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Salma Hayek in talks for Marvel's The Eternals

Marvel just keeps crushing it with its casting of the forthcoming The Eternals.

Academy Award-nominated actress Salma Hayek is reportedly in talks for a role in the film. She would join a cast that already includes Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, and Kumail Nanjiani. (via The Wrap)

Hayek would become the latest in a long line of respected, veteran thespians to lend their presence to the MCU. It's a list that includes the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford, Stanley Tucci, Michael Keaton, and Marisa Tomei, and with the brand well-established as a reliable purveyor of some of the best, most profitable mainstream entertainment of the last decade, it's likely to include every living actor who has ever been nominated for an Oscar by the time it's all said and done (if indeed that time ever comes).

In case you're unaware, The Eternals is based on characters created by the great Jack Kirby in the mid-'70s. They are a race of near-immortal, superpowered being created by the Celestials (which were already teased in Guardians of the Galaxy) to protect the Earth from their mutated offshoot race, the Deviants (which counted Thanos among their number in the comics). 

The book's main characters (and those rumored to be included in the movie) were Ikaris, a third-generation Eternal who has dwelt on Earth since ancient times; Sersi, a relatively "young" Eternal who enjoys mingling with humans and has been associated with the Avengers; Makkari, a speedster and expert engineer; Thena (AKA Azura), a diplomatic sort who once gave birth to twins fathered by the Deviant Kro; Gilgamesh (also known as the Forgotten One), a fierce warrior who has at times turned heel on his fellow Eternals; Zuras, a first-generation Eternal whom Earthlings have often mistaken for the god Zeus; Starfox (AKA Eros), a shameless womanizer who was once defended against allegations of sexual assault in court by attorney Jennifer Walters, the She-Hulk; and Elysius, a female artificial being imbued with the powers of the Eternals.

While the role Hayek is being eyed for is being kept under wraps, a simple process of elimination allows us to hazard a guess. Jolie is reportedly taking on the role of Sersi, which leaves Thena and Elysius as the only other women on the roster. Our money is on Thena, a woman whose passion and temperamental streak would be a good fit for the famously expressive Hayek. We have a tough time seeing the actress portraying what is essentially an artificial intelligence — but then again, Marvel is nothing if not full of surprises.

Hayek has been busy of late; in the last two years alone, she's appeared in no fewer than five features, the most recent being Drunk Parents opposite Alec Baldwin. She currently has three more projects in post-production (including the sequel to 2017's The Hitman's Bodyguard), and she's currently shooting the sci-fi/drama Bliss for director Mike Cahill.

But these days, when Marvel calls, A-list actors tend to pick up the phone. The Eternals is expected to go before the cameras in August for a possible 2020 release, meaning that we're sure to get yet more juicy casting news in the months ahead. We'll be keeping out finger on the pulse, and we'll report any new developments as they break.