After Chloe Zhao making waves over the weekend earning two Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director for her fantastic film Nomadland, we’re all waiting to see footage from her next feature film, Marvel’s Eternals.
It’s based on the characters created by King Jack Kirby that mixed elements of Greek/Roman mythology alongside notions of aliens seeding Earth via Swiss author Erich von Daniken’s novel Chariots of The Gods, work that heavily influenced Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel Prometheus and the idea that humans are a science experiment of an alien race. In the case of Eternals, they are created by the the giant alien creatures known as the Celestials (first seen in Guardians of The Galaxy) alongside their antagonists The Deviants and early humans have the mutant gene hidden within them to later become the mutants we know from the X-Men.
While speaking with Variety, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige reiterates that while it’s a team project, the film’s main character is Gemma Chan’s Sersi, who is expected to become a full-fledged members of the Avengers just like the comic books.
FEIGE: “So for Sersi, for instance — and if there was a lead in this ensemble, it is Sersi, it is Gemma Chan — we looked at and read all sorts of women for that part. And ended up really believing that Gemma was best for it. And thankfully, she’s proven that to be the case in the final movie.”
While it was originally announced that Sersi would be the main character of the film in early casting reports, that was when trade outlets were under the impression that Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie was going to be landing that role. Instead, Angelina is playing the equally interesting heroine Thena and Marvel hired Captain Marvel’s Gemma Chan for her second MCU role. This new one is likely going allow her to stick around for much longer than she previously would have and allows the Marvel franchise to add another talented Asian lead.
The rest of the cast includes Kit Harington as Dane Whitman aka Black Knight, Barry Keoghan as Druig, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Kumail Nanjani as Kingo, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, and Don Lee as Gilgamesh.
Sequels to Eternals are extremely likely could see the team go head-to-head with folks like Hercules/The Olympians and Hyperion/Squadron Supreme. I think it all depends if Marvel Studios is able to convince Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao to return for multiple films after co-writing the script and directing the first installment, set to be released on November 5th, 2021. However, Zhao has been tapped by Universal for a new Dracula film and could be one of the projects that could whisk her away from the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a couple of years.