Eternals is set to introduce a brand-new crop of heroes into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and one of them is Kit Harington's Dane Whitman.
Marketing made it clear that Whitman would not become Black Knight in the film, with Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore confirming that the character "ultimately goes on" to become the sword-wielding hero in the MCU's future but not during the events of Eternals. Still, it's reasonable to assume that Harington will play a vital part in the film's narrative.
Despite not being part of the super-powered bunch, the anticipation is still high for Harington's Marvel debut. One of the reasons why is due to his impressive portrayal of Jon Snow in Game of Thrones.
Many would agree that Harington's considerable talent impressed the small-screen audience, but it appears that Marvel Studios also took notice of his performance.
Now, Harington opened up about his first meeting with Marvel Studios about joining the superhero franchise.
Kit Harington Dissects Marvel's Casting Process
Kit Harington, who plays Dane Whitman in Eternals, sat down with The Playlist to talk about the MCU film and the process behind his involvement.
Harington revealed that he initially had a "general meeting" with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige a year before getting the call for Eternals. The actor shared that Feige confirmed that there was a role for him "at some point."
It ultimately led to another meeting with Eternals director Chloé Zhao that clinched the Dane Whitman character for him:
"I had a general meeting with Kevin maybe a year prior to getting the call about this movie, just about their new phase, and that there’s something for me in it at some point. And they had me in mind and that was an exciting meeting to take. And then I got a call about this movie from Nate [Moore], the producer, and I met with Chloe and they talked me through what this was about and the role that I’d fit into playing within it. And on that information, I said, 'Yeah, I’d love to do that. Thank you.'"
When Playlist asked if the meeting included "promises" of future projects for him, Harington admitted that there were none, pointing out that he only "assumed" that there would be more appearances down the line:
"No, not really. Just to sort of, what you see in this movie is what I read or was told about. And I assumed that there could be a future there for me and it looks like it could be an interesting one. So, that’s why I jumped at it really."
The discussion then got to a point where Harington was asked to compare working with the CGI elements between Game of Thrones and Eternals.
The English actor indicated that Game of Thrones was "so location-based," so he was surprised that Zhao did the same for his scenes. Harington admitted that he expected that the MCU movie would be shot on a sound stage the whole time, but the actor mentioned that Zhao defied expectations since she filmed the scenes "with a realism:"
"The interesting thing about “Thrones” is that it was so location-based. We shot so much not on a sound stage. And I expected with a movie like this with a Marvel movie to be in a sound stage the whole time, and all of my stuff was on location. So that was a real gift and that was Chloe. You asked how it was working with Chloe. Chloe brought the way she shoots to the Marvel universe. And I think that’s what makes this movie what it is, is that it’s shot with a realism that I think is really fresh to this world."
What’s Next for Kit Harington After Eternals?
Marvel Studios is known for its exemplary performance in the casting realm, and many would agree that nabbing an actor like Harington is a win-win situation.
Feige has an eye for talent, and it's reasonable to assume that he and his fellow executives already have a wishlist of stars that they want for the MCU. Feige previously hinted at this strategy when talking about the casting process for Fantastic Four, sharing that the franchise as a whole will contain "a beautiful combination" of well-known Hollywood stars and up-and-comers alike.
While Harington is not part of the cosmic-powered immortals, Whitman's persona appears poised to become a significant part of the Marvel universe once all is said and done. In the pages of Marvel Comics, Whitman eventually becomes the Black Knight, a hero who wields the Ebony Blade.
The character's future in the comics could have been the reason behind Harington's positive approach toward his MCU future. After Eternals, it is unknown when Harington will pop up again, but the possibilities are endless.
It isn't a coincidence that comparisons between Game of Thrones and the MCU would be brought up due to Harington's involvement. In fact, Harington isn't the only Thrones alumni in the film, since Richard Madden, who portrays Ikaris in Eternals, also played Robb Stark in the HBO series.
Based on his answer, Harington appeared to be at home while filming Eternals due to Zhao's dedication to shooting scenes on-location. This approach would've helped the actor in his performance in the film due to him being familiar with the strategy.
This is also in line with Feige's previous remarks about Zhao, saying that the veteran director fought for practical locations to fit her vision for the movie.
Fans will find out how Harington fits in the larger MCU when Eternals premieres in theaters on November 5, 2021.