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Marvel's Eternals Star Addresses If He'll Replace Iron Man as Avengers' New Leader

Eternals Ikaris, Avengers, Tony Stark
By Nathan Johnson

Marvel Studios could have a potential Oscar-winning film on its hands in November. With Academy Award-winning director Chloé Zhao at the helm alongside a star-studded cast of Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, and Kit Harington, the MCU is about to add yet another groundbreaking movie to its Phase 4 slate with Eternals.

Marvel's latest film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, garnered a massive amount of praise and even set the precedent for the rest of the studio's 2021 films to be released exclusively in theaters unlike Black Widow, which was also available to stream on Disney+'s Premier Access.

As November 5 gets closer, more and more details regarding Eternals have come to light. One of these pertains to Kit Harington's character, Dane Whitman, on what his future in the MCU could look like if he has one at all. Some behind-the-scenes details have also been revealed, such as how Angelina Jolie aided deaf actress Lauren Ridloff to make her acting cues more easily understood.

As the group of 7,000-year-old heroes gets closer to being properly introduced to fans, it is known that Richard Madden's Ikaris acts as the protector and leader of the group. With powers that can be compared to Superman, Madden has given his own opinion on whether his character could possibly lead the Avengers.

Richard Madden on Ikaris Leading the Avengers


In a conversation with Total Film, via Twitter user CreamOrScream, Ikaris actor Richard Madden sat down to take a deeper dive into his Eternals character.

Madden talked about "why [he] was drawn" to the character, admitting that he sees him as "a complicated character:"

"That's why I was drawn to him. I don't see him as a superhero I've seen before. I see him as a man first, and quite a complicated character, before a superhero. You know, superheroes have laser eyes. Superheroes can fly. So, there's lots of parallels. But as a character, I've not seen anyone like him before."

The Game of Thrones star then went on to reveal more of what "intrigued" him about the film, praising director Chloé Zhao on "how deep" she explored a particular group of characters:

"The concept of these characters, and how deep Chloé wanted to go with these people who have been alive for so long, and have experienced so many different things. So that's what really intrigued me - how these people interact with each other, and also the rest of the world when they've seen everything and done everything. That was kind of fascinating."

Madden ended by discussing whether Ikaris would be up to the task of leading the Avengers team, with Tony Stark and Steve Rogers now out of the picture. He humbly said that he "[doesn't] know" but that Ikaris is a "good leader and a good soldier:"

"I don't know. I know that he's a good leader and a good soldier. If those are two traits that you need to lead the Avengers, then he has them. But I wouldn't be able to predict that."

The New Face of the Avengers?

Richard Madden is clearly fond of the work that Chloé Zhao has put into making Eternals. She won the Best Picture award at the 2020 Oscars for her film Nomadland, and if Eternals is a success at both the box office and with fan pleasure, she could be well on her way to another win for the same award.

The question that Madden was asked, whether Ikaris could lead the Avengers, could be debated one way or the other. He is obviously extremely powerful with abilities such as emitting lasers from his eyes, flying, and as shown at the end of the second trailer, when he smashes a wooden table he believes to be Vibranium, super strength.

A hero with powers of this magnitude would certainly be fit to lead Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but what set apart Tony Stark and Steve Rogers from the rest of the group were their personalities, however different they were. Steve was the ex-military, righteous, do-it-by-the-book leader, while Tony was the "genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist."

With Madden describing Ikaris as "a good leader and a good soldier," it seems from the outside looking in that he has all the qualities to make a respectable and sufficient leader. Seeing as how Eternals debuts in theaters in less than two months, fans won't have to wait much longer before they can give a decisive answer to the question.

Eternals will debut in theaters on November 5, 2021.