Imagine my surprise when I rolled over in my comfy bed on this beautiful Monday morning, fired up the Twitter machine, and saw that Marvel had dropped the Eternals trailer on the unsuspecting public! After clicking play and basking in the glory, I immediately needed to dive in. Let’s do an Eternals Trailer Breakdown!
Eternals, after this summer’s Black Widow and Shang-Chi, will be the third film released in Marvel’s Phase Four arc. It’s been directed by Academy Award-winner Chloé Zhao and sports a cast that really makes you understand that Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige can go out and get whoever they want for their films. But just what are the Eternals, or rather, who?
The Eternals, while not commonly known to most MCU fans, were introduced by Marvel mastermind Jack Kirby in 1976. Like with Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios are reaching deep into the back catalogue to create an ensemble group that will introduce moviegoers to a whole new facet of Universe 616. The Eternals themselves are a group of humanoids created by the Celestials (remember Ego from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2?) that are meant to be the guardians of Earth. Throughout history, they’ve nudged humanity along while also defending them from extraterrestrial threats like their evil counterparts, The Deviants.
Before we spoil any more plot, let’s break down this trailer!
The trailer starts off with a series of downright gorgeous exterior shots that could maybe be b-roll from Zhao’s Best Picture-winner Nomadland. The first person we see is a Francis McDormand-stand-in trekking back to her primitive village on the coastline. Is this ancient Europe? Mesopotamia? We don’t know, but we quickly see that these simple folks are in for one hell of a surprise.
With UFO (ahem, UAP) mania at an all-time high in anticipation of this summer’s congressional report, I think we are all wondering what First Contact might look like. Or, did it already happen on the shores of some stone-aged civilization? I love the design of this ship here: very obsidian-esque, and also possessing some kind of cloaking technology. If you squint, you can see a flat surface at vertex and there appears to be a window or bridge there. That must be where these two are standing:
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”
This is definitely the Eternals‘ first visit to Earth, so this is presumably at the beginning of the film.
A familiar face! I actually think I heard a faint wail as one million people around the world cried out “ROB STARK!” at once this morning. In all reality though, shoutout to Richard Madden, who is very cool and was awesome in Bodyguard. He has clearly been staying in shape for his role as Ikaris.
Gemma Chan‘s character Sersi (lots of Game of Thrones-related stuff so far…hmm…total coincidence…) appears next, which is interesting because she is, according to various accounts, the de facto protagonist of the film.
We are quickly shown a few more of the Eternals, including the eye-opening Angelina Jolie like we’ve never seen before. Her placement here at the beginning of this trailer was no accident – Julianne of Movie Quest fame said “OH MY GAWD IS THAT ANGELINA?!?!” Great to see here in an ensemble role like this – she’s definitely upping the Star Power quotient.
So is Salma Hayek, by the way. Shoutout to Salma, who is still stunning at 55 and also just kicked COVID’s ass (barely).
PAPER BOI IN THE HOUSE. Brian Tyree Henry will star as Phastos, the Eternals‘ resident weapons & technology master. Interestingly, Phastos will be depicted as the MCU’s first LGBTQ+ superhero. But there’s more in this image: look behind Phastos’ shoulder. That’s Sprite, played by Lia McHugh, who appears to be a small child. I’d imagine that this scene takes place on the Eternals‘ ship, or their hideout, or whatever, and it looks like Phastos is creating something – maybe some technology for the primitive humans?
Right after this snippet, we get a super cool Eternals-themed Marvel logo as some BANGING music starts playing. Holy schnikes, that score is incredible, let’s see who did it – OH SHIT, IT’S OUR GAME OF THRONES BUDDY RAMIN DJAWADI. This is Djawadi’s second time scoring an MCU film (Iron Man), but his first since collecting like half a dozen Emmy Awards. LET’S GET THAT OSCAR, BUDDY.
“We have watched, and guided. We have helped them progress. And seen them accomplish wonders. Throughout the years, we have never interfered. Until now.”
During Ajak’s (Salma Hayek) inspiring monologue, we get some pretty epic shots of the Eternals throughout history:
Is this a gift of goodwill to the primitive folks we saw on the beach at the beginning of the trailer? Sure does look like it.
Here Angelina Jolie’s Thena practicing cutting down the drapes with what appears to be a spear-like weapon made of conjured Star-stuff. Very Yimou Zhang, which I dig very much.
Yeah…she’s still got it. “Flawless” said Julianne.
Towards the end of the monologue, we get some shots of our heroes defending the ancient city of Babylon – notice the hanging gardens in the middle of the walled city. The question is “what are they guarding it from?” It’s worth noting that Babylon no longer exists…maybe the Eternals lose this fight?
Here we have Sprite with a very “oh no, what did I do??”-type of look. We see some lava in the background – remember that for later.
Here we’re introduced to stoic-looking Barry Keoghan as Druig, an Eternal who can apparently control the minds of humans. Again, remember that for later. Also, he appears to be dressed like the weird kid from Fantastic Beasts.
Here we are back on the beach from the beginning – a bit of a flex from the Eternals? Perhaps, but hey, can’t have cavemen worship you as a God if you don’t show ’em a ‘lil magic. I’m loving the vaguely-Doctor Strange-looking powers; I’m confident that the same cosmic forces that drive the Eternals will be related to those that give Strange, Wanda, and others their powers…
Do we have any fans of Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain in our midst? No? Okay, well…anyways…I believe we may have some time-crossed lovers at the center of Eternals. The bounds of space and time are no match for Sersi and Ikaris’ love – they are intertwined across the centuries, and I love the symmetry in these shots. I suspect, however, that their love may be bittersweet. Why? Keep reading.
Let’s pause here and just take a moment to appreciate what UNABASHED SEX SYMBOL Kumain Nanjiani has done to get ready for this role. DINESH HAS LEVELED UP. Dude needs to call in the Pied Piper to tame those PYTHONS attached to his torso. Jawline: CHISELED. Choreography: ON-POINT. Hair: COIFED. I think his sex appeal is going to melt the entire Indian subcontinent.
Anyway, I digress…remember earlier when I mentioned that Druig can apparently control people’s minds? Well here are some more Children of the Corn-lookin’ kids with raised shotguns, but that’s not what concerns me: LOOK AT THEIR EYES. Is Druig playin’ ’em like fiddles??
In the same scene, Druig is sliding underneath some kind of spooky four-legged creature. Is this the big threat that the Eternals were defending Babylon from earlier? There have been leaked images of Deviant action figures online for months, and the legs in this shot sure do seem to suggest that the leak was real.
I have this working theory that Eternals is going to be sorta like a Forrest Gump-type-of-situation where our heroes were somehow involved in like, all of the major events of human history. We already saw Babylon – will we see any more of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World? WHO BUILT THE PYRAMIDS, IKARIS?!?! WHO!?!?! Anyway, remember Sprite with the lava behind her earlier? Well, clearly one or more Eternals were present at the explosion of Krakatoa. Or maybe this is Vesuvius? DID THEIR FIGHTING CAUSE THE VOLCANO TO BLOW!?!?
And here it is folks: the real money shot of the trailer. It’s YA BOI, Kit Harington. He’s back! He’s in the same film as his on-screen half-brother (cousin, actually) Richard Madden, no less! The last time we saw Jon Snow and Robb Stark on-screen together, they shared this heartbreaking moment. It really was your color, Jon.
Man, the hits just keep coming. Now, there’s a mystery here that I want to shed light on, if I may:
Harington apparently plays a character named Dane Whitman, a human who may unwittingly wield an incredible power. Many have suggested that, during the course of the film, the Eternals either lose their powers and/or forget who they are – that’s why they don’t come to The Avengers’ aid during the Infinity War. It’s a reasonable theory based on one of the most popular runs of the comic ever, and it sets the stage for the time-crossed lovers Sersi and Ikaris to reunite over and over again. It may also make the Eternals forget the deeds of their lives and their mission – and they may use Dane Whitman as the key to remember.
Remember that knife given to humans at the beginning of the trailer?
Anyone want to bet that this kid is related to Dane Whitman? Or, better yet, that he is Dane Whitman? Anyone want to bet that the little knife has been passed down from generation-to-generation? Groundwork is most certainly being laid for a big reveal here – I mean, HE LOOKS LIKE JON SNOW.
Regardless of how it goes down in the film, in the comics Dane Whitman eventually turns into Black Knight.
Black really always was his color.
That title card is looking really, really sharp.
Big shawarma energy right here to send us home on a lighter note.
Marvel Studios’ Eternals definitely looks to open up its universe come November 2021. Stay tuned for more coverage here.