Marvel Studios is now halfway through its theatrical releases for 2021 after the debut for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings over Labor Day weekend. While the box office numbers roll in for Simu Liu's MCU debut, the focus behind the scenes now turns to the studio's next blockbuster outing in November's Eternals.
After delivering a spy-thriller prequel in Black Widow and an explosion of Asian culture and the world of martial arts in Shang-Chi, Eternals looks to deliver a whole new dynamic to the MCU in a story that spans possibly seven millennia. Highlighting the group's arrival on Earth and their journey exploring the planet's greatest civilizations, this film has a chance to be one of the most unique superhero movies in history.
Helping bring the movie to life is an incredibly high-profile cast of actors, even for an MCU film, including award winners Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek alongside rising stars like Richard Madden and Kumail Nanjiani. Getting these and other Hollywood A-listers in this movie is one of Marvel's most impressive accomplishments, with a few of those stars recently explaining their experience signing onto the project.
ETERNALS STARS ON JOINING THE MCU
In the Fall 2021 issue of Disney’s D23 Magazine obtained by The Direct, multiple stars from Marvel Studios' Eternals spoke about their earliest days of work after signing on to be in the movie.
Thena star Angelina Jolie explained her reasoning behind joining Marvel, explaining that the chance to join a vastly diverse cast heightened the experience for her tremendously. This was so special to her that she didn't care how big her role in Eternals was:
"This was the real reason I wanted to make the film. It was to be part of such a diverse family, and it really didn't matter to me what the size of the role would be."
Makkari actress Lauren Ridloff was particularly surprised working with director Chloé Zhao after seeing "how grounded she was." Bonding the cast of actors over seeing themselves "as geeks and misfits," Ridloff referred to Zhao as "the great equalizer" after she showed how she could treat the entire cast with an equal amount of attention:
"What surprised me the most about joining the MCU and working with Chloé was how grounded she was. The first time the cast met, she was barefoot and sat on the floor. It was through this first meeting that we discovered that we perceived ourselves as geeks and misfits, so that connected us all and added another layer to the story of Eternals. It was our quirks and differences that became our superpowers. Chloé is the great equalizer - even though this was a massive, star-studded cast she was working with, she treated us with the same amount of attention and care."
Zhao set the precedent, which had quite the influence on the cast becoming a true family on and off camera. Ajak actress Salma Hayek was said to have "really enjoyed" joking around with Phastos star Brian Tyree Henry, while Druig actor Barry Keoghan "fell in love" with Zhao's pet owl.
Hayek also spoke on her time working with Jolie, who was hyper-focused on putting forth the best work possible together on this movie:
"We didn't start out when there were a lot of distractions. When we started out, you showed up and you'd better pay attention. And we both have a lot of curiosity about all aspects of filmmaking."
FORMING ETERNAL BONDS IN ETERNALS
Eternals is set to bring forth one of the most diverse cast of leading characters in MCU history, which has clearly made an impact on the very stars that make up the cast. With men and women of multiple races and backgrounds, Jolie appeared ready to do anything she needed to do to make sure her first MCU outing was top-notch.
Jolie's comments are quite profound for someone of her elite Hollywood status, particularly with her not really worrying about having the biggest role in the movie. Thena is certainly set to make an impact as the Eternals' leader in battle, but her bonds with the other immortal beings will help drive the story just as much, if not more, than her individual plot.
As for Zhao's impact on the MCU, it's becoming evident why she's making a name for herself as one of the best in the business after winning her first Academy Award last year.
The MCU first-timer seemed to have her vision set into stone for not only how to make Eternals the best movie it could be, but also how to get her stars in sync with each other to bring her story to life. While fans are still in the dark about the actual plot, reports like these only continue to build the anticipation for what's actually coming on-screen.
Eternals is set to release in theaters on November 5, 2021.