After about a year's worth of delays from its original release date, Marvel Studios has arrived at the worldwide opening weekend for its 26th theatrical movie, Eternals. After a couple of difficult weeks filled with widely varying opinions on the film from critics, fans are heading out in droves to see how the MCU's overarching narrative will expand through its classic race of immortals.
Of course, Eternals is proving to be a worthy MCU installment for multiple reasons, largely including its vision from director Chloé Zhao and multiple forms of representation amongst its leading characters. However, those leading characters may be the movie's biggest calling card, as they are played by close to a dozen of Hollywood's top names from the past few decades.
Considering the film has such a prominent cast, many have wondered if this is a bad sign for their characters' chances of survival in the movie.
In the time leading up to the release of Eternals, no news has come to light on the length of the contracts the movie's stars signed before filming in 2019. In the latest round of interviews, one star has revealed her own status with Marvel Studios, which will be something to keep an eye on for the future.
Salma Hayek's Contract with Marvel Studios
In an interview on the Smallzy's Celebrity Small Talk show, Eternals star Salma Hayek revealed that she's set to appear as Ajak in multiple MCU projects.
When asked about that contract status, although Hayek confirmed she agreed to a multiple-film contract, she's unsure if Marvel will hold her to that agreement:
"I did sign multiple-movie deals. That doesn't mean they're going to hold me in it!"
Hayek then touched on Marvel Studios' knack for intense secrecy surrounding its projects, which goes even further than anything she could have imagined. While this came as a shock at first, she very much enjoyed playing a role in the "secret society" that is so heavily protected:
"Nothing I could've anticipated. It was kind of funny, it's so extreme! At the beginning, I was like, 'What?!' But then it was kind of fun. It was kind of fun being a part of this secret society that you have to protect so fearlessly, you know?"
Will Hayek Be Back for More?
WARNING: This section contains major spoilers for Eternals.
On one hand, it's exciting to hear that Marvel initially had plans for Salma Hayek to portray Ajak beyond her first appearance in 2021's Eternals. However, for fans who have seen everything that takes place in the film, her status could be described as complicated.
The newcomer mostly saw her screentime come through flashbacks after Ajak was brutally murdered by "Deviants", all while Richard Madden's Ikaris revealed himself as a key villain in the movie. Her death was the reason her fellow Eternals came together after the events of Avengers: Endgame as Ikaris did everything in his power to keep the team's mission moving forward, allowing for the birth of a new Celestial.
Given these facts, it seems as though the only way Hayek could come back for more Marvel movies is through flashbacks. However, one has to consider the ever-popular fact about comic book movies that Alfred Molina learned for Spider-Man: No Way Home - nobody truly stays dead.
Even considering that Ajak was one of three Eternals that seemingly met their end in this movie, along with Ikaris and Don Lee's Gilgamesh, Marvel could change its mind and decide to revive the team's spiritual leader for future movies. However, with sequels to this movie still up in the air, fans will have to wait and see what the resolution turns out to be with this matter.
Eternals is currently playing in theaters worldwide.