'Eternals' arrives on Disney+: What to know about the Marvel film

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

If you thought the Avengers were out of this world, just wait until you meet the Eternals.

"Eternals," the 26th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, hit Disney+ Wednesday, allowing fans to watch the titular group of superheroes from the comfort of their own home, including the chance to watch in IMAX Enhanced.

The Eternals are an immortal race from outer space who were created by the Celestials and have been living on Earth for millennia. In this film, they reunite after the events of "Avengers: Endgame" to protect the planet from a new, non-Thanos threat: the Deviants.

MORE: Watch new trailer for Marvel Studios' 'Eternals'

PHOTO: The stars of Marvel Studios' 2021 film, 'Eternals,' appear in the final trailer, released on Aug. 19, 2021. (Marvel Studios)
PHOTO: The stars of Marvel Studios' 2021 film, 'Eternals,' appear in the final trailer, released on Aug. 19, 2021. (Marvel Studios)

At the helm of this film is Oscar winner Chloé Zhao, whose film "Nomadland" won both best picture and best director at the 2021 Academy Awards.

"The movie's so big, the scale of it. You're going to see stuff in this movie you've never seen before," Kumail Nanjiani, one of the film's many stars, told "Good Morning America." "The cast is so good and Chloé Zhao, the director, it's such a fun, massive movie."

Zhao is credited on the script alongside Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo and Kaz Firpo. The story and its characters are based on the comics created by Jack Kirby.

During it's theatrical run, "Eternals" earned more than $400 million at the worldwide box office.

Who is in the cast and what does the movie mean to its stars?

"Eternals" features a diverse cast, with Gemma Chan (Sersi) and Richard Madden (Ikaris) leading the pack. Other actors playing the Eternals include Nanjiani as Kingo, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Barry Keoghan as Druig, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Salma Hayek as Ajak and Angelina Jolie as Thena.

Kit Harington -- reuniting with fellow "Game of Thrones" alum Madden -- also plays a larger role as a human character named Dane Whitman.

The cast of "Eternals" is diverse in their age as well as in their heritage and where they come from, featuring actors who were born all around the world, in places such as the U.S., the U.K., Pakistan, Ireland, South Korea and Mexico.

MORE: Review: 'Eternals' an eye-popping blockbuster full of surprises

Hayek told "Good Morning America" she was "shocked" Marvel Studios reached out to her for the film. "It didn't come in my 20s, it didn't come in my 30s, it didn't come in my 40s, and all of a sudden they show up in my 50s?" Hayek joked.

She expressed surprise that someone of her age and of her background would be cast in the role of the Eternals' leader, especially since the character was male in the comics. She called it "a beautiful shocker."

PHOTO: Salma Hayek as Ajak in Marvel Studios' film, 'Eternals.' (Marvel Studios)
PHOTO: Salma Hayek as Ajak in Marvel Studios' film, 'Eternals.' (Marvel Studios)

"I looked at myself, and I got really emotional," Hayek said of putting the superhero outfit on for the first time. "I saw my brown face in this suit, and I just thought that it was such an important moment that had nothing to do with me because I understood the importance of it."

Jolie -- who herself has children of varying backgrounds -- said she was captivated by the idea of an inclusive family.

"When they explained to me what this family was going to be ... and what we were going to be putting forward, [it] made me very excited," the Oscar winner told "GMA." "It means a lot to me to be able to bring my family to the theater and have a family on screen ... [that] feels familiar to me and what's in my home and my loves."

There are also notable firsts in this film, with Ridloff, who is deaf, playing the first deaf Marvel superhero and Henry playing the first superhero to be depicted as gay in an MCU film.

Ridloff told "GMA" that seeing the "Eternals" trailer on a Times Square billboard was "really overwhelming" and she "started to realize the impact that this film is going to have." She said she wanted to tell her own story in the role and hopes people connect to it "whether they're deaf, hard of hearing, Black, Mexican [or] women."

"It's such an honor to be a part of a film like this where there's a ton of us," Ridloff added. "We're so diverse, and I think that a lot of people will feel seen."

Where does this film fit into the MCU timeline, and what comes next?

"Eternals" is situated in the MCU timeline after the events of "Avengers: Endgame," with the Eternals themselves coming together after the Avengers dealt the final blow to Thanos and, based on the trailers, the epic battle is a topic of conversation.

As a Phase 4 entry, "Eternals" follows "Black Widow" -- which is actually set before "Avengers: Endgame" -- and the recent "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings." It also joins recent MCU TV shows, including "WandaVision," "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" and "Loki" as well as the upcoming "Hawkeye" series.

PHOTO: Richard Madden as Ikaris in Marvel Studios' film, 'Eternals.'  (Marvel Studios)
PHOTO: Richard Madden as Ikaris in Marvel Studios' film, 'Eternals.' (Marvel Studios)

MORE: 'Eternals' acknowledges the DC Universe within the MCU

After "Eternals" came "Spider-Man: No Way Home," which hit theaters on Dec. 17. Three Marvel films are slated for 2022, including "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," "Thor: Love and Thunder" and "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" -- in that order.

There's also a new Captain Marvel film on the way -- this time called "The Marvels" -- plus more from the Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man and the arrival of the Fantastic Four in the MCU.

While you wait for more Marvel goodness, you can watch the backlog of films over on Disney+. All the previous films are currently there for your streaming pleasure -- including "Shang-Chi," which became hit streaming Disney+ Day on Nov. 12.

Disney is the parent company of Marvel, ABC News and "Good Morning America."

'Eternals' arrives on Disney+: What to know about the Marvel film originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com