Learn more about Marvel’s Eternals before the third film of phase four in the Marvel Cinematic Universe arrives at theaters next month. From Academy Award-winning director Chloe Zhao and producer Kevin Feige, “Eternals” is an Epic story spanning thousands of years about a team of immortal heroes who are forced out of the shadows to reunite against humankind’s ancient enemy: The Deviants.
The movie is directed by Chloé Zhao, who won a pair of Oscars for her film “Nomadland” and is written by cousins Matthew and Ryan Firpo. “Eternals” is scheduled for release on November 5 in theaters, but spoilers started rolling out online immediately after its premiere on October 18 in Hollywood –( don’t worry, we won’t be looking at them in this article.)
The Eternals are a team of ancient, immortal beings working on behalf of existence itself. The Celestials are a race of cosmic beings — and among the most powerful in the vast Marvel universe — it’s the Celestials who instructed the Eternals not to interfere in any human conflicts not involving the Deviants.
Immortal Enemies: The Deviants
The Celestials sent the Eternals to Earth hundreds of years ago to protect humankind from a race of predators known as The Deviants.
Also known as the Changing People in the Marvel comic books created by Jack Kirby, no two Deviants look the same — but all are deadly parasitic predators that have taken the shape of prey and other predators over centuries.
Who Are the Eternals?
Led by their wise and spiritual leader Ajak (Salma Hayek), the Eternals are the humankind-loving Sersi (Gemma Chan), the all-powerful Ikaris (Richard Madden), the cosmic-powered Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), the super-fast Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), the intelligent inventor Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), the eternally young but old-soul Sprite (Lia McHugh), the mighty Gilgamesh (Don Lee), aloof loner Druig (Barry Keoghan), and fierce warrior Thena (Angelina Jolie).
Today, the ancient aliens find an ally in the human Dane Whitman (Kit Harington).
For All Humankind, For All Time
The Eternals, while they are on earth, have to teach and encourage mankind’s growth and advancement to safeguard themselves.
According to a Disney press release, Eternals “takes place across two time periods. One storyline is set in the past when they operated as a formidable team and a close family unit. The second storyline is in the present when the group has fractured and split apart, content to live among humans, hiding in plain sight. The prevailing threat of the Deviants, which once again threatens the existence of mankind, means the Eternals need to put their differences aside and regroup.”
Scattered across the globe, the Eternals must find one another and reunite to protect humanity in one last mission. Five years after Thanos (Josh Brolin) snapped his fingers and erased half all life in the universe in Avengers: Infinity War, the sudden return of the population in Avengers: Endgame provided the necessary energy for The Emergence to begin on Earth.
Marvel’s Eternals opens only in theaters on November 5.
What’s the Eternals’ history in the comics?
Eternals have a comic history that stretches back to 1976. After creating the similar New Gods for DC six years earlier, they were dreamed up by Jack Kirby, co-creator of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige told the Hollywood Reporter that the movie pays tribute to the late artist, who died in 1994.
“The whole movie is a love letter to what one man was able to do with a pencil, sitting at a little desk on the East Coast,” Feige said at the Eternals premiere on October 18.
The comics are an evolutionary offshoot of humanity living on Earth who possess more extraordinary powers and have longer lifespans. The Celestials, a group of space gods, created them to defend Earth from threats like Deviants. The current series from writer Kieron Gillen and artist Esad Ribić, kicked off in January 2021.
We’ve already seen a few Celestials in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies — most notably the space station Knowhere (actually a Celestial’s severed head) and Peter Quill’s dad, Ego (who took a human form) in the second Guardians flick.