- Warning: There are cast spoilers ahead for Marvel's "Eternals," which is now in theaters.
- The new superhero group film stars Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, and Kumail Nanjiani.
- There are also some surprises. Here's what to know about the characters each actor plays.
Who are The Eternals? They're a group of superheroes who were first introduced in the comics in the 1970s.
Introduced in 1976, the Jack Kirby comic introduces three different groups that were created by celestial Gods: the Deviants (a group that was constantly at war), humans, and the immortal Eternals of which there are more than 30. Over the years, there have been several iterations of the group.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said at 2019's San Diego Comic-Con that the group of immortals has been on Earth for 35,000 years, among the MCU. At some point, however, that changed because the new film places the Eternals on Earth 7,000 years ago.
The movie also made a couple of other changes. Many of the characters, for instance, were gender-swapped from their original versions.
In the comics, since they were all cut from the same cloth, the majority of the Eternals all have similar superhuman abilities, including super strength and the ability to fly. In the film, that's not the case. Their shared cosmic energy has manifested as different powers in each Eternal.
From Richard Madden to Angelina Jolie, keep reading to meet the cast and see who they will be playing.
Salma Hayek is playing a gender-swapped version of Ajak, the leader of the Eternals.
Ajak was first introduced as a man in the second issue of "The Eternals."
The character was worshipped by the Incans as Tecumotzin and was buried deep in an Incan tomb to sleep until awoken by Ikaris. This Eternal also fought in the Trojan War.
In the film, Ajak is a motherly figure, beloved and respected by the entire group. She has the power to heal and to communicate with the Celestials who watch over the universe.
Hayek shared her excitement for the gender-swapped role on Instagram.
"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 !!!!" Hayek wrote in July 2019.
"Game of Thrones" star Richard Madden plays Ikaris, one of the leaders of the Eternals.
When Ikaris is first introduced in the comics, he's undercover as a human on Earth named Ike Harris.
In the film, Marvel Studios describes the character as "all powerful." Ikaris has the ability to fly and shoot beams from his eyes.
His strength and powers seem pretty similar to Superman. A child in "Eternals" even mistakes him for the DC hero.
Gemma Chan plays Sersi who adores humans.
In the comics, Sersi is an Eternal who willingly lives among humans in New York City and becomes a member of the Avengers.
In "Eternals," Sersi has taken a job at the Natural History Museum in London and has the ability to manipulate matter. For instance, she can transform a bus into flower petals simply with the touch of her hand.
Chan's casting makes her one of just five people to play multiple Marvel characters.
Angelina Jolie is playing the role of the warrior Thena.
Thena was born in Olympia and is the daughter of Zuras (not to be mistaken with Zeus).
In the comics, she has a secret love affair with the Eternals' enemy, Kro. There,Thena can also fly, has super strength, and super speed.
In the film, Thena is one of the group's strongest warriors and is able to use cosmic energy to create weapons to fight in battle.
Don Lee (aka Dong-seok Ma) was cast as Gilgamesh, the strongest Eternal.
In the comics, Gilgamesh is first introduced as the Forgotten One, an Eternal that was exiled from his kind by Zuras because he spent too much time around humans.
Because of that, the character became known by several legendary aliases, including Hercules, Beowulf, and Gilgamesh. He eventually joined the Avengers in the comics.
In "Eternals," Gilgamesh is good friends with Thena. The group's strongest hero, behind all of the muscle is a kind soul (and a good cook).
If you're not familiar with actor Don Lee, he's a fan-favorite from the excellent zombie movie "Train to Busan," which is available on Netflix.
"The Walking Dead" actress Lauren Ridloff stars as a gender-flipped version of Makkari.
Makkari is a speedster, who's described as impatient in the comics. Also known as Mercury, the character has a vibrant red suit and mask in the comics.
According to the film's production notes, Makkari is "the fastest woman in the universe." In the film, she's a little bit of a trickster who starts collecting artifacts from across history. (She'd probably get along with Loki.)
Ridloff, who will play the first deaf hero in the MCU, joined "TWD" on season nine and instantly became a fan-favorite.
Kumail Nanjiani ("Stuber") plays Kingo, a famous Bollywood action star.
In the comics, Kingo is supposed to be one of the most skilled swordsmen on Earth. He spent so much time training with Samurai that he transitioned into becoming a famous Japanese action star.
Marvel changes up Kingo's character vastly, instead making him into a famous Bollywood star. Since Kingo can't tell the world he's a superhero, he decides to become super famous.
When he's fighting with the Eternals, he can emit energy blasts from his fingers. He's the funniest of the group and extremely confident.
Lia McHugh plays a gender-swapped version of Sprite who looks young, but is actually thousands of years old.
In the comics, Sprite is a young boy who's able to change his appearance. Despite looking like a young teen, the Eternal is pretty old. He just can't age.
Because of that, the young-looking Eternal likes to play tricks, often at the expense of his own kind.
In the film, Sprite can also alter her appearance, duplicate herself, and make herself and others invisible. She longs for a more normal life since she's eternally stuck in the body of a teen and is treated as such.
Brian Tyree Henry ("Atlanta") stars as Phastos, one of the smartest people in the MCU.
Unlike the other Eternals, Phastos was introduced later in the comics in 1985. In the comics, he made Kingo's sword as he's an engineer and inventor.
The movie keeps Phastos' roots as a "master inventor," creating technology to help advance (and sometimes harm) mankind.
Barry Keoghan ("Dunkirk") plays Druig.
In the comics, Druig was a member of the KGB and Ikaris' cousin.
In the film, he can control other's minds. He's frustrated that he's not allowed to interfere with and easily solve human conflict. Marvel Studios describes the character as an "aloof loner."
Bill Skarsgård voices the Deviant leader Kro.
Kro was much more than the life-sucking Deviant monster he was made out to be in "Eternals."
In the original Kirby run of the comics, the Deviants were given a more empathetic arc and were led by a character named the Great Tode (who, yes, kind of resembled a toad). Kro and Thena were attracted to one another and were sometimes lovers. In turn, Kro sometimes worked with the Eternals.
The film briefly hints that the two know each other, but never explore it in any more depth, which was a bit disappointing since there was an opportunity for the Deviants and Eternals to team up against a common enemy, the Celestials. But it seemed like the two couldn't bury the hatchet in order to see that they were on the same side, which was just kind of sad.
Harry Styles made his entry into the MCU as Thanos' brother, Eros.
Styles appeared in the film's first of two end-credits scenes as Eros aka the superhero Starfox.
"Eternals" director Chloé Zhao told Cinemablend she "kept tabs" on the singer since he appeared in Christopher Nolan's 2017 film "Dunkirk" and pitched him and Eros to Marvel Studios' president Kevin Feige "a while back."
"I love the idea of getting to know Thanos' brother," Zhao said. "He's an Eternal, and the idea of him having gone through what the Eternals have gone through, doing their work for the Celestials, is very interesting. And how that might have affected Thanos to become who he is today, I love that idea."
Patton Oswalt voices Starfox's comrade, Pip the Troll.
Pip appears in the first end-credits scene and introduces Starfox to some of the Eternals.
It's not the first time Oswalt has appeared in a Marvel role. He's appeared on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.", and has voiced characters in animated series, including "Spider-Man," "Big Hero 6," and "Marvel's M.O.D.O.K."
"Game of Thrones" star Kit Harington was cast as Dane Whitman, a non-Eternal, who becomes a character known as Black Knight in the comics.
Richard Madden won't be the only "GoT" star entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the comics, Whitman is a physicist who took over the mantle of the Black Knight from his uncle. Though he may not be super-powered like the Eternals, he's quite skilled with a sword.
In the comics, Black Knight started a relationship with Sersi.
The film version of Whitman is a human who works at the Natural History Museum in London. He's also dating Sersi, but things are a bit complicated.
Harington told Insider he liked this role after "Game of Thrones" because there's "a lightness" to Whitman.
"There's a comedic element that was different from other stuff that I get offered, and the future looked quite interesting," Harington said. We'll have to wait and see if this version of Whitman also becomes the Black Knight.
Mahershala Ali provides the mystery voice at the film's very end. He joins the MCU as the iconic vampire hunter Blade.
In the film's second end-credits sequence, a mystery voice warns Dane to think twice about touching the Ebony blade. (You can read more on that here.)
Zhao confirmed to Fandom that the Academy Award winner provided the voice to the mystery man.
Ali was announced as the human and vampire hybrid at 2019's San Diego Comic-Con. Blade will be getting his own Marvel movie in the future.
There are a few noteworthy Eternals who haven't been announced that we're expecting to see in the movie.
Those aren't the only Eternals. There are well over 30 of them since the group's introduction in the comic.
Among the ones that were not announced were Zuras (Thena's father), who doesn't appear in the film, and Domo, an immortal Eternal who answered to Zuras. The latter is the name of the Eternal's ship in the film.
- Life Insider Weekly