The Marvel Cinematic Universe just got a little bit bigger.
During Marvel’s presentation at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige teased new details of one of the studio’s upcoming films: The Eternals. The Rider’s Chloe Zhao is directing the film, which will star Angelina Jolie (Thena), Richard Madden (Icarus), Kumail Nanjiani (Kingo), Lauren Ridloff (Makkari), Brian Tyree Henry (Phastos), Salma Hayek (Ajak), Lia McHugh (Sprite), and Don Lee (Gilgamesh).
“It’s about this group of incredible immortals but through their journey we really get to explore what it means to be human and humanity on our time on this planet,” Zhao said.
“The Eternals are a race of immortal aliens sent to Earth by the Celestials to protect humankind from the Deviants,” added Madden. Ridloff also signed that she is playing the first deaf character in the MCU.
Hayek, speaking about being the leader of the group, told the crowd, “I take my inspiration from our leader, Chloe, who’s also a strong woman and it takes a strong woman to do a movie like this because it’s so big and amazing and I’m so excited to be a part of it. The way she approaches leadership as a woman, as a strong woman, is that she sees them as a family. So there’s a lot of mother instincts in this Eternal, who is not supposed to have kids. So this is very exciting, and I feel very honored to be a part of a movie that is going to allow people who never felt represented in superheroes, or in this case Eternals, represented because I am proud to have a diverse family.”
Said Jolie, “I’m so excited to be here. I’m going to work 10 times harder because I think what it means to be a part of the MCU, what it means to be an Eternal, to be a part of this family, I know what we all need to do. We have all read the script. We have all know what the task ahead is and we are all going to be working very very hard. I’m training. I am thrilled. Thank you so much.”
The film, which is shooting in London, is set for release on Nov. 6, 2020.
The Eternals are some of Marvel Comics’ most powerful and mysterious figures. They’re the brainchild of Marvel legend Jack Kirby, who left the publisher in the ’70s to move to DC Comics before returning a few years later. Upon his return to Marvel, Kirby created The Eternals, which followed a group of genetically-engineered gorgeous super-humans blessed with long life. As Kirby wrote it, the Eternals were created by the Celestials, a group of all-powerful giant space gods who designed the Eternals to help defend humanity. (Remember Kurt Russell’s all-powerful Ego from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? He’s a Celestial.)
Unfortunately, the Celestials also created an evil race known as the Deviants, and the Eternals and the Deviants have clashed ever since.
Up until now, the MCU has largely taken place in the 20th and 21st centuries, but Feige has previously said since The Eternals focuses on a group of ancient, everlasting beings, the film will span eons in their lives.