Kumail Nanjiani has entered talks to star in Marvel's The Eternals movie. Created by Jack Kirby in the mid-1970s, The Eternals comic books revolve around a race of semi-immortal and super-powered beings known as the Eternals, as well as their not-so-lovely relatives the Deviants. Marvel Studios was first rumored to be working on an Eternals film for its Marvel Cinematic Universe almost exactly a year ago, with the plan being to release the movie as part of Phase 4. The project has since gained an official pair of writers in Matthew and Ryan Firpo, as well as a director in the form of celebrated indie filmmaker Chloé Zhao (The Rider).
With Phase 3 of the MCU above to conclude with this month's Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios intends to get production on The Eternals up and going this year, presumably to make an as-yet unannounced 2020 release date. As a result, the film's casting process is full underway now, with Angelina Jolie having entered negotiations to play one of the movie's leads just this past week. Now, another noteworthy actor has entered talks for a leading role in the film.
According to THR, Nanjiani is currently in talks to play a leading role in The Eternals. Details on his would-be role are being kept under lock and key at the moment, though the outlet states that Jolie (assuming that her deal closes) is expected to play the Eternal Sersi.
MCU films have had little trouble attracting top-tier talent in recent years, and that continues to be the case with the latest Eternals casting news. In addition to being an Oscar-nominated writer for The Big Sick (which he also starred in), Nanjiani has long been celebrated for his role on HBO's Silicon Valley, and will star opposite Dave Bautista in this July's already buzzed about action-comedy, Stuber. The actor is best known for his comedic offerings and will continue to play comical supporting characters in such upcoming movies as June's Men in Black continuation, Men in Black International. At the same time, he's started to branch out into more dramatic territory with his performance in The Twilight Zone revival episode "The Comedian", and may continue to do so on with The Eternals.
Indeed, as famous (or infamous, your pick) as the MCU is for its humor, The Eternals should be more operatic than many of its previous offerings. The film will further break new ground by (reportedly) introducing the MCU's first openly gay superhero, as played by a queer actor. Be that true or not, The Eternals is shaping up to be very different from anything Nanjiani's worked on in the past, and should allow him to better showcase his range onscreen. And on top of all that, his casting is a welcome bit of inclusivity for the MCU, what with Nanjiani being the first Pakistani-American to take on a leading role in a Marvel Studios film.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019