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It shows just how successful the Marvel Cinematic universe has become that one of the biggest upcoming releases from Marvel Studios is based on a fairly obscure set of heroes that even many comic book fans aren't that familiar with. Of course, the last time that happened, it worked out pretty well with The Guardians of the Galaxy. In Marvel Comics, The Eternals are a race of beings genetically similar to humans, though with heightened abilities and, as the name implies, long lives, who have been tasked with the protection of earth from their dark counterparts, the Deviants.
The Eternals, has put together an an exceptional ensemble cast to build the collection of long-lived super beings. Here's a run down of all the major names that have been added to the cast of the film, currently set for an early 2021 release.
Angelina Jolie has been largely off the big screen for the last several years, but she returned in a big way with the sequel to Maleficent, Mistress of Evil, and now she'll be following that up with her first comic book superhero movie. She'll playing the role of Thena, Thena is traditionally depicted as having been born in Ancient Greece, and as such she is often depicted in the same way one might see a greek god, though she isn't one, they exist in the Marvel universe as well. Each of the Eternals tends to have a focus to their power set, and for Thena, it's strength, she is the true warrior of the group.
Following Kit Harrington's success on Game of Thrones, it seemed like only a matter of time before he joined a major film franchise. That happened last August when he was officially listed as part of the Eternals cast. Harrington is the biggest name thus far that was not announced at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019. He'll play Dane Whitman, a.k.a, The Black Knight. Whitman isn't technically an Eternal. He's a normal human, but he holds in his possession the Ebony Blade, which grants him the powers of the Black Knight.
Oh all the actors who have joined The Eternals, none have caused quite the stir that Kumail Nanjiani has. Images of the actor in his "superhero shape" took the internet by storm, because the actor who we're used to seeing play normal, every day dudes, now looks ripped as hell. Nanjiani will play Kingo, a cosmic Eternal who blends in on earth by being a Bollywood movie star, which opens up all sorts of fun ideas we could see in the movie.
Of all the actors cast in The Eternals one of the most interesting has to be Salma Hayek. The fact that the actress is joining the MCU isn't all that surprising on its face, who hasn't at this point, but Hayek will portray Ajak, the leader of the Eternals, which, in the comics, has been a male character. It's unclear if there was a specific reason to gender swap the role, or simply no reason not to, but any change to the source material is exciting due to the opportunities that come with it.
Richard Madden recently won a Golden Globe for his role in the series Bodyguard and had high profile roles in films like 1917 and Rocketman. The actor will find himself in his biggest screen role to date when he plays Ikaris in The Eternals. Madden may end up with the most fun role in the film, as Ikaris is largely all-powerful, able to fly, levitate objects, shoot rays of power from his eyes, and he's basically immortal.
Gemma Chan isn't making her first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in The Eternals, but unlike most returning actors, she won't be playing the same role she did last time. Chan played the role of Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel, but this time around she'll be playing Cersi, Cersi has psyonic abilities such as transmutation, that basically present as magic. Cersi has a history with the Black Knight in the comics, which may mean Chan and Kit Harrington will be spending a lot of time together on screen.
The Walking Dead's Lauren Ridloff will, like Salma Hayek, play a version of an Eternal that is quite unlike the one fans of the comic will know. Makkari's major power set revolves around being incredibly fast, but in the comics, Makkari is traditionally male, white, and not deaf, as Ridloff is. Lauren Ridloff has been knocking down a lot of barriers when it comes to taking on major roles that are not traditionally available to actors with disabilities. She'll be the first deaf actor in the MCU.
Brian Tyree Henry
Every superhero team needs the one who builds the gear, and for The Eternals, that will be Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry. Henry's character will also be the first openly gay member of the MCU. Henry has had standout roles in movies like Joker and If Beale Street Could Talk. He'll also be seen in the forthcoming Godzilla Vs. Kong.
And that's not even the end of the cast list for The Eternals. Lia McHugh (The Lodge) will play Sprite, Don Lee will play Gilgamesh, and Barry Keoghan is on board as Druig. Haaz Sleiman has revealed he's also in the film playing the husband of Phastos.
And even that won't be the end of it. While we have a lot of heroes on the board, what we're missing are a lot of villains to balance things out. A recent merchandise leak may have revealed that the Deviant Kro will play a role in the film, but we have no idea who might be on board to play the part at this time. If one Deviant is there, there will likely be more. By the end, The Eternals could rival the recent Avengers movies when it comes to the sheer number of characters and stars who will appear.
Check back to CinemaBlend as the cast of The Eternals continues to be updated.