Chloé Zhao, fresh from her Oscar wins for Best Director and Best Picture for Nomadland, is really putting the cinematic into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the release of the teaser trailer for Marvel’s Eternals. From the start of the trailer, we can see Zhao’s brilliant eye for cinematography as a spaceship invades a small seaside village to Skeeter Davis’ “The End of the World.” The trailer makes sure to give away nothing to the untrained eye and acts more to introduce Marvel’s newest heroes.
There is no shortage of talent in Zhao’s Eternals, as you can see clearly from the trailer. The star power behind the film is immense. Selma Hayak, Angelina Jolie, Bryan Tyree Henry, Gemma Chan, Kit Harrington, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, and Barry Keoghan are all recognizable, and the equally articulate colors and special effects draw the viewer into its enchanting atmosphere.
So far, the plot is being kept under wraps, with Marvel only spilling a very vague plotline. It says that in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame, a tragedy has befallen the Eternals, an alien race of immortals created by the Celestials (remember Kurt Russell’s Ego from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) who have secretly resided on Earth for thousands of years quietly aiding in humanity’s advancements before going dark. Now, they must reunite to protect the world from an ancient enemy known as The Deviants.
What was the tragedy? And where were the Eternals when Earth’s mightiest heroes, the Avengers, needed their help to protect the world from Thanos? If we go by the 2006 Neil Gaiman limited series, the Eternals may have forgotten that they ever protected humans as Sprite erased their minds. The event that could set the Eternals to return could have been the defeat of Thanos himself. According to the comic, “Thanos was born to a race of Eternals, but for some untold reason, he arrived… different. They called him a mutant Deviant.” I got some other takeaways from the trailer, like how the magic in Eternals looks extremely reminiscent of Doctor Strange’s or that the deviant mutation could provide the setup to the MCUs X-men reboot. Of course, this is all just speculation from a two-minute trailer. Still, as a comic book fan, the trailer subtly infers a lot more than what you’re seeing happen on screen, suggesting the Eternals may have aided the Avengers without their knowledge as well.
A sneaky little easter egg is buried at about the fifty-eight-second mark. A guard can be seen behind Thena (Jolie) carrying a shield with a familiar pattern on it (wink wink). Whether this is nothing more than a tip of the cap (pun intended) to the Avenger or something more is yet to be determined.
My favorite geeky crossover moment in the trailer also comes with the tongue-in-cheek ending of having Richard Madden’s Ikarus suggest leading the Avengers. Ikarus and the Eternals do eventually join the Avengers: West Coast to stop a Deviant from unleashing a rogue Celestial, but here it’s a nice touch because Madden once played Robb Stark in Game of Thrones and saw his fall while leading an army to King’s Landing to avenge his father. If the writers are so keen on making references to Game of Thrones, it could get even more fanatical as Kit Harrington, who is well known for his portrayal as Jon Snow in the series, will take up the mantle of the Black Knight. Through a few frames of the trailer where we see Sersi (Gemma Chan) with both of these characters, prompting the idea of a love-triangle face-off between the once Kings of the North. The irony that they are pining over someone named Sersi is not lost on me either.
Eternals is expected to hit theaters on November 2.