Eternals (film)

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Eternals
Eternals (film) logo.jpg
Official logo
Directed byChloé Zhao
Produced byKevin Feige
Screenplay by
Based onEternals
by Jack Kirby
Starring
Music byRamin Djawadi
CinematographyBen Davis
Edited byDylan Tichenor[1]
Production
company
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • November 5, 2021 (2021-11-05) (United States)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$200 million[2]

Eternals is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics race of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is intended to be the 26th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Chloé Zhao and written by Kaz and Ryan Firpo. It stars an ensemble cast including Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, and Kit Harington. The film, set after the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), sees the Eternals, who have hidden themselves for thousands of years, must re-unite to protect Earth from their enemies, the Deviants.

In April 2018, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced that a film based on the Eternals had begun development, with Kaz and Ryan Firpo hired to write the script for the project in May 2018. By late-September, Marvel had hired Zhao to direct the film. Principal photography began in July 2019, with locations including Pinewood Studios, London and Oxford in England, and the Canary Islands, lasting until February 2020.

Eternals is scheduled for release in the United States on November 5, 2021, as part of Phase Four of the MCU.

Premise[edit]

After an unexpected tragedy following the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019),[3] the Eternals—an immortal alien race created by the Celestials who have secretly lived on Earth for over 7000 years[4][5]—reunite to protect humanity from their evil counterparts, the Deviants.[3][6]

Cast[edit]

The cast of Eternals at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con

Additionally, Haaz Sleiman portrays Phastos' husband.[13]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In April 2018, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige stated that the studio was actively developing a film based on the Marvel comic book series Eternals, created by Jack Kirby, to release in their Phase Four slate of films. Marvel had met with multiple screenwriters, and was believed to be focusing on the character Sersi.[18] Marvel set Kaz and Ryan Firpo to write the script a month later,[19] with their outline including a love story between the characters Sersi and Ikaris.[8] In June, Feige said Marvel was interested in exploring the "ancient aliens kind of sci-fi trope" of the Eternals being the inspiration for myths and legends throughout the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).[20]

During late August, Marvel's director search for The Eternals narrowed to a shortlist that included Chloé Zhao—who had also been in the running to direct Marvel's Black Widow (2021)—Nicole Kassell, Travis Knight, and the pair of Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra.[8] Zhao was chosen to direct the film a month later,[8][21] after impressing Marvel with a presentation that included "reams of visuals" to convey her pitch for the film. Feige called her pitch "fascinating", noting one of the reasons Zhao was chosen "was because of the vision that she brought to it".[22] The presentation left Marvel concerned she might take on a different big-studio project instead, forcing them to move quickly secure her.[8][21] Zhao hoped to bring her "deep, strong, manga roots" to the film while also showing "more of that marriage of East and West", in a hope to push the film "further and bigger" after Avengers: Endgame (2019).[22]

Marvel considered The Eternals to be a "perfect transition" into its next phase of films along with projects such as Captain Marvel (2019),[21] as it allowed the studio to cast a diverse group of actors to portray the various Eternals.[8] In February 2019, Feige reiterated that Marvel was interested in the characters due to Kirby's "immense, amazing epic with Eternals that spans tens of thousands of years" in the comics; because they wanted to create more ensemble films "from the start" like Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), rather than building up to an ensemble crossover as they did with The Avengers (2012); and to introduce "characters that the majority of the world has never heard of" as they did with the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy.[23]

Pre-production[edit]

I wanted it to reflect the world we live in. But also I wanted to put a cast together that feels like a group of misfits. I didn't want the jocks. I want you to walk away at the end of the movie not thinking, 'This person is this ethnicity, that person is that nationality.' No. I want you to walk away thinking, 'That's a family.' You don't think about what they represent. You see them as individuals.

—Director Chloé Zhao on the multicultural cast of the film[22]

Angelina Jolie joined the cast in March 2019, reportedly as Sersi,[24][9] with Kumail Nanjiani and Don Lee cast in undisclosed roles the next month.[9][25] At that time, the film was expected to feature Marvel Studios' first gay superhero.[26] In May, Richard Madden entered negotiations for the role of Ikaris,[27] and by the following month, Salma Hayek had entered early negotiations for an undisclosed role.[28] In July, Variety reported that the cast included Jolie, Madden, and Millie Bobby Brown,[29] but Brown quickly denied that she had been cast.[30] Later that month at San Diego Comic-Con, Feige officially announced the film, with a release date of November 6, 2020. He confirmed the casting of Jolie, Nanjiani, Lee, Madden, and Hayek, revealing their roles to be Thena, Kingo, Gilgamesh, Ikaris, and Ajak, and also announced the casting of Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, and Lia McHugh as Sprite.[14] Following the announcement, Feige confirmed that one of these characters would be an LGBTQ character in the film;[31] actor Haaz Sleiman later revealed that Phastos is the superhero that is depicted as gay in the film, with Sleiman portraying the character's husband. The pair have a child in the film. Sleiman felt it was "important [for the film] to show how loving and beautiful a queer family can be" rather than the "sexual or rebellious" depiction of queer people in some previous media.[13] Feige added that an LGBTQ relationship "was always sort of inherent in the story and the makeup of the different types of Eternals", feeling it was "extremely well done" in the film.[22]

Filming[edit]

By the film's official announcement in July 2019, principal photography had begun at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England.[6][32] Ben Davis served as director of photography.[33] The following month, Gemma Chan and Barry Keoghan were in talks to join the cast.[17][34] Chan previously portrayed Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel, but reports noted that she was potentially being looked at by Marvel to play a separate character in this film.[17] Chan and Keoghan were confirmed to be cast at the D23 Expo in August, in the roles of Sersi and Druig, respectively, along with Kit Harington as Dane Whitman.[15] By early November, filming took place in the Canary Islands. The filming crew, including Jolie and Madden, had to be evacuated from a shooting location on the island of Fuerteventura due to an explosive device found there, thought to be a remnant armament from a Nazi base.[35] In early January 2020, filming took place outside the Oxford University Museum of Natural History in Oxford, England,[36] as well as Hampstead Heath in London.[37] Filming wrapped on February 4, 2020.[38]

Zhao stated that Marvel Studios allowed her creative freedom to shoot the film on location, which is "exactly the way [she] wanted to shoot" it, using the similar style to her previous films, including 360° shots, and working with the same camera and rigs as was used for her film Nomadland (2020). She felt that she "got lucky in that Marvel wants to take risks and do something different."[22]

Post-production[edit]

In March 2020, Scanline VFX, one of the companies working on the film's visual effects, confirmed that they would be working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[39] In early April, Disney shifted much of their Phase Four slate of films due to the pandemic, moving The Eternals' release date to February 12, 2021.[40] In August, the film's title was shortened to Eternals,[41] and the next month, the release date was pushed back to November 5, 2021.[42]

Music[edit]

Ramin Djawadi is set to compose the score for the film, after previously doing so for Marvel's Iron Man (2008).[43]

Release[edit]

Eternals is scheduled to be released in the United States on November 5, 2021.[42] It was previously scheduled to be released on November 6, 2020,[7] before it was shifted to February 12, 2021,[40] and then to the November 2021 date, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[42] It will be part of Phase Four of the MCU.[44][42]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]