Words: Alastair James; pictures: YouTube/Marvel
Marvel has released the latest trailer for their upcoming film Eternals, which will feature the first out gay superhero to appear in one of the company’s movies.
The film, set to debut on 5 November, offers more insight into the film than previous trailers, including more scenes featuring Brian Tyree Henry’s character Phastos, who is said to be seen with his husband and children in the film. The Eternals will face off against the villainous group, the Deviants.
In addition to Henry, the film stars Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Gil Birmingham, Harish Patel, and Kit Harington.
“You know what’s never saved the planet. Your sarcasm.”
The trailer opens with Salma Hayek’s Ajak in conversation with Richard Madden’s Ikaris, going over recent events of the Marcel Cinematic Universe (MCU), including half of all life in the universe being wiped from existence and being brought back 5 years later when this movie is set.
All this activity has led to the “emergence”, which isn’t explained, and we guess we’ll have to see the movie to find out, but it doesn’t sound good!
As well as an explanation of who the Eternals are (“We came here 7,000 years ago to protect humans from the deviants,” according to Gemma Chan’s Sersi) we find out that we haven’t seen or heard of them until now because they, “were instructed not to interfere in any human conflicts unless deviants were involved,” adds Chan.
Elsewhere in the trailer, we see our heroes reunite, with some not having apparently seen each other for centuries. Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos says during one scene involving several characters: “You know what’s never saved the planet. Your sarcasm.” We can hear the parenting there!
The trailer ends with Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, and Brian Tyree Henry’s characters sat around a table, presumably at the latter’s house. Madden jokes it’s “the perfect safe house” believing the table is made of the fictional in-universe metal Vibranium.
To test this, he demonstrates his super-human strength by breaking it (with little effort). After a moment of stunned silence, Brian, clearly unimpressed, says dryly “Fall collection. Ikea." We’re already approving of the representation in the film, but we’re loving Brian Tyree Henry’s character a lot!
The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s LGBTQ representation has been patchy to date. After the franchise’s first openly gay character only appeared in an extremely minor role in Avengers; Endgame, the studio's president, Kevin Feige revealed that Eternals would feature the first gay superhero. This being Henry’s Phastos.
The MCU has previously come close to depicting an LGBTQ superhero on screen in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, which featured bisexual comic book hero Valkyrie (played by Tessa Thompson). A scene confirming Valkyrie's sexuality was cut from the film's final edit, Thompson claimed at the time.
Haaz Sleiman, who is set to play Phastos’ husband in the new movie, has previosuly revealed the film will feature Marvel Studios’ first-ever same-sex kiss. He told Logo in 2020: “It’s a beautiful, very moving kiss. Everyone cried on set.
As the film has been delayed due to the Covid pandemic, it was pipped to the post in having the first openly queer character in the MCU. The Disney+ series, Loki, confirmed the titular character was bisexual and gender-fluid, as seen in the comics.
Watch the new Eternals trailer below:
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