The first three Phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s history have been driven by the assembling of one key team: The Avengers. Once that team defeated Thanos, its members have spread to the wind. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) has passed, as has Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). Captain America (Chris Evans) lived a full life. It’s time to pass the baton. But to whom? Well, the first official trailer for Chloe Zhao’s Eternals suggests that a new team has been with us this entire time… and for centuries before that. They are, as their name suggests, eternal. And their introduction is about to flip the MCU on its ear. Watch the new trailer above, and then we will discuss.

The Eternals don’t have the household recognition of the Avengers, but that doesn’t make them any less compelling. Introduced by comic-book legend Jack Kirby, The Eternals are an immortal alien race who have been living our planet for the better part of 7,000 years. The Eternals were created by the Celestials, God-like creatures who also introduced an evil counterpart to the Eternals: The Deviants.

Eternals has the star-power in its cast to lure a wide audience beyond the Marvel faithful. Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kit Harrington, Kumail Nanjiani, Gemma Chan and Richard Madden populate this cast of exciting superheroes, who will open up a new corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a similar fashion to the way that James Gunn’s original Guardians of the Galaxy introduced cosmic storytelling that has since powered sequels like Thor: Ragnarok and origin stories such as Captain Marvel.

The Eternals cast

On top of the A-list talent in the cast, I could easily see a number of curious audience members coming to see Eternals because it’s the follow up film for Chloe Zhao, who just a few weeks ago collected the Best Director and Best Picture Oscars for her incredibly touching and contemplative drama, Nomadland, with Frances McDormand. Zhao is, at once, a brilliant but fascinating choice to take on a superhero blockbuster. Nothing on her resume suggests that she’d even be interested in comic-book storytelling such as this, but maybe that only proves that Eternals will be unlike any Marvel movie we have seen to date. That’s one guaranteed way to keep the future of the MCU feeling fresh.

There are two MCU movies that will arrive in theaters before Eternals opens, and that’s Black Widow (July 9) and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (September 3). But it was finally time to pull back the curtain on Eternals to show off the film’s tone, look, scope and themes. We’ll continue to track any new information that drops regarding this movie, and you should bookmark our Upcoming Marvel Guide to stay up-to-date on all of the latest Marvel Studios happenings.

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