU.
Among the new movies announced for next year is “The Eternals,” starring Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, and more. If you’re not familiar with the comics, you’re probably wondering what you should know about this new group of super-powered beings.
“[They’re] a group of immortals who have been on Earth for 35,000 years. They have been there amongst the MCU,” said Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige at San Diego Comic-Con.
Introduced in 1976, the Jack Kirby comic introduces three different groups that were created by celestial Gods: the Deviants (a group that was constantly at war), humans, and the immortal Eternals, of which there are more than 30. Over the years, there have been several iterations of the characters.
Feige announced eight of the Eternals who will be in the upcoming movie at SDCC and an additional three characters at Disney’s D23 Expo in August. A lot of the characters are gender-swapped from their original versions. Since they’re all cut from the same cloth, the majority of them all have similar superhuman abilities, including super strength and the ability to fly.
From Richard Madden to Angelina Jolie, keep reading to meet the cast and see who they will be playing next fall.
“Game of Thrones” star Richard Madden is playing Ikaris, one of the leaders of the Eternals.
When Ikaris is first introduced in the comics, he’s undercover as a human on Earth named Ike Harris. Ikaris has the ability to fly and levitate others. He can also shoot beams of cosmic energy from his eyes and teleport if he chooses to do so.
Marvel Studios describes the character as “all powerful.”
Salma Hayek is playing a gender-swapped version of Ajak.
Ajak was first introduced as a man by Kirby in the second issue of “The Eternals.” The character was worshipped by the Incans as Tecumotzin and was buried deep in an Incan tomb to sleep until awoken by Ikaris. The Eternal also fought in the Trojan War.
Like Ikaris, the character can fly and has the ability to teleport. Overall, the majority of the Eternals all have similar powers.
Hayek shared her excitement for the gender-swapped role on Instagram.
“I’m so excited to join the Marvel family as Ajak, the mother of all Eternals. It used to be the father of all Eternals, but girls … this is OUR time !!!!” Hayek wrote.
Angelina Jolie is playing the role of the warrior Thena.
Thena was born in Olympia and is the daughter of Zuras (not to be mistaken with Zeus).
In the comics, she has a secret love affair with an enemy of the Eternals named Kro. Thena can also fly, has super strength, and super speed.
Don Lee (aka Dong-seok Ma) was cast as Gilgamesh, an Eternal who goes by a lot of names.
In the comics, Gilgamesh is first introduced as the Forgotten One, an Eternal which was exiled from his kind by Zuras because he spent too much time around humans.
Because of that, the character became known by several legendary aliases, including Hercules, Beowulf, and Gilgamesh. He eventually joined the Avengers in the comics.
If you’re not familiar with actor Don Lee, he’s a fan-favourite from the excellent zombie movie “Train to Busan,” which is available on Netflix.
“The Walking Dead” actress Lauren Ridloff is playing a gender-flipped version of Makkari.
Makkari is a speedster who’s described as impatient. Makkari has a vibrant red suit and mask in the comics and was also known as Mercury.
Ridloff joined “TWD” on season nine and instantly became a fan-favourite. She will play the first deaf hero in the MCU.
Kumail Nanjiani (“Stuber”) is playing Kingo, who spent years studying Samurai in Japan.
Kingo is supposed to be one of the most skilled swordsmen on Earth. He spent so much time training with Samurai that he transitioned into becoming a famous Japanese action star.
Marvel may be changing up the character a bit in the film. In the studio’s official description for the movie, Kingo is described as being “cosmic-powered.”
Lia McHugh is playing a gender-swapped version of Sprite who looks young, but is actually thousands of years old.
In the comics, Sprite is a young boy who is able to change his appearance. Despite looking like a young teen, the Eternal is pretty old. He just can’t age. Because of that, the young-looking Eternal likes to play tricks, often at the expense of his own kind.
Brian Tyree Henry (“Atlanta”) is playing Phastos.
Unlike the other Eternals, Phastos was introduced later in the comics in 1985. He still has similar powers to the rest. He’s fast, strong, and can fly. Phastos is also an engineer and inventor and made Kingo’s sword.
Gemma Chan plays the witch, Sersi, who adores humans.
Sersi is an Eternal who willingly lives among humans in New York City. In the comics, she becomes a member of the Avengers. It was originally thought that Angelina Jolie would play the role.
Chan’s casting makes her one of just five people to play multiple Marvel characters.
“Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington was cast as Dane Whitman, a non-eternal, who becomes a hero known as Black Knight.
Richard Madden won’t be the only “GoT” star entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Harington’s Whitman is a physicist who took over the mantle of the Black Knight from his uncle. What he didn’t know was that the Black Knight was known as a supervillain. Whitman may not be super-powered like the Eternals, but he is quite skilled with a sword.
In the comics, Black Knight started a relationship with Sersi.
Barry Keoghan (“Dunkirk”) will play Druig.
Druig was a member of the KGB and Ikaris’ cousin. Marvel Studios describes the character as an “aloof loner.” Like other Eternals, he can fly, teleport, and manipulate atoms.
There are a few noteworthy Eternals who weren’t announced at Comic-Con that we’re expecting to see in the movie.
Those aren’t the only Eternals. There are well over 30 of them since the group’s introduction in the comic. Among the ones that were not announced at Comic-Con were Zuras (Thena’s father) and Domo, an immortal Eternal who answered to Zuras.