Eternals–Marvel previews first look at next strange superhero effort

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It looks like a cross between Jupiter’s Legacy and Inhumans.  The first trailer from Marvel Studios for the third movie of Phase IV of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (on the tail of both Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) doesn’t look like any other Marvel movie.  Eternals has an A-list cast, the central character fan-favorite actress Gemma Chan, who wowed us in Humans and Shetland, and created a great villain in Raya and the Last Dragon.  She also played a friend turned enemy in Captain Marvel, as the alien Minn-Erva.  So Marvel must be taking a leap of faith that audiences don’t assume this is the same character in disguise–Captain Marvel did have its share of shapeshifters.  (Maybe this is an indicator Marvel would be willing to bring back Chris Evans as Johnny Storm?)  The movie features Academy Award winners Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie and Oscar-nominated Kumail Nanjiani.  But the strange takeaway from the first trailer is it doesn’t look like any other Marvel movie–there’s no hook, no exciting or funny element to reel in viewers after such a successful Phase III.

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Eternals are a strange sort in the comic books, and certainly not A-list characters.  Very much like Inhumans (compare the 2017 trailer of Inhumans below and see if you see the similarities, besides the awesome big dog and some actual action sequences).  So the director, Chloé Zhao, and writers Kaz and Ryan Firpo, have a challenge ahead.  How do you make these characters interesting?  Humor is absent in the trailer, so maybe we’re supposed to assume it’s all being held back for later.  It is just a teaser trailer, after all.  At first Guardians of the Galaxy looked strange, too (but with humor) as did Doctor Strange (but Benedict Cumberbatch was at the height of his popularity).

See for yourself.  Here’s the first trailer for Eternals:

For comparison, here is the Inhumans trailer from 2017 (the series did not fare well and was summarily canceled):

Eternals is scheduled for a release in theaters November 5, 2021.

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg

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