At this point, you could be forgiven for thinking that Marvel’s running out of ideas, but even skeptics might be forced to admit that Eternals looks like something new. Newly minted Oscar winner Chloé Zhao brings the distinctive visual eye that made Nomadland 2021’s Best Picture winner to the MCU, and the results do look like a significant break from Marvel’s house style.
And that’s to say nothing of the source material. The Eternals are a race of ancient, ageless beings from an obscure corner of Marvel Comics that might escape the attention of even the most diehard fan. But the team was also near and dear to the heart of Jack Kirby, perhaps the chief architect of Marvel Comics’ earliest days, so it’s nice to see them finally getting some attention. His unique flair for design can be spotted throughout, but particularly in our few glimpses of the godlike Celestials.
In the comics, the Celestials put the Eternals on earth with strict rules about what they could and could not do to help humanity. The result was a quasi-religious statement on the high costs of inaction in the face of calamity. We’ll see how far Disney lets this movie stray into moral uncertainty, but Zhao is certainly a filmmaker capable of juggling such weighty themes.
And that cast! Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, Ma Dong-seok, Gemma Chan, Salma Hayek, Brian Tyree Henry and our Game of Thrones bros Kit Harrington and Richard Madden, united again in Eternity. We love to see it, and we will, on November 5.