The new trailer for Oscar winner Chloé Zhao’s upcoming Marvel film Eternals gives us two very big new bits of information: 1) what the hell this film is actually about 2) Angelina Jolie, in all her superhero glory. Despite this particular superhero team coming from deep within Marvel’s back catalog, the answer to the first question isn’t that hard to figure out, and even if it is, well, the last point makes us want to see the film regardless.
In what seems like a nod to Zhao’s previous neo-Western films The Rider and Nomadland, the trailer opens with Salma Hayek on horseback. The viewer is quickly reminded they’re in the MCU with the mention of the word “Thanos.” Hayek explains to Richard Madden’s character that Thanos’s actions have triggered the appearance of an “emergence” that the Eternals now have just seven days to stop. So there’s your basic plot: one week to save the world. Standard superhero fare.
As for who the Eternals are, that question’s quickly answered, too. They’ve been on earth for 7000 years to protect humankind from beasts known as “Deviants.” Kit Harrington’s character, who is a mere mortal, helpfully asks why the Eternals weren’t involved in fighting Thanos—or taking part in any war, for that matter. It’s a legitimate question: why didn’t superpowered Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek stop Genghis Khan? We know they could! It turns out the team is on strict orders not to interact with human drama. They’re just there to kill some weird beasts. Everything else is on an “I pretend I do no see it” basis. Of course, it definitely seems like that’s all about to change.
Oh, there’s one other bit to know before we get to discussing blonde Angelina. While the group may all be on earth, most of them don’t actually hang out together on a regular basis. They’re all in their corners of the globe, doing their thing. Some haven’t seen each other for centuries. Tense family reunion vibes straight out of August: Osage County ensue.
Anyway, time to talk about Angie’s character Thena. She’s a blonde badass with the power to form any weapon she wishes out of cosmic energy. She also has a deep relationship with the secretive most powerful Eternal, a big ol’ CGI fellow named Gilgamesh.
Thena seems brave and principled. She says she deeply loves humanity (which is more than what most of humanity can say), and only wants to protect them. Another CGI fellow tells her she can’t, but we have a feeling she’s going to try her best.