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Marvel's Eternals movie with Angelina Jolie explained

Who are the Eternals? The story behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe's rumored next big thing.

Marvel

You may never have heard of the Eternals. But you've met one.

The Eternals are rumored to be one of the next superpowered groups to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Stars Angelina Jolie and Kumail Nanjiani are reported to be playing them. And for an idea of how powerful they are, witness the one Eternal who's already appeared on film: Thanos.

The big purple mass murderer took center stage in Avengers: Infinity War and faces a final showdown in Endgame. After that, there'll be a new era for the MCU -- phase 4 -- introducing new characters from Marvel comics. Like Captain Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy, some of those stories will look to space for some of Marvel's more cosmic comic characters. 

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Angelina Jolie is set to be an Eternal.

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The Eternals movie is reported to be in development with Chloe Zhao rumored on directing duties. Her previous film, The Rider, got a score of 92 on CNET sister site Metacritic. But it's also a naturalistic indie film, a far cry from the effects-driven banging and crashing of a Marvel movie. The results will certainly be interesting.

Who are the Eternals?

Thanos may be the only Eternal we've seen on screen, but Eternals have a comic history that stretches back to 1976. They were dreamed up by Jack Kirby, co-creator of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, after he created the very similar New Gods for DC six years earlier.

In the comics, they're an evolutionary offshoot of humanity living on Earth who possess greater powers and have longer lifespans. The Celestials, a group of space gods, created them to defend Earth.

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Jack Kirby created the cosmic comic The Eternals in 1976.

Marvel

Meet the team

One of the characters linked to the new movie is Eros, who will be most intriguing to Marvel movie fans -- because he's Thanos' brother. In the comics, Eros killed their mother, Sui-San, and father, Mentor. He can fly and psychically manipulate other people's emotions, and he had a stint as an Avenger under the superhero name Starfox (not to be confused with the Nintendo series).

Eros actually first appeared in 1973's Iron Man No. 55, when Thanos and Mentor also made their comics debut. The trio's origins were only revealed later and retroactively tied to the Eternals when Kirby introduced the Eternals in their own comic three years later. 

The movie lineup is rumored to consist of Eros/Starfox, Piper, Elysius, Gilgamesh, Ikaris, Sersi, Makkari, Thena and Zuras, with Druig as the villain. For more on the characters from the comics, check out our sister site ComicBook.com's detailed explainer

Meet the cast

In March 2019, Angelina Jolie was linked to the film, possibly in the role of Sersi. Kumail Nanjiani, star of Silicon Valley, The Big Sick and The Twilight Zone, is also in the frame.

When will we see it?

Marvel hasn't officially confirmed The Eternals so there's no release date yet. But reports say it'll film this year, along with the rumored Black Widow solo movie.