Marvel has revealed the first look at its Eternals epic, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Chloe Zhao, while also confirming the release dates of 10 upcoming movies.
The gems were included in a three-minute video titled “Marvel Studios Celebrates the Movies” – it’s bound to give fans massive feels with carefully edited footage from the first 23 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to emphasise the franchise’s interconnectedness, before going on to tease what’s coming next.
In the forward-looking part of the video, there were clips from three upcoming films, Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals.
Eternals is the only film which has not previously released any video footage.
The story is centred on a group of immortal godlike alien characters who have lived on Earth for 7000 years, secretly protecting humanity from their opposite forces, the Deviants.
Eternals, due to be released in Australia on October 28, will feature Marvel’s first major gay character as well as a deaf character, played by deaf actor Ridloff.
From the first images, we should expect Eternals to look very different from the usual Marvel superhero fare, with its aesthetic reminiscent of Zhao’s previous films, which have all been quieter stories with a strong emphasis on naturalistic cinematography.
A shot of Hayek atop a horse with a hat on her head evokes the look of Zhao’s 2017 film, The Rider, which was set within a community of rodeo cowboys in South Dakota.
Elsewhere in the Marvel video, there were snippets of previously unseen footage from Black Widow, set to be released on July 8 in both cinemas and on Disney+’s Premier Access ($34.99 in Australia), and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, to be released in Australian cinemas on September 2.
Along withSpider-Man: No Way Home, which is distributed through Sony and will be released on Boxing Day in Australia, there will be four Marvel movies out in 2021.
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For its 2022 slate, Marvel also revealed the Black Panther sequel will be called Black Panther: Wakanda Forever while Captain Marvel 2 has been retitled The Marvels.
The Marvels is a better title to reflect the fact the movie, to be directed by Nia DaCosta (Little Woods, upcoming Candyman reboot), will be a sequel to both Captain Marvel and Disney+ series Ms Marvel, the latter centred on a Pakistani-American teen with superpowers.
The release dates for Marvel’s 2022 and 2023 movies are (these are American dates, and Australian dates often vary):
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – March 25, 2022
Thor: Love and Thunder – May 6, 2022
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – July 8, 2022
The Marvels – November 11, 2022
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – February 17, 2023
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 – May 5, 2023
There was no mention of the planned Blade project with Mahershala Ali as the human-vampire hybrid or what’s happening with the Deadpool sequel.
With Marvel Studios investing so much in its streaming shows on Disney+, the video was also clearly designed to signal a recommitment to the cinema experience with the tagline at the end, “see you at the movies”.
Marvel has six Disney+ shows premiering in 2021, including the two that have already dropped, WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Still to come are Loki, What If…?, Ms Marvel and Hawkeye.
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