Marvel Studios has proven time and time again that it can transform lesser-known comic book characters into fan favorites.
An obvious showing is that the Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man are both getting a third film in their respective franchises. Even characters like Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor all played second fiddle to the likes of the X-Men, Spider-Man, and The Fantastic Four pre-2008.
So, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and company have done it many times before, and they are about to do it again with Eternals . After the first look at the team in a recent Marvel Studios sizzle reel, fans are more curious than ever about the MCU's newest underdog IP.
This is a team of immortals who have been protecting humanity in secret for more than 35,000 years by order of The Celestials. And, between the pages of the comics, this is a group that even the biggest Marvel Comics fan considered an afterthought.
So, here is a brief introduction to what we know about this new MCU team, and the actors who portray them.
RICHARD MADDEN IS IKARIS
In his first return to the forefront of mainstream media since The Red Wedding , Richard Madden will be playing Ikaris, one of the leaders of the Eternals.
Ikaris' power set is a familiar one for comic book fans as he is able to fly and project red beams of cosmic energy from his eyes. Look for Marvel Studios to modify these abilities in order to not draw too many comparisons to other red, blue, and yellow comic book heroes.
The former Game of Thrones star will be playing a major role in the upcoming film and has tremendous staying power moving forward.
GEMMA CHAN IS SERSI
Sersi should seem familiar to readers of the classics as her power to manipulate matter is shown off in her involvement in The Odyssey; she is responsible for transforming Odysseus's men into pigs.
Sersi has a love for humans unlike any other Eternal. This is the main reason Gemma Chan is the favorite to entwine the Eternals with the rest of the MCU.
SALMA HAYEK IS AJAK
In the latest landing of a certified leading actor in the MCU, Salma Hayek plays the leader and spiritual guide of the Eternals, Ajak.
Ajak's unique communication abilities make this character the only one capable of speaking to Celestials. This power and Hayek's casting led many to believe she will be primarily a leader/mentor for the team.
Ajak is also the first on the list that is a different gender in the comics and the upcoming film. Hayek expressed her excitement on Instagram shortly after the casting was announced:
"I’m so excited to join the Marvel family as Ajak, the mother of all Eternals. It used to be the father of all Eternals, but girls... this is OUR time!!!!
Estoy muy emocionada de añadirme a la familia Marvel como Ajak la madre de todos los Eternos. Antes era el padre de todos los Eternos, pero chicas... ESTE es nuestro momento!!!!"
ANGELINA JOLIE IS THENA
A doubling down on the legacy star power, Eternals has cast Angelina Jolie as the warrior Thena.
This is your standard badass warrior princess situation as Thena has been described as a fierce warrior capable of using cosmic energy to form weapons.
Jolie brings yet another level of Hollywood credibility to a cast of unknown characters. And, if the brief shot of Thena in the recent Marvel sizzle showed fans anything, it's that she is going to be fun to watch.
KUMAIL NANJIANA IS KINGO
Kumail Nanjiani is going the way of Chris Pratt as he jacks up for Kingo, the skilled fighter and swordsman.
In the comics, Kingo is a master student of the Samurai and becomes the most talented man on earth with a sword.
Nanjiani is set to take this character in a different direction with a Bollywood human identity with a more cosmic set of skills which goes along with the theme of this iteration of the team.
LAUREN RIDLOFF IS MAKKARI
The Walking Dead fan-favorite Lauren Ridloff plays the first deaf MCU hero as she suits up for the speedster Makkari.
Makkari is the MCU's first speeder since Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron. She has been described as impatient in the comics and has the opportunity to use that character trait for comedic relief.
Ridloff will be representing the deaf community on the biggest stage with this monumental casting.
BRIAN TYREE HENRY IS PHASTOS
In another feat of representation, Atalanta star Brian Tyree Henry will play the MCU's first openly gay superhero, Phastos.
Every team needs a tech guy. The Avengers have Tony Stark, the Guardians have Rocket, and the Eternals have Phastos.
Tyree Henry will be tasked with the most emotionally conflicted and soft-spoken Eternal as Phastos tends to prefer to stay behind the scenes.
DON LEE IS GILGAMESH
Just like every team needs an engineer, they also need a bruiser. Don Lee's Gilgamesh is primed for that role.
Much like Thena, Gilgamesh lives to be a warrior. But, with the ability of strength and protection, this formally exiled Eternal prefers a much less subtle form of conflict resolution.
LIA MCHUGH IS SPRITE
So, there's an engineer and the muscle. Now, add the jester with Lia Mchugh's Sprite.
Sprite's shape-shifting abilities enable her to be the jokester of the group. Despite her appearance as a young child, Sprite is actually incapable of aging in the comics.
This is a breakout role for McHugh who is primed to make an early name for herself in the MCU.
BARRY KEOGHAN IS DRUIG
Dunkirk star Barry Keoghan is looking to play the outsider with Druig.
Druig disagrees with the other Eternals and how they interact with humans. This positions this character as the tension creating heel amongst the team.
Druig's mind control and reality-bending abilities pose a powerful threat to whoever gets in his way, Eternals and otherwise.