Superstar actress Salma Hayek discusses her role in The Eternals and exactly what makes the project so special.
The Eternals is the next Marvel Phase 4 movie set for release following Black Widow and it looks to be a game changer for the MCU. With the immortal heroes having existed on Earth for thousands of years the question becomes: Where have they been?
The movie could be taking inspiration from Neil Gaiman’s Eternals miniseries where these immortal, indestructible beings have forgotten who and what they are. If that is the case, maybe the snap that wiped out half of the MCU and then the snap that brought them back, has stirred something in their memories and also acted as a beacon for their enemies, The Deviants.
Salma Hayek on The Eternals
Salma Hayek shared her excitement at playing a superhero in this upcoming ensemble film.
“At 53 – finally! – I can be a superhero…I play Ajak, who is the leader of the superheroes and all of them are people you would never have imagined. Except for Angelina [Jolie]. Angelina – she was born to be a superhero!”
Salma Hayek plays a gender swapped version of Ajak. Ajak isn’t the leader of the Eternals in the comics, so Hayek’s excitement is understandable. This star-studded cast will be portraying a group of ancient and powerful beings. Salma Hayek will not only be the first Latino superhero in the MCU, but also leading this group of superheroes as Ajak, the mother of all Eternals.
All of the Eternals have similar powers, each with notable specialties. Hayek’s Ajak has the ability to communicate with the Celestials when they are near. The Celestials are the ancient Space Gods who created the Eternals and their enemies the Deviants. The Celestials have been mentioned before in Guardians of the Galaxy with Eson the Searcher seen wielding the Power Stone to destroy a planet on the Collector’s hologram and Knowhere located inside the hollowed-out head of one of the long dead Celestials.
Hayek went on to give a little more detail on the upcoming approach to adapting The Eternals:
“The rest of us [Eternals] are like misfits, and we’re all superheroes, and I get to be the leader. That sounds really appropriate! Yes, why not? Let’s go! It just made me feel like, ‘Maybe they’re doing something different.’ And they are.”
Many of The Eternals characters are different from page to screen. As mentioned before, Ajak is male and not the leader of the group. In addition, Ajak isn’t the only gender swapped character, Sprite and Makkari are as well. Makkari will also be the first deaf superhero in the MCU. Kingo in the comics is a master swordsman who trained as a samurai and made the transition to become a Japanese action star, but instead he will be a Bollywood star in the film, played by Kumail Nanjiani. Phastos will be the first LGBTQ superhero in the MCU.
Marvel is definitely changing things up with these characters with so many of them differing from their comic book counterparts. It looks like Marvel will be taking advantage of The Eternals being a relatively unknown team of heroes, much like the Guardians of the Galaxy were before the 2014 movie came out.
“The one thing that excited me the most was the director,” Hayek insists. “She’s incredible.”
Hayek attributes her initial interest in The Eternals to Chloe Zhao being attached to the project. Zhao’s award winning 2018 film The Rider, which Hayek loved, followed a cowboy who must reevaluate his life and rediscover himself after an accident ends his riding career. This character driven story won many awards and the hearts of critics. The Eternals will be Zhao’s first major studio film and it is an impressive next step.
Salma Hayek’s excitement for the upcoming Phase 4 film is infectious. The Eternals boasts an impressive cast and director and although it has been pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic it should be interesting to see what comes from this next step in the MCU plan. The Eternals is shaping up to completely change the history within the MCU and could lead to larger scale stories both on Earth and throughout the Universe. Which leads us to speculate how will the Eternals and the Deviants play into the MCU and the characters we’ve already met?
The Eternals Official Synopsis
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, an unexpected tragedy forces them (The Eternals) out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s most ancient enemy, The Deviants.
The Eternals is scheduled for theatrical release February 12, 2021 and is directed by Chloe Zhao. The Eternals stars Salma Hayek as Ajak, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Richard Madden as Ikarus, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Bryan Tyree Henry as Phastos, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Barry Koghan as Druid, Gemma Chan as Sersi, and Kit Harrington as Black Knight.
Source: Games Radar