Today at their Comic-Con panel, Marvel officially announced Eternals. Chloe Zhao (The Rider) will direct the film, which is slated for release on November 6, 2020. Zhao says that although the lead characters are immortals, the film will explore what it’s like to be human. Angelina Jolie will star as Thena alongside Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, and Don Lee as Gilgamesh.
For those who need a brief refresher on who the Eternals are in the comics, here’s the description via Wikipedia:
When the Celestials visited Earth five million years ago and performed genetic experiments on early proto-humanity, they created two divergent races: the long-lived Eternals, and the genetically unstable and monstrously grotesque Deviants. These experiments also led to the capacity for super-powered mutations in humans. They also performed this experiment on other planets (such as the Kree and Skrull homeworlds) with similar results.
Despite looking human, Eternals are much more long-lived (but were not originally fully immortal) and that kept them from having much contact with their human cousins. Eternals have a low birth rate; they can interbreed with humans but the result is always a normal human (although Joey Athena, son of Thena and a normal human seems to have become an Eternal with long lived properties and powers). Despite this, the Eternals have in general protected the human race, especially from the Deviants, with whom they’ve always had an enmity. The Eternals also developed advanced technology.
While the mythology may seem a little complex, Marvel has taken these kinds of big swings before, and with Zhao at the helm, it looks like they’re not losing sight of character. The Rider is an incredible film, and I love the diverse cast they’ve assembled here. It’s hard to believe the film is only 18 months away, but I can’t wait to see what Zhao puts together.