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Marvel's Eternals: release date, cast, trailer and what we know so far

The official logo for Marvel's Eternals movie
(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

Marvel's Eternals' release date is fast approaching, so it won't be long before the MCU's newest (or should that be oldest?) superhero group lands in theaters.

Eternals will be the third film entry in Marvel's Phase 4 plans following Black Widow and Shang-Chi's respective July and September releases. 

Unless there's a change in Marvel's release schedule, Eternals will arrive in cinemas worldwide this November and, given those involved in its production, it's possible that Eternals will follow Black Panther in being nominated for Best Pictures ahead of the 2022 Oscars ceremony.

Ignoring that for now, though, what's the latest news on the MCU's next big ensemble movie? Disney has given us an idea of when Eternals will launch on Disney Plus. Meanwhile, the cast and crew have provided new snippets of information concerning the Eternals' main (and supporting) characters.

If you're looking for everything worth knowing about Marvel's Eternals, we've got you covered. Below, you'll find out more about the forthcoming MCU flick, including its release date, two trailers, stacked cast, potential plot points and more. There are spoilers for some other Marvel movies, however, so proceed at your own risk if you're not caught up on them all yet.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Marvel's Eternals is the story of a group of ancient immortal beings who have protected Earth's human population from the Deviants and Celestials for millennia.
  • Where can I see it? Marvel's Eternals will be released in theaters worldwide.
  • When can I watch it? Marvel's Eternals is scheduled for release internationally on November 5, 2021. 
  • Will it be available to watch on Disney Plus at launch? No. Eternals will have a 45-day exclusivity window in theaters, so it won't simultaneously arrive on Disney Plus in November.

Marvel's Eternals release date: November 2021

The cast of Marvel's Eternals movie including Richard Madden, Salma Hayek and Gemma Chan

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios)

Marvel's Eternals will land in theaters on November 5, 2021.

The MCU movie has been delayed twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but it is now set to arrive in cinemas worldwide later this year. Given that Marvel Studios has pressed ahead with the release of other MCU movies, such as Shang-Chi, we don't expect the Eternals' release date to be pushed back again.

We've also learned that the film won't get a day-and-date release on Disney Plus, either. The Walt Disney Company has confirmed that Eternals will receive a 45-day exclusive theatrical release when it launches later this year.

This means that Eternals won't be viewable on Disney Plus until six weeks after it debuts in cinemas. So it won't arrive on Disney's streaming platform until December 17 at the very earliest.

Marvel's Eternals trailer: watch the latest teaser

With its release under two months away, Marvel has begun to ramp up its marketing for Eternals, with a new trailer arriving online – and it looks absolutely epic.

There's footage of the Eternals' various powers in action, a first look at the villainous Deviants, a couple of blink and you'll miss it moments involving the Celestials, and some humorous moments to enjoy, too. 

Check out the latest trailer above, and read on to see the movie's first trailer that arrived early in the year.

Marvel's Eternals' first teaser trailer was released on May 24, and the sheer size and scope of Chloé Zhao's debut superhero flick makes it look like it could a serious awards contender in 2022.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in May, Disney Studios' Head of Marketing Asad Ayaz revealed why the first trailer was vague in its plot details.

"It’s just an introduction to the characters and tone," Asad said. "It was a very, very early tease. We have so much more to do on that. 

"We will be very judicious because we do have other films and shows prior to Eternals hitting. And Eternals is such a special movie with all-new characters, and we have two Marvel movies prior to that. So that gives us an advantage in using those to expose people more to Eternals, but also spacing things out."

Now that we've received a second trailer, though, we have a better idea of how the movie will play out and fit into the wider MCU.

Speaking of where it'll fit on the MCU's main timeline, Eternals producer Nate Moore confirmed that the film happens "right around the same time as Spider-Man: Far From Home, with the world recovering from the attack of Thanos and the return of half the world population." So Eternal's events will play out in unison to those that transpired in Spider-Man's second solo outing.

Marvel's Eternals cast: who is playing who?

Angelina Jolie as Thena in Marvel's Eternals

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

Marvel's Eternals has an absolutely stacked cast that might rival any of the Avengers movies. You can see why we say that by looking at the confirmed cast list below:

  • Gemma Chan as Sersi
  • Richard Madden as Ikaris
  • Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo
  • Lia McHugh as Sprite
  • Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos
  • Lauren Ridloff as Makkari
  • Barry Keoghan as Druig
  • Don Lee as Gilgamesh
  • Kit Harington as Dane Whitman
  • Salma Hayek as Ajak
  • Angelina Jolie as Thena

There are some huge names attached to this movie but, perhaps surprisingly, the likes of Jolie and Madden aren't the main stars.

That role is reserved for Chan (Humans, Raya and the Last Dragon), who MCU fans will recognize as Minn-Erva from Captain Marvel. As Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told Variety in April: "If there was a lead in this ensemble, it is Sersi, it is Gemma Chan", so expect Chan's empathetic Sersi to be the 'lead', if Marvel's Eternals has to have one.

As for what superpowers each Eternal possesses, it's a broad list. 

Sersi, who masquerades as a museum curator whilst on Earth, can manipulate matter. According to a lengthy Entertainment Weekly article, too, Chan says Sersi is a "free spirit" who "loves being among humans." 

Ikaris possesses superhuman flight, strength and the ability to fire energy beams from his eyes. Think Superman, and you'll be on the right track. Oh, and Ikaris and Sersi have had an on-off romantic relationship for "thousands of years", Madden told EW in the linked article above.

Kingo can project cosmic projectiles from his hands and, unlike most Eternals, he's happiest in the spotlight. As a present day Bollywood star in the MCU, Nanjiani says that he had to take "months and months of [dance] classes" to ensure he could portray Kingo authentically.

The child-esque superhero Sprite is an illusionist and, as McHugh explains: "I sort of related to her in the way that I've lived my whole life because I look younger than I am."

Makkari has superhuman speed and, as the first deaf superhero in the MCU, Ridloff says that Marvel is allowing "more people are starting to see themselves in that universe, and that's powerful."

Phastos is the Eternals' inventor. Tasked with creating weaponry and other tech, Phastos is a key member of the group and Henry says he's "still freaking out that I'm a part of it [Eternals movie]."

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Druig has mind control capabilities. Speaking about the first time that the entire cast suited up, Keoghan said: "It's a weird feeling to see yourself like that. As soon as you put the boots on your posture transforms. You definitely notice how your whole demeanor and everything just changes."

Gilgamesh can project an exoskeleton of cosmic armor, which serves the strongest of the Eternals well during fights. Of his character, Lee said he's "protective over his family and humans, and he has a solid, dependable character that serves his team in battles."

Ajak is the group's healer and, according to Hayek, she's "the bridge between the Eternals and the Celestials, and it's never easy to hold two sides together." It sounds, then, that she'll play a vital role in proceedings.

Thena can form a weapon of her choice out of cosmic energy. With so many options at her disposal, Jolie says of filming her scenes: "You feel a little nuts. You're just throwing your hand out as if you're thinking, 'Is that a sword? Is that a spear? Is it a lasso? What am I doing?' Then you get into it and it gets really fun, but it's a puzzle."

Finally, Whitman possesses a mystical sword that grants him the powers of the Black Knight – a superhuman individual who is resistant to magic, is an expert swordsman and a gifted tactician. Harington, though, has been keen to stress (per Total Film) that Whitman isn't an Eternal.

Asked whether his character would crop up in more MCU movies in the future, Harington added: "I’ve got no idea whether my character goes on or not. I had read up on who he could be, or might be. So there’s the possibility for a longer trajectory. And hopefully, I think this is the tip of the iceberg for my character."

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Away from the film's main cast, Haaz Sleiman (The Visitor) will portray Phastos' husband and Ozer Ercan will play a smuggler. Meanwhile, Gil Birmingham (The Twilight Saga), Jashaun St. John (Songs My Brothers Taught Me) and Zain Al Rafeea (Capernaum) have all been cast in undisclosed roles. 

Harish Patel (Run Fatboy Run) will play a character called Karun, Lucia Efstathiou portrays an unnamed student and Brenda Lorena Garcia has been cast as an unnamed Babylon village, per the film's IMDB page.

Since the second trailer's release, we know who the film's villains will be, too. A deviant called Kro, as well as two Celestials – Arishem the Judge and Nezarr the Calculator – will appear and, until late September, we weren't sure who would voice them.

However, it appears that Kro's voice actor has been revealed ahead of schedule. Speaking to Collider for sci-fi romance film I'm Your Man, Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey, Beauty and the Beast) pretty much confirmed that he'll be voicing the Deviant's leader in Eternals.

Asked if he could reveal his involvement in the Marvel movie, Stevens replied: "Kro comment. Even if I could say anything, I wouldn't be able to..." Check it out for yourselves below:

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Marvel's Eternals: who are these cosmic superheroes?

Some of the cast in Marvel's Eternals movie

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

The Eternals emerged from the mind of Jack Kirby, the individual who co-created Marvel royalty like Captain America, Fantastic Four, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man and the X-Men. Having made the New Gods for DC, Kirby was clearly taken with the idea of immortal, god-like individuals, so mined a similar premise when he returned to Marvel in the 1970s.

Making their comic book debut in July 1976, the Eternals' comic series was not a commercial success and was cancelled before Kirby’s storylines were resolved. The characters have appeared at various times over the subsequent decades – including a notable crossover with Thor – and had arguably their most successful run when Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr. gave them a seven-issue reboot in 2006. 

So who are they? Although they look human, the Eternals are actually immortal humanoids from outer space who have lived on Earth for thousands of years. 

Like the X-Men, they all have their own unique abilities but – in a Power Rangers/Voltron-like twist – they can combine to form a powerful entity known as a Uni-Mind. We got a glimpse of this melding of minds in the movie's first trailer, so we suspect that it'll to be shown in more detail this November.

The Eternals generally use their powers for good, and every superhero group needs an antagonistic team to go up against. That position is reserved for the Deviants, a rival race who, unlike the Eternals, are abnormal creatures due to the genetic mutation they possess.

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No two Deviants are the same and, while they have their own superhuman abilities (such as fire breathing, matter manipulation and shapeshifting), they're looked down upon by the Eternals and the two groups' creators in the Celestials. As such, the Deviants have become jealous of their immortal counterparts – so much so that a war has waged between the two factions for millennia.

We've already seen a Deviant appear in the MCU before in the form of Thanos. Given how he was key to the events that unfolded in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, it's unsurprising that the Eternals have finally decided to show their faces.

As for who the Celestials are, these are ancient cosmic beings who, in effect, made the Marvel universe. They have the ability to create and destroy life as they seem fit, and are the individuals behind the birth of the Eternals, Deviants and Humans.

Incidentally, we've seen the Celestials make brief cameos in other MCU flicks.

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.1, we were given two glimpses of this cosmic group. The first is when the Guardians traveled to the city of Knowhere, which was built in the remains of a dead Celestial's skull. 

The second, meanwhile, is when the Collector shows the Guardians what the Power Stone actually is. During that sequence, it was Eson the Searcher who used the Power Stone to destroy an unknown planet and its dominant species – something the Celestials are known to regularly do in the comics in a process known as a Host Event.

Later, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it's revealed that Ego, Star-Lord's father, is a Celestial, too – though he takes the form of a planet, rather than something that looks more humanoid-esque.

Marvel's Eternals plot: what do we know about the story?

Gemma Chan as Sersi looking worried in Marvel's Eternals

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

As the movie’s official synopsis reveals: “Marvel Studios’ The Eternals features an exciting new team of Super Heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ancient aliens who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s most ancient enemy, The Deviants”.

Little is known about the movie's plot, apart from the fact that it'll span 7,000 years of humanity's history (per Entertainment Weekly), as well as showing us how the MCU looked before "anyone was born", as Zhao told Total Film. So there should be some sequences that show the Celestials in greater detail, with Zhao stating that "anything involving the Celestials is going to be at a huge scale level of complication, let’s put it that way.”

We also know that an event called the 'Emergence' will take center stage in the film. As Ajak tells Ikaris in the second trailer, when the Avengers snapped half of the universe back into existence – after Thanos had wiped them out in Infinity War – the sudden surge in cosmic energy kicked the Emergence into life.

It's possible that the Emergence is the MCU's name for the Host Events that we mentioned earlier. It would make sense, especially if the Celestials decide to come to Earth to see how humanity is getting on, realize that they've been messing with the laws of space travel, time and physics, and decide that humanity needs a reset of sorts.

Regardless of what the Emergence actually is, it seems that Thanos' universe-spanning genocidal plan was enough to convince the Eternals to come out of hiding. We know that there will be other Deviants and Celestials who may try and conquer Earth with the Avengers disbanded (or dead in some cases). So someone has to step up and save the day in the Avengers' absence.

Speaking to GQ about his first superhero outing, Richard Madden also hinted at what Marvel fans can expect when the film arrives.

"[It's] above just another superhero movie," Madden said. "It’s about, ‘OK, so how do they interact with the world now, when they’ve done everything?’. What are these people like? And what do they value and care about? What doesn’t affect them?

"We [Marvel] have done that classic thing, so it’s now about how do we make it more interesting? I’m hoping we have done that with Eternals. The Marvel Universe keeps changing and elevating and growing and I really think we’re doing something that they’ve not done yet."

As for how Eternals will impact the MCU, Zhao has revealed (in a separate Total Film article) that, while the movie stands on its own, she does "think we will have a very big effect on the future of the MCU with what happens in this film. Which, you know, as a fan, is really satisfying for me! I geek out."

Marvel's Eternals is a welcome new chapter for the MCU

Lia McHugh as Sprite looking concerned in Marvel's Eternals

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

Marvel can afford to take a few risks in the wake of Endgame. You can expect Marvel's Eternals to have a similar balance of comedy and drama as any other MCU picture – something that was certainly on show in the movie's teaser trailer.

Like the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, you might need to see it in action to truly understand why these characters are appealing, but history shows that Feige and company have form at introducing new sides to the MCU.

That extends to greater inclusivity in the MCU, too. Marvel's Eternals will star the first openly gay superhero in Henry's Phastos, while Lauren Ridloff (Makkari) is the first deaf actor to appear in a Marvel movie. Ridloff will be followed by another deaf actress in Alaqua Cox in Marvel's upcoming Hawkeye Disney Plus series, too, which shows that the studio is diversifying its superhero line up even more than before.

Marvel has drawn criticism in the past for its predominantly white, male superhero lineup, so it's promising to see improved diversity and representation in Marvel's Eternals. 

In an interview with Vogue, Jolie revealed that Marvel's "commitment to expand the way we see 'superheroes'" was key to her signing onto the movie, while Hayek told Variety that Marvel's Vice-President of Film Production Victoria Alonso was eager for the studio to represent more people in its movies moving forward. Marvel's Eternals, then, will be unlike any previous MCU film we've seen before. 

Ridloff, too, told Total Film that she feels that "with more representation and diversity within the MCU, that sense of optimism and ‘can-do’ becomes more strong, more palpable. I hope that people who feel seen also feel empowered to dream bigger."

Ultimately, we can't wait for Eternals to arrive. With its A-list cast, Zhao's vision and the backing of Disney, Marvel Studios could be onto another ensemble movie winner with Marvel's Eternals – and it wouldn't be a surprise to see it win a few awards next year as a result.