Marvel Studios has developed a knack over the years for making some of the best casting decisions in the business with its upcoming superhero releases. This is continuing to be the case in Phase 4, especially in terms of debut franchises like Shang-Chi and Eternals coming in September and November.
Eternals in particular is reaching for new heights in the landscape of superhero movies, putting together one of the largest ensemble casts of Hollywood stars of any movie in the field.
While this, of course, includes young up-and-comers like Richard Madden as Ikaris and Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, established movie veterans like Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek fill out this all-star team as well. With so many individuals of different ages and backgrounds across the board, Marvel has put together one of the most diverse casts of any of the MCU's movies to date.
As it turns out, this not only has its cast and crew excited to be a part of it but excited for how naturally everything came together as well.
ETERNALS CREW TACKLES DIVERSITY
Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao and new MCU star Salma Hayek recently spoke to Variety about the cast of Marvel Studios' Eternals, specifically the diversity included amongst its near dozen leading stars.
Zhao specifically touched on the issue of ageism in Hollywood, which she described as "a very concerning issue that we must stand against as artists." Speaking specifically about Eternals star Salma Hayek and Marvel executive producer Nate Moore, Zhao was "impressed with the age diversity of the characters they put together," saying it helped get her "really excited" about the movie:
“Ageism in Hollywood is a very concerning issue that we must stand against as artists. 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.’"
Hayek herself also touched on the diversity between the cast members, saying that "a lot of people are going to feel seen" when the film comes to theaters in November. With diversity becoming an important part of the film industry, the star revealed that it's "not diverse for the sake of being diverse" and that "it doesn't feel forced:"
“I think a lot of people are going to feel seen and that’s important and that’s what matters. It’s not diverse for the sake of being diverse. It’s the way [Zhao] chose every single one of us that really creates a family for the purpose of the Eternals. For the purpose of the film. It doesn’t feel forced.”
A CAST REPRESENTING THE MASSES
Marvel Studios has long been known as a company that focuses on bringing diversity and inclusion to its movies and TV shows. Even with that goal in mind, Eternals appears to be taking this to an entirely new level for its debut.
The cast may include actors in their 40s and 50s such as Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie, but that's simply what happens when Marvel continues to go after the top names in the business, no matter their age. The team is clearly focused on making sure fans of all ages are represented when seeing this movie, and it helps to have personnel involved with this level of accomplishments in their careers as well.
As for the diversity, Eternals feels like the perfect avenue for this unique of a cast considering these are immortal beings that have existed on Earth for thousands of years. The family dynamic appears to be solidified both on screen and off, and every member of this team looks to be thrilled and excited to bring their work together to fans after so many delays.
Eternals will release in theaters on November 5, 2021.