A First Glimpse at Chloé Zhao’s ‘Eternals’

Today Marvel Studios dropped a promotional video celebrating a glorious return to theaters, and shared with us a brief look at things to come.

Among what was seen in the footage was our first glimpse at the highly anticipated Eternals, set to hit theaters November 5, 2021! While not a whole lot at this juncture, what we do see feels like an authentically Chloé Zhao film. Fresh off her historic Academy Award wins for Best Director and Best Picture for Nomadland, Zhao’s films are known for their gorgeous cinematography and beautiful landscapes, emphasizing the natural picturesque elements of scenic desert locations. And it looks like she’s taking that approach to tell the story of Marvel Studios’ gods. Here’s a quick breakdown of the limited look we got at the film.

1.) Salma Hayek’s Ajak

The first thing we see is Salma Hayek’s Ajak, riding into frame in a fully-realized western outfit. It really evokes shades of Zhao’s film, The Rider. Zhao’s version of Ajak in the film is female, and described as the spiritual leader and healer for the group. In the comics Akaj is a super strong Polar Eternal who can manipulate molecules and cosmic energy.

2.) Our first full look at the team(‘s silhouettes)

Bathed in the gorgeous glow of the sunset on an isolated beach, we see our first look 6 members of the team. While it’s hard to see who we’re looking at in this shot, we know that’s most likely Lia McHugh’s Sprite in the center, shaking hands with (I believe) Gemma Chan’s Sersi. At the very right, is, I think, our first and only look at Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos in this footage. Next to him appears to be Angelina Jolie’s Thena. And to the very left is either Richard Madden’s Ikaris, or Kumail Nanjiani’s Kingo. And finally beside that, appears to be Lauren Ridloff’s Makkari.

3.) Our first CLEAR look at the team in the modern era

We know the film is going to span centuries. These are immortal beings after all. And as such, we see a brief shot of (from left to right) Kingo, Sprite, Sersi, Ikaris, Thena, and Don Lee’s Gilgamesh wearing modern clothes somehwere in the woods. Looking closer, we see a figure in the distance (or a really tiny man, as Rocket Racoon would say) between Sersi and Ikaris. From what we can make out of this person, he seems to look an awful lot like Barry Keoghan, which makes me think that could be Druig we’re seeing (or a random dude using Pym Particles to squeeze between Gemma Chan and Richard Madden).

4.) The power of Angelina Jolie’s badassery as Thena

Angelina Jolie. With a glowing gold sword. The awesome image speaks for itself!

5.) A better group shot

The next shot shows Makkari displaying her super speed powers by zipping in from stage right, as she assembles with Thena, Gilgamesh, Ikaris, and Kingo for a very neat wide-angled group shot, and (unfortunately) our best shot of the costumes for these characters in the seconds-long look.

6.) “We’re the ones who changed everything.”

The next shot is a gorgeous solo shot of Gemma Chan’s Sersi set across the backdrop of a sun-lit desert hillscape, saying “we’re the ones who changed everything.” This is most likely an allusion to the idea that these immortal god-like beings have had a significant influence on the universe during their time alive, without many knowing it.

7.) Ripped Nanjiani in sunglasses

The final shot as Sersi says “we’re the ones who changed everything” is that of Kingo whipping off a pair of shades in a windy desert. We know Nanjiani got super ripped to play this role. We can only speculate for now that it all that has to do with the lifting these sunglasses off as dramatically as he can. Part of Kingo’s story will be that he becomes a popular Bollywood star, which probably explains this “Johnny Cage” look at the character in the film.

Again, this was a really minor look at the film, but it was enough to whet our whistles in anticipation for a longer, more detailed look to come in the future. The sheer fact that there is footage to show, minor as it may be, implies there’s enough out there for a trailer. Perhaps in July with the release of another long awaited MCU film about a particular super spy? That said, if Marvel Studios can break the internet with 15 seconds of new footage, I can’t wait to see what Zhao and team have cooked up for the rest of the movie!

Marvel Studios’ Eternals hits theaters November 5, 2021!