Starring a new team of MCU superheroes, the Eternals, who first came to earth 7,000 years ago to protect humankind, the movie follows the events of Avengers: Endgame.
Following an unexpected tragedy, the Eternals reunite to fight against The Deviants - mankind’s most ancient enemy.
This is what you need to know about the movie’s release date, cast, and plot.
What is Eternals about?
The film follows the Eternals, an immortal alien race who have secretly been living on Earth for 7,000 years, and who must come together and use their powers for the sake of humankind.
Having abstained from interfering with major events in human history before - including the battle against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame - the group must now come out of hiding when their evil counterparts, the Deviants, begin wreaking havoc.
Who is in the cast?
Eternals features a star-studded lineup, including:
- Angelina Jolie (Those Who Wish Me Dead, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil) as Thena
- Salma Hayek (Bliss, The Roads Not Taken) as Ajak
- Gemma Chan (Humans, Crazy Rich Asians) as Sersi
- Richard Madden (Game of Thrones, The Bodyguard) as Ikaris
- Kit Harington (Game of Thrones, Criminal: UK) as Dane Whitman/Black Knight
- Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Life as We Know It) as Kingo
- Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta, The Woman in the Window) as Phastos
- Barry Keoghan (Chernobyl, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) as Druig
- Lauren Ridlogg (The Walking Dead, Sound of Metal) as Makkari
- Ma Dong-seok (Train to Busan, 38 Task Force) as Gilgamesh
- Lia McHugh (American Woman, Songbird) as Sprite
Eternals is directed by Chloe Zhao, who recently made history as the second woman, and first woman of colour, to win Best Director at the 2021 Oscars for her film Nomadland, starring Francis McDormand, which also scooped the Best Picture and Best Actress awards as well.
Zhao shot Eternals and Nomadland back to back, utilising the same camera and operating rig.
Speaking to Variety, Hayek discussed the importance of diversity in the film.
She said: “I think a lot of people are going to feel seen and that’s important and that’s what matters.
“It’s not diverse for the sake of being diverse. It’s the way [Zhao] chose every single one of us that really creates a family for the purpose of the Eternals. For the purpose of the film. It doesn’t feel forced.”
Is there a trailer?
The first trailer for the new Marvel movie was released earlier this year, in May. A final trailer was later released by Marvel on Thursday 19 August.
The main thing that the later trailer told audiences, in comparison to the May trailer, is why these super powered aliens did nothing to help when the Avengers and the rest of the Marvel gang were battling against Thanos as he wiped out half of the universe.
In the trailer, Dane asks: “Why didn’t you guys help fight Thanos? Or any war, or any of the other terrible things throughout history?”
Sersi explains: “We were instructed not to interfere in any human conflicts unless Deviants were involved.”
While the explanation may not have sat well with Marvel fans, it at least addressed a major question ignored in the first teaser.
The trailer also revealed why the immortal aliens have been brought out of hiding after all these years.
It opens with Ajak saying: “Five years ago Thanos erased half of the population of the universe.
“But the people of this planet brought everyone back with the snap of a finger.
“The sudden return of the population provided the necessary energy for the Emergence to begin.”
Ikaris asks how long they have, to which Ajak ominously replies: “Seven days.”
When was it released in cinemas?
Eternals hit cinemas on 5 November 2021, after having been moved from an initial release date of 12 February earlier that year.
Before that, originally, it had a release date of 6 November 2020.
When will it come out on Disney+?
On Wednesday 12 January, Eternals officially dropped on Disney+, after having completed its theatrical run in cinemas.
The exciting news for Marvel fans is also that Eternals is streaming on IMAX Enhanced on the streaming platform.
Disney explains: “IMAX Enhanced introduces streaming and technology advancements that bring the power of IMAX to Disney+.
“For the first time in the home, Disney+ subscribers can stream select Marvel Cinematic Universe movies in IMAX’s expanded aspect ratio — accessible on all Disney+ supported devices.”
IMAX Enhanced content will play with an aspect ratio of 1.90:1, which differs from most films where the picture appears to be wide by doesn’t not fill the full height of the screen.
According to Disney, the expanded aspect ratio allows viewers to enjoy “up to 26% more” of the original image.
Viewers don’t need any special equipment to stream content using IMAX Enhanced, and all content which features IMAX Enhanced will play automatically for Disney+ subscribers.
What Rotten Tomatoes rating does it have?
On movie review site Rotten Tomatoes, Eternals currently holds a 47% “tomatometer” from 374 reviews, and a 78% audience score from over 10,000+ verified ratings.
The critics consensus reads: “An ambitious superhero epic that soars as often as it strains, Eternals takes the MCU in intriguing - and occasionally confounding - new directions.”
The audience consensus says: “It's a different kind of Marvel movie, but Eternals still contains all the action, humour, and heart that fans are looking for.”
Critic Joe Morgenstern from the Wall Street Journal wrote: “[Director Chloé Zhao does] more than well enough, even though the story, stretched out over 157 minutes, is rambling and repetitive.”
Chris Hewitt, from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, wrote: “The elements seem to be there for "Eternals" to further stretch the boundaries of what constitutes a Marvel movie but too much of the time, it settles for being more of the same.”
Why was it banned in some countries?
Eternals had been pulled from showing in the Gulf region of Saudia Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar in an apparent ban.
It’s understood that the film, which had been slated for release in the region in November last year, had been met with a number of edit requests by local censors - edits that Disney was not willing to make, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The news outlet states that sources suggest that the requested edits were in regards to a same-sex couple in the film. In one scene, Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) kisses his husband Ben (Haaz Sleiman).
Homosexuality continues to be officially illegal across the Gulf, and it’s standard for films containing any LGBTQ+ content to be pulled from release.
Regarding the response to the film, director Zhao spoke about her hopes that no scenes would need to be changed to appease censors.
Speaking to Indiewire, she said: “I don’t know all the details, but I do believe discussions were had and there’s a big desire from Marvel and myself - we talked about this - to not change the cut of the movie.”
Angelina Jolie has criticised the “ignorant” beliefs which led to the film being banned.
During a press roundtable, Jolie told News.com.au: “I’m sad for [those audiences] and I’m proud of Marvel for refusing to cut those scenes out.
“I still don’t understand how we can live in a world today where there’s still [people who] would not see the family Phastos has and the beauty of that relationship and that love.
“How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn’t approve or appreciate it is ignorant.”
In Singapore, Eternals became the first MCU film to be awarded an M18 certificate, restricting potential cinema-goers to those aged 18 and up.
It was confirmed that this decision was a result of the “homosexual references” in the film by a spokesperson for the country’s Infocomm Media Development Authority.
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