The ensemble cast for Marvel’s Eternals movie includes Oscar nominees, television stars, and a South Korean movie icon. Here's who they’ll play in the MCU’s 25th film and where you know them from before.
Based on Jack Kirby’s Marvel Comics series, Eternals follows an immortal human species sent to Earth to defend humans against the Deviants. They are the product of the Celestials’ manipulation of the evolution process, setting up an inevitable confrontation between good and evil. Eternals’ screenplay was written by Matthew K. Firpo and Ryan Firpo, with Chloé Zhao (The Rider) on board to direct. So far, the only direct connection to the Eternals in the MCU so far has been via Thanos, with his father A'Lars name-dropped in Avengers: Infinity War.
Set for a November 6, 2020 release, Marvels Eternals will premiere six months after Black Widow and precede Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Here’s all the new characters you'll meet from the Eternals cast.
Angelina Jolie as Thena
As the daughter of actor Jon Voight, Angelina Jolie became a Hollywood star during the mid to late ‘90s. She won a Golden Globe for her performance in the 1998 HBO film Gia, and the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her portrayal of the sociopathic Lisa Rowe in Girl, Interrupted (1999). During the 2000s, Jolie starred as the title character in the Lara Croft franchise, which preceded a highly-publicized marriage to Brad Pitt. In recent years, she’s portrayed Maleficent in Walt Disney’s franchise of the same name.
For Eternals, Jolie will star as Azura aka Thena, a well-educated warrior. In the comics, Thena was born in ancient Greece, and the city of Athens was named after her. Thena’s father, Zuras, changed her birth name to complement their relationship with Zeus and daughter Athena. During the Vietnam War, Thena's sexual relationship with the supervillain Kro - the leader of the Deviants - led to the birth of twins.
Richard Madden as Ikaris
In pop culture, Richard Madden is best known for portraying Game of Thrones’ Robb Stark, the character responsible for inadvertently setting up the infamous Red Wedding. In 2018, Madden won a Golden Globe for his performance in the BBC series Bodyguard, and recently portrayed Elton John’s former manager, John Reid, in Rocketman.
For Eternals, Madden will play Ikaris a character with cosmic energy manipulation powers. In the comics, Ikaris is the father of Icarus, who - in Greek Mythology - dies after flying too close to the sun. Ikaris takes great pride in protecting the human race through modern means, and even becomes a professional wrestler known as Iceberg. Ikaris has the ability to teleport, but doesn't quite enjoy the experience.
Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani's star has been on the rise for a while. He broke out as Dinesh Chugtai in the HBO series Silicon Valley and got an Oscar nomination for co-writing in the romantic comedy The Big Sick, which is based on his relationship with Emily V. Gordon (also the film’s co-writer). This year already he's starred alongside Dave Bautista in the comedy Stuber and was recently nominated for an Emmy Award for a guest spot in Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone reboot.
Salma Hayek as Ajak
During the ‘90s, Salma Hayek rose to fame by appearing in Robert Rodriguez films like Desperado and From Dusk till Dawn. For the 2002 biopic Frida, she received a Best Actress nomination for her portrayal of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. In recent years, Hayek co-starred in the Grown-Ups franchise, and will play Sonia Kincaid in The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard.
For Eternals, Hayek will portray Ajak, the team leader. In the original comic series, Ajak - a male character - is worshipped in Central America, as the Aztecs believe him to be Quetzalcoatl, while the Incans identify him as Tecumotzin, Lord of Flight. In Neil Gaiman's Eternals miniseries, Ajak is able to communicate with the Celestials.
Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos
In the comics, Phastos has a mysterious background and is known to be a genius. For Eternals, Phastos will mostly likely develop the team’s technology. Because of the character's ability to manipulate cosmic energy, he can create illusions, and he also wields a customized hammer. Phastos was created by Peter Gillis and Sal Buscema.
Dong-seok Ma (Don Lee) as Gilgamesh
A South Korean superstar, Don Lee has won major awards for feature films like The Neighbor, Train to Busan, and The Outlaws. In 2019, he headlined the action thriller The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil.
For Eternals, Lee will play Gilgamesh the group’s strongest character, a man who is often mistaken for mythological figures in the comics. Gilgamesh is known as “The Forgotten One," and once joined The Avengers. His power is comparable to Thanos. Gilgamesh can levitate and specializes in hand-to-hand combat.
Lia McHugh as Sprite
With only a handful of credits to her name, McHugh is Eternals’ youngest main cast member. She portrays Jessica Nolan in the TV series American Woman and recently appeared in Hulu’s Into the Dark.
For Eternals, she’ll portray the trickster Sprite, who is a male in the comic book series. The character is often punished for questionable and destructive behavior, and often appears ignorant to the consequences for humans. In Gaiman's Eternals series, Sprite's neck is snapped by Zuras, Thena's father.
Lauren Ridloff as Makkari
Ridloff is a deaf actress who is best known for portraying Connie in The Walking Dead. She's also a former Miss Deaf America, and recently starred in the Broadway production "Children of a Lesser God," for which she earned a Tony Award nomination.
Ridloff's Eternals character was originally a man in the comic book series. Like Thena, Makkari is well-educated and was also born in the ancient Greek city of Olympia. Makkari is known for being part of major historical events, such as the Trojan War and the Battle of the Alamo. The character has the ability to create cyclones by running in circles, and can also sprint at the speed of light.