‘Eternals’: Trailer, cast and everything else we know about the upcoming MCU movie

Eternals Marvel
(Image credit: Marvel)

Phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is fully underway, and with that MCU fans will not only get new adventures with their favorites like Spider-Man, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy and more, but a number of new heroes, including the Eternals.

Making their big screen debut in the eponymously titled Eternals, this new team is an exciting prospect for the MCU. Much like Guardians of the Galaxy, the Eternals are not overly familiar for the non-comic book reader. How will they impact the larger MCU? Where have they been for the events of Infinity Saga? Will we need to head to the theaters to see the movie or will it be available at home? We’re sharing everything we know about Eternals below.

Who are the Eternals?

In the Marvel comic books, Eternals are immortal, god-like beings that were an evolutionary offshoot of humans. With special powers and long-life, they were tasked with being Earth’s protectors from another, dangerous evolutionary result, the Deviants. However, when not protecting against the Deviants, the Eternals attempt to seclude themselves from the actions of the human race.

From what we’ve seen so far of the movie Eternals, the group did not originate on Earth and instead arrived on the planet thousands of years ago, living amongst humanity and becoming fond of them. Still, unless it involves Deviants, they tend not to interfere in Earth conflicts, which is why they were MIA in regards to Thanos and all the other world-threatening events of the MCU thus far.

What is the plot of ‘Eternals’?

Eternals takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Apparently, the snap that brought everyone Thanos dusted back also enabled the Deviants to return. Now, after hundreds of years apart, the Eternals must reunite to once again defend the world from these threats. 

Who is in the ‘Eternals’ cast?

Marvel may have lost Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and, tragically, Chadwick Boseman, for their future plans, but the MCU is not short on star power, with the cast of Eternals bringing a whole new batch of A-listers and budding stars into the fold.

Here are the actors that are playing the group of Eternals:

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

The non-Eternals members of the cast include Game of Thrones’ Kit Harrington and Yellowstone star Gil Birmingham. 

Who is ‘Eternals’ director Chloe Zhao?

Marvel films have had some talented filmmakers take on the superhero genre, including Taika Waititi, Ryan Coogler, Joe and Anthony Russo, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, James Gunn and Jon Favreau. But never before have they had an Oscar-winning director take the helm of one of their films. They will now with Chloe Zhao.

While Zhao was not an Oscar-winner when she signed on for Eternals (she won for last year’s Nomadland), she certainly had established herself as one of the best indie directors around with her films The Rider and Songs My Brother Taught Me. Eternals is her first foray into big budget filmmaking, and it is an exciting prospect to see how she meshes her intimate, poetic style with the responsibilities of a superhero movie.

When is the ‘Eternals’ release date?

Eternals was released exclusive in movie theaters on Nov. 5.

Eternals was the third Marvel movie to be released in theaters in 2021. Black Widow was the first, having both a theatrical release and a simultaneous play on Disney Plus (via Disney Plus Premier Access), followed by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

UPDATE 12/10: Disney has officially announced when Eternals will be getting its streaming debut, with the Marvel movie arriving on Disney Plus on Jan. 12. In addition, Eternals will be available to stream in IMAX Enhanced on Disney Plus, one of 13 MCU movies offering that feature.

Is there an ‘Eternals’ trailer?

Fans got their first look at Eternals back in May when Marvel released a teaser trailer, but a new official trailer from the studio gives an even clearer picture of who the Eternals are and what their movie will be about. Give the latest trailer a watch below. 

Reviews for 'Eternals'

Reviews have been rolling in for Eternals, including from What to Watch's own Josh Spiegel, who was not a fan. His review compares the film a "beautiful-looking Super Bowl ad" with an uninvolving and alienating story.

He's not alone in his disappointment over the film, as  Eternals currently has a rating of 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, which would make it the first MCU film to not score a "Fresh" rating. Over on Metacritic, the collective score puts it firmly in its mixed/average tier with a score of 53.

How will ‘Eternals’ impact the rest of the MCU?

The MCU has officially moved past Thanos and is building toward a multiverse. We got hints of it in WandaVision and its full-fledged unleashing in Loki, two of Marvel’s Disney Plus original series. It’s expected that we’ll get more info on the multiverse in Spider-Man: No Way Home and certainly in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

As for how Eternals fits into all of this, the fact that Marvel had to shake up its release schedule of its phase four movies and the Disney Plus series makes it unclear how something like the multiverse may come into effect. What we can be sure of is that the events of Avengers: Endgame seem to have brought back the Deviants and will cause the Eternals to reunite and make themselves more known to humanity.

After this initial film, we can expect that they will be involved in the larger plot moving forward, but it could take a while; remember, the Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t interact with any other MCU characters until Avengers: Infinity War.

MCU films

Here’s the complete rundown of the MCU to date and upcoming films that we know about. Find out how to watch all of the MCU movies in order right here.

MCU Phase One

MCU Phase Two

MCU Phase Three

MCU Phase Four

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).