Now that Avengers: Endgame is out in the world, the MCU is looking ahead to its next phase, and the new characters and worlds we'll be introduced to as the story moves beyond The Infinity Saga. One of the biggest pillars of that plan is The Eternals, and that film's already intriguing cast is looking to land another major star.
The Wrap reports Richard Madden, best known for his three seasons as Robb Stark on the HBO epic fantasy series Game of Thrones, is now "in talks" to join the film's cast, which already includes Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani and Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie. According to Variety, Madden would play Ikaris, one of the leaders of The Eternals who often holds the rank of "Prime Eternal" in comic book stories.
Chloe Zhao (The Rider) will direct The Eternals from a script by Matthew and Ryan Firpo (Ruin). As with all previous MCU installments, Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige will serve as producer.
Created by Jack Kirby upon his return to Marvel from DC Comics in the mid-1970s, The Eternals are a race of superpowered, virtually immortal beings that are the results of experimentation on human predecessors by the massively powerful cosmic race known as The Celestials. Traditionally, the role of The Eternals in the Marvel Universe has been as protectors of humanity (though the most recent Avengers series has called that into question), defending less powerful beings against their monstrous counterparts, The Deviants.
For Marvel Studios, the Eternals could launch an entirely new franchise that bridges the cosmic and the Earthly realms of the MCU in the same way that Captain Marvel has just begun to. It's also an opportunity for the studio to craft a diverse, rich new cast of characters and introduce them to a moviegoing audience largely unfamiliar with the property.
The Eternals does not yet have an official release date. Madden, who won a Golden Globe earlier this year for his role in the BBC series Bodyguard, will next be seen alongside Taron Egerton in the Elton John biopic Rocketman, which hits theaters May 31.