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Before it gained back the rights to some of Marvel's biggest IPs like the X-Men and Fantastic Four, Disney built a multi-billion dollar cinematic universe with relatively obscure heroes like Iron Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel Studios is digging back into a treasure chest of little-known comic book properties in the first eon-spanning teaser trailer for Eternals, which debuted on Monday morning. Helmed by recent Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao (Nomadland), the film looks to be one of the MCU's most beautiful and director-driven projects to date.
"What she talked about was really fighting for practical locations, for practical elements — yes, in a movie that is full of visual effects and characters with extraordinary powers, but doing as much as possible on far-flung locations. And that starts to reap benefits visually immediately," Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige said in April.
Angelina Jolie headlines the international cast as Thena, leader of the titular, god-like beings created by the Celestials. As the trailer tells us, the Eternals have been monitoring humanity since the dawn of time, subtly helping them progress, but never overtly interfering in mortal affairs. Until now, that is. Richard Madden (Ikaris), Kumail Nanjiani (Kingo), Lauren Ridloff (Makkari), Brian Tyree Henry (Phastos), Salma Hayek (Ajak), Lia McHugh (Sprite), Don Lee (Gilgamesh), Barry Keoghan (Druig), Gemma Chan (Sersi), and Madden's fellow Game of Thrones alum, Kit Harington (Dane Whitman/Black Knight) comprise the rest of the movie's all-star cast. Per Feige, Chan's character is the closest thing to "a lead in this ensemble."
Watch the trailer (set to a haunting rendition of Skeeter Davis's "The End of the World") now:
While the footage doesn't give much away in terms of plot, it does confirm that Eternals is at least partially set after the events of Avengers: Endgame. "So now that Captain Rogers and Iron Man are both gone, who do you think's gonna lead the Avengers?" asks Sprite as the group sits down to a sumptuous feast that Gilgamesh whipped up. There's a moment of silence before Ikaris cocks his head and says, "I could lead them." This comment draws a hearty laugh from his cohorts, but Ikaris has been known to work side-by-side with Earth's Mightiest Heroes in the comics.
A classic example of Jack Kirby's prolific contributions to the cosmic canon of the Marvel Universe, the immortal Eternals have existed for eons in their home of Olympia. In terms of foes, the group is well-known for its never-ending battle with the Deviants, who are basically evil versions of the Eternals.
Here's the teaser poster:
Written by Ryan and Matthew K. Firpo, Eternals will begin its visit to Earth Friday, Nov. 5.