It’s less than six months until Eternals arrives in theaters, and we’re finally getting more than the shortest glimpse at what to expect from director Chloe Zhao’s Marvel debut. Written by Zhao with Kaz Firpo and Ryan Firpo, and based on the characters created by Jack Kirby, Eternals is about an alien race who’ve been hanging out on Earth for years, letting humans be just absolutely terrible to each other. But now, for some reason—almost certainly having to do with Barry Keoghan’s Druig, given the way this is edited—they’re going to get involved.
It’s a gorgeous trailer, but it doesn’t offer a lot to go on if you’re unfamiliar with the Eternals. These super-powered immortals were blessed by the Celestials (glimpsed in Guardians of the Galaxy), and they inspired the stories of many human gods and goddesses. (One might draw some conclusions about their temperaments from their myth-referencing names.) As is often the case when well-intentioned super-powered beings hang out on Earth without interfering, one might wonder: Why? Assorted comments from Marvel head Kevin Feige might hint at an explanation: He’s said that one character is married and has a family, and that Gemma Chan’s Sersi is “posing as a museum curator on Earth.”
Do these things connect to a 2006 John Romita and Neil Gaiman Eternals storyline where the Eternals aren’t aware of their identities? Maybe. The trailer certainly suggests we’re getting a whole lot of Eternals history, from the arrival of their big flat ship to the present day. And to be fair, if any Marvel movie’s characters need an origin story… it might be these folks.
Eternals stars Angelina Jolie as Thena, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Gemma Chan as Sersi, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, and Kit Harrington as Dane Whitman, also known as the Black Knight, because apparently we needed two Starks in one movie.
Eternals will be in theaters November 5, 2021.