Now that many of us have watched “Black Widow” and the recent “Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings”, all eyes are on the upcoming release of new superhero epic “Eternals”. Expectations are already high for this A-list superhero team-up, and rightfully so.
Directed by Academy Award-winning director Chloe Zhao, “Eternals” will embark on the story of a cosmic group of immortals who choose not to interfere with human conflicts — including Thanos and the snap shenanigans — despite living on Earth for thousands of years.
The film features the outstanding ensemble of star-studded performers including the likes of Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, Gemma Chan, Kit Harrington, Don Lee (Ma Dong Seok), Barry Keoghan, Lia Mchugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff and Kumail Nanjiani.
The final trailer for “Eternals” was released in August and it introduces us to the brand-new superhero team taking the center stage in the MCU as they battle the new threat, the Deviant. The Eternals, as established in Marvel Comics, are one of the most powerful assemblies in the Marvel Universe, and its live-action counterparts will appear to cement the fact.
In a new interview with Total Film, the cast of the MCU’s “Eternals” shed light and elaborated on just how powerful and formidable their characters are. Each of the cast members break down every power and ability of their respective characters in the film.
Ikaris is the most powerful Eternal and the tactical leader of the group. He is moral, kind, and charismatic with the power of incredible strength, flight and the ability to project beams of intense cosmic energy from his eyes.
Richard Madden as Ikaris shared that his cosmic superhero is “very strong” and “has the ability to fly and shoot lasers from his eyes”. “His powers are pretty cool. I suppose the main challenge was trying to make something look effortless,” he noted.
Makkari is the only deaf Eternal but she also possesses super-speed ability, making her the fastest woman in the universe. She utilises her cosmically-powered super-speed prowess to scout planets for the Eternals.
Lauren Ridloff, about her character, shared that aside from Makkari’s obvious super-speed power, the character’s real strength is “her smarts”. She said, “Her most obvious power is speed, but how she manipulates speed as a weapon is just brilliant, so her true power is her smarts.”
Druig, Ikaris’ cousin, is an aloof and a powerful cosmic being, but at times it is hard to determine whether he’s a friend or a foe. He possesses mind control power, using the cosmic energy to gain control of the minds of men and possesses tremendous telepathic abilities to help him achieve whatever he wants. He is expected to be the villain of the film as an Eternal who sides with the Deviants.
In the comics, Druig withdrawn himself from the Eternals as he disagrees with how the group interacted with mankind over the centuries. “He uses mind-control to manipulate and control people. He doesn’t do anything with his hands. He just stares, which is kind of cool,” Barry Keoghan, who plays Druig revealed about his character.
Phastos is a genius inventor and engineer blessed with the power of invention. The MCU’s first openly gay superhero has the ability to create anything out of his imagination provided that he has enough raw materials at his disposal. Throughout his stay on Earth, Phastos has helped in humanity technological advancement while keeping his brilliance hidden in the shadows.
Brian Tyree Henry, who portrays Phastos shared, “They like to call him a techno-path, which basically means he can use his mind and energy to literally assemble anything out of any technology around him.”
In Marvel comics, Kingo is not only a cosmic-powered member of the Eternals but he is considered one of the most skillful swordsmen on Earth. He possesses the power to project cosmic energy projectiles with his hands. In the live-action counterpart, Kingo is a famous Bollywood star who must leave his life of fame to help the team defeat the Deviant threat.
Kumail Nanjiani in the interview spoke about his character and his preparations for the role. “He can shoot beams from his arms. Obviously, they add laser beams in post. I didn’t go with that method. I took martial arts and dance classes to figure out what his motion would be when he was shooting,” Kumail remarked.
Sprite might look like a 12-year-old child, but she is known as a trickster who has lived for thousands of years. Sprite is blessed with the ability to cast lifelike illusions and in the comics, her trickster ability even excels at utilising Celestial powers of manipulation. Sprite spent most of her time on Earth developing and mastering her illusion-casting skills that will surely come in handy as the Eternals battle with the Deviants.
Lia McHugh, the youngest actress with the “Eternals” cast, teased that Sprite’s powers “are utilised in a lot of creative ways” in the film. “Sprite can cast illusions! Her powers are utilised in a lot of creative ways in Eternals that become very relevant to the story,” she remarked.
Sersi is an Eternal with the most affinity with humans, working alongside humanity as a museum curator while saving the crowd from the Deviant threat. Sersi is blessed with the ability to manipulate matter, changing the composition of any non-sentient material she touches. Though Sersi has been in love with Ikaris for centuries, she is also caught up in a love triangle in the film, romantically linked to both Ikaris and Dane Whitman.
Gemma Chan, who plays Sersi, told Total Film about her character. “Sersi can manipulate matter. So inanimate – I suppose – substances or objects, she can transmute them into other things. Which is pretty useful. That’s a good thing,” she shared. Gemma Chan is amongst the few actors to act as more than one character in the MCU, having previously starred as Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel.
Thena, played by Angelina Jolie is a fierce female warrior that is more comfortable in battle than any other place. According to Marvel comics, she is the daughter of Zuras who possesses the power to use cosmic energy to transform anything into a lethal weapon. In addition to that, the Eternal warrior is blessed with super strength and ageless longevity that comes with being an Eternal.
Thena is also involved in a forbidden love affair with Kro, a deviant, who is among the Eternals’ greatest enemies. The Oscar-winning actress, Angelina Jolie described Thena’s ability in the film. “I was given the ‘could manifest weapons in my hands’ [power]. A lot of training was really fun, to try to figure out how to fight that way,” the international superstar shared.
Ajak is the spiritual leader and the Eternals’ headmaster. Her wisdom has guided the team since their arrival on Earth. Ajak has the power to teleport and healing ability that enable her to cure humans and Eternals alike. She also possesses the ability to communicate with the Celestials.
Salma Hayek said that Ajak’s healing ability was one of the biggest highlights for her. “Another thing that inspired me was that her superpower is healing. That very much is the sensation of a mother,” she disclosed.
Another character that makes up the Eternals is Gilgamesh (played by Don Lee), who is the strongest and fierce warrior but also the kindest member of the team. He forges an unlikely friendship with Thena that spans centuries and becomes her de facto partner. He has the capability of projecting a powerful exoskeleton of cosmic energy.
Popular Korean cast, Don Lee or Ma Dong Seok said that Gilgamesh has superhuman strength that secures him as the strongest of the cosmic group. “Gilgamesh is immortal, has superhuman strength, and is considered the strongest of the Eternals. He has a unique one-punch knockout attack like a heavyweight boxer. As a long-time boxer myself, I tried to add a lot of real boxing movements,” he revealed.
Dane Whitman (Black Knight)
Setting aside the immortal characters, Dane Whitman on the other hand, is not an Eternal. Dane Whitman is a genius physicist who inherits a mantle from his uncle that is believed to belong to the Black Knight, who unbeknownst to him, is a villain! He’s skillful with swords and he also inherits a curse from his signature sword, Ebony Blade. He is likely to be romantically involved with Sersi in the film.
Dane Whitman is played by “Game of Thrones” alum Kit Harrington, who, in the interview, did not reveal much about his character’s abilities. Instead, the actor teased the “very cool” interactions that he has with the rest of the Eternals. “I’d just like power. It was very cool, my interaction with those characters. It was cool to see – and also very jealous-making,” he remarked.
You can certainly look forward to the full display of the powers of every Eternals member once the film arrives in theaters. Based on the trailers, the live-action film will not showcase every Eternal ability from the comics, with them only harnessing one or two unique powers.
The Covid-19 crisis has certainly halted many big movie releases. As of now, “Eternals” is scheduled to hit theaters in November this year.
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