Marvel's 'Eternals' drops first teaser trailer showing off diverse cast of comic book heroes

The movie marks the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, known for its blockbuster “Avengers” movies. Any new content is welcome to Marvel fans given that the last movie in the franchise came when “Spider-Man: Far From Home” dropped in 2019. 

In addition, “Eternals” marks the first major Hollywood blockbuster for newly-christened Academy Award-winner Chloé Zhao, whose film “Nomadland” won both best picture and best director at the 2021 Oscars

The trailer brings together the previously announced roster of celebrities that will make up the cast, including Gemma Chan, Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh and Don Lee, as well as former “Game of Thrones” stars Richard Madden and Kit Harington.

Although the brief 2-minute teaser doesn’t offer much in the way of plot, it does give Hayek a chance to show off her character, Ajak, by way of voiceover explaining that the group makes up an ancient race of superheroes that have been guiding mankind for centuries. 

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Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, director Chloe Zhao, Lia McHugh, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Lauren Ridloff and Don Lee of Marvel Studios' "The Eternals" pose for a photo at the San Diego Comic-Con International 2019 Marvel Studios Panel in Hall H on July 20, 2019.

Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, director Chloe Zhao, Lia McHugh, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Lauren Ridloff and Don Lee of Marvel Studios’ “The Eternals” pose for a photo at the San Diego Comic-Con International 2019 Marvel Studios Panel in Hall H on July 20, 2019. (Getty Images)

“We have watched and guided. We have helped them progress and seen them accomplish wonders. Throughout the years we have never interfered… until now,” Ajak says. 

In an effort to connect the Eternals to the rest of the MCU, the teaser ends with a brief comedic scene in which the characters wonder who will lead the Avengers now that Captain America and Iron Man are gone following the conclusion of “Avengers: Endgame.” 

Madden’s Ikaris suggests himself, prompting the other characters to laugh at him. 

Marvel fans have been hoping to get a look at “Eternals” for quite some time given that its release date, like many movies initially set for 2020, was waylaid by the coronavirus pandemic. It also acts as a good entry point for fans who may be less familiar with the characters given that their comics were not as popular as the likes of other MCU characters such as Spider-Man and Ant-Man. The studio has previously seen success debuting a less-than A-list ensemble of heroes in 2014 with the immensely popular “Guardians of the Galaxy.” However, there have also been unsuccessful attempts a debuting a new team, such as “Inhumans,” which was initially conceived as a film before being turned into a failed TV series. 

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Regardless, “Eternals” is far and away the most diverse cast Marvel has introduced in a while, something Zhao and Hayek commented on in a recent interview with Variety. Hayek’s character in the comic books is typically a younger, white man. Zhao changed the part a bit telling Variety that it was important for her to combat ageism in Hollywood. 

“Ageism in Hollywood is a very concerning issue that we must stand against as artists,” Zhao explained. “Aging is a beautiful part of life that should be celebrated. It’s really an honor for us to have Salma to lead the ‘Eternals’ family. I can’t take all the credits. When [executive producer] Nate Moore first showed me the treatment, which he worked on with [writers] Kaz Firpo and Ryan Firpo, I was impressed with the age diversity of the characters they put together, and it was a big part of what got me really excited about ‘Eternals.’”

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In the same interview, Hayek revealed that she had a “profound” experience when she put on her character’s costume for the first time, noting the significance of seeing a Mexican woman appear as a superhero. 

“I think a lot of people are going to feel seen and that’s important and that’s what matters,” she told the outlet.

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