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Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ hailed as “spectacularly weird” in first reactions

First impressions of the star-studded film tease what could be Marvel’s most ambitious project to date

By Grace Almond

Image shows the cast of the upcoming MCU film, Eternals
Eternals follows a fictional race of humanoids sent to protect Earth from the Deviants. Source: Marvel Studios

Early reactions have hit social media following last night’s world premiere of Marvel’s latest edition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ‘Eternals’.

Directed by Chloé Zhao, who became the first woman of colour to win an Academy Award for Best Director for her film, ‘Nomadland’ at the 93rd Academy Awards, the film follows a new group of superheroes called The Eternals.

The group are a fictional race of humanoids, who made their first appearance in Jack Kirby’s The Eternals #1 comic in July 1976, and were sent by their creators, the Celestials, to defend Earth against their destructive counterparts, the Deviants. 

The upcoming film features a star-studded cast and follows 10 core members of the team, including Angelina Jolie as Thena, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Gemma Chan as Sersi, and Barry Keoghan as Druig. The film is set after the group have drifted apart, re-joining to fight a new threat posed by the Deviants. 

Initial reactions to the movie have teased that the film is set to be Marvel’s most ambitious project so far. Erik Davis (Rotten Tomatoes, Fandango) praised it as “spectacularly weird” and “soulful & thoughtful”:

Courtney Howard (Variety) described the film’s cast as having “great chemistry”:

Tweets from Dorian Parks (who owns Geeks of Colour) and Ash Crossan (Screen Rant) also praised the “expansive” nature of the film and the cast’s performance.

The film will feature the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first ever deaf superhero, Makkari, played by Lauren Ridloff (‘The Walking Dead’, ‘New Amsterdam’, ‘Sound of Metal’) and the studio’s first gay superhero, Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry (‘This Is Us’, ‘Boardwalk Empire’, ‘How to Get Away with Murder’).

Last night’s premiere also sparked a frenzy when it was reported that Harry Styles had been cast in the role of Eros, Thanos’ brother.

Eros, also known as Starfox, is a member of the aforementioned Eternals, and Harry Styles reportedly appears as the character in a post-credits scene in the upcoming film.

‘Eternals’ will be released in cinemas on Friday Nov. 5th