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Marvel’s first Eternals trailer spans time and space

Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao brings her personal touch to the MCU

Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

After several delays and a year of movie theater shutdowns, Marvel is springing back up to assert as the dominant force in blockbuster entertainment. While July’s Black Widow will carve out a deeper understanding of a known character, this November’s Eternals will introduce an entirely new cosmic force to the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Eternals centers on a group of immortal beings with fantastic powers, who have existed since the dawn of civilization. The Eternals have lived secretly among us for thousands of years, never dying, never aging, and inspiring some of humanity’s greatest myths. They also love to eat dinner together and catch up.

At the beginning of May, Marvel showed off a supercut of all of the future movies it hopes will lure back audiences after the theatrical down moment. That gave us our first peek at Eternals, but the two-minute teaser gives a much clearer idea of what Chloé Zhao is aiming for with her foray into the MCU. Like her Best Picture-winning film Nomadland, the staging has a quality that’s both epic and intimate — it’s not the usual animated backdrops that littered films like Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.

“I had to keep saying, ‘This is right out of a camera; there’s no VFX work to this at all!’” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told Variety earlier this year. “Because it was a beautiful sunset, with perfect waves and mist coming up from the shore on this giant cliffside — really impressive stuff.”

While scant on plot details, the trailer introduces Marvel fans to a host of new characters in their epic settings. There’s Salma Hayek as Ajak, the Eternals’ leader; Lia McHugh as the youthful-seeming Sprite; Richard Madden as Ikaris; Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos; Ma Dong-seok as Gilgamesh; Angelina Jolie as Thena; Gemma Chan as Sersi; Barry Keoghan as Druig; and Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo. The characters’ lives appear to span all space and time. Kit Harington of Game of Thrones also appears as one of the human characters, Dane Whitman, who has gone on to become the hero known as the Black Knight in the comics.

Eternals releases in theaters on Nov. 5. For more on the current MCU schedule, head to our full breakdown of Marvel movie release dates.

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