It’s the dawn of a new era for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The first trailer for Chloé Zhao’s Eternals — her first feature film since last year’s Best Picture-winning Nomadland — is here, and it’s full of familiar faces: Gemma Chan, Game of Thrones‘s Richard Madden, Brian Tyree Henry, a swole Kumail Nanjiani, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Lauren Ridloff, Lia McHugh… oh, and Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie, of course. We’ve long known that the cast for this particular Marvel movie is stacked, but seeing that crew standing together on a beach in their mystical, futuristic garb is a whole new experience.
The arrival of the film’s first look feels even more momentous given its delayed arrival. First set to arrive in theaters in November 2020, Eternals was pushed due to the pandemic (like Black Widow) and is now scheduled for a November 2021 release. That might feel like a long time from now. Luckily, there’s so much to unpack in this teaser that it should help pass the days.
Based on iconic comic-book artist Jack Kirby’s Eternals series, about a group of immortal aliens who live on earth in secret, the film will see its characters unite as a force to help protect the planet once again, set after the events of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. Presumably they will do this right after they take that fire posse shot on the beach.
A couple quick things to know: Yes, this is the film Nanjiani got jacked for. Yes, that is Kit Harington in the trailer, which means we may get a pseudo Jon Snow/Robb Stark reunion onscreen. And yes, this will be the third film in the MCU’s planned Phase Four, after Black Widow‘s and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings‘s releases in July and September, respectively.
During her big night at the Oscars last month, Zhao took home Best Picture and became the first woman of color to win Best Director. Her film Nomadland also won Frances McDormand her third trophy for Best Actress. Zhao’s acceptance speech for her directing Oscar projected the kind of warm humanism that will hopefully become a hallmark of the newest era of the MCU. “People at birth are inherently good,” she said. “Sometimes, it may seem like the opposite is true, but I have always found goodness in the people I’ve met everywhere I went in the world.”
See the first trailer for Zhao’s Eternals above.