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The Internet's Freaking Out Over Kumail Nanjiani's Eternals Transformation

Say hello to the latest graduate of the Mighty Marvel fitness program.

Kumail Nanjiani recently took to Instagram to post pics of himself after getting absolutely shredded for his role in Marvel Studios' upcoming epic The Eternals, and the entirety of the internet promptly lost its mind.

Nanjiani now rivals fellow funnyman Chris Pratt for the most astonishing metamorphosis to be undergone for a Marvel film. You'll recall that Pratt, who was best-known for the role of the rather portly Andy Dwyer on the classic comedy series Parks and Recreation, was featured in a similarly startling set photo which hit the web shortly before the release of 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. Nanjiani, who is probably most recognized for his role on HBO's Silicon Valley, has always been a somewhat skinny, gangly type. Now, he and Pratt have something else in common besides their roles in Cosmic-based Marvel films and being hilarious: they both look like they've been sculpted from freaking marble.

Just... holy crap, right? Nanjiani posted a long missive along with the photos in which, to his credit, he acknowledged that it's not just anybody who can hit the gym and pull off such a transformation in such a seemingly short time, but that it really helped to a) have working out be a huge part of his actual job for the last year and b) be supported in the endeavor by the deep-pocketed Marvel Studios.

"I never thought I'd be one of those people who would post a thirsty shirtless, but I've worked way too hard for way too long so here we are," Nanjiani's caption read in part. "You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel's Eternals and decided I wanted to transform how I looked. I would not have been able to do this if I didn't have a full year with the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world. I'm glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before. It would have been impossible without these resources and time." He went on to thank the trainers who "made [him] understand true physical pain for months and months," and deadpanned, "I think I can almost touch my toes now." 

Nanjiani's wife, writer and producer Emily V. Gordon, responded to a comment from filmmaker Tze Chun (who simply offered her "congratulations") on Twitter. "My husband works hard for every role he takes, but he's worked hard in many new ways for this one," she wrote. "I'm so proud of him. I always have been. Also, we spent the majority of this past weekend playing Borderlands 3 so don't think he's changed too much."

Who is Kumail Nanjiani playing in The Eternals?

Nanjiani will be taking on one of the more interesting roles among The Eternals' ginormous ensemble cast: that of Kingo Sunen, who settled down in Japan centuries ago, isolating himself from his fellow Eternals and learning the ways of the samurai. He typically wields a nigh-unbreakable sword that can cut through virtually any material, but this is the only advantage he tends to deem acceptable. While he possesses the powers inherent to all internals — flight, super strength, energy projection, near-immortality — he normally refuses to use said powers in combat, preferring to fight in the traditional manner of the samurai.

In the comics, he uses these skills in the modern age to become a world-famous movie star, usually portraying samurai and martial artists in Japanese action films. If you ask us, it's this quirk that makes Nanjiani perfect for the role; you can just picture him going on about honor and tradition before donning sunglasses and speeding away in some ridiculously rare sports car, so as not to be late for the day's shoot.

We have no doubt that Nanjiani will be a standout among The Eternals' cast, the largest ensemble Marvel has ever fielded for a non-team-up movie. It includes: Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) as Ikaris, the leader of the team; Angelina Jolie (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil) as Thena, who has been known to be sympathetic toward certain members of the Eternals' rival race the Deviants; Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians) as Sersi, a relatively young Eternal who nevertheless has been involved in many important events in humanity's history; Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk) as Druig, who is often known by the pleasant descriptor "Lord of Flames and Nightmares"; Lauren Ridloff (The Walking Dead) as a gender-swapped version of Makkari, the Eternals' resident speedster; Brian Tyree Henry (Child's Play) as Phastos, a master weapons smith who nevertheless prefers not to fight; Salma Hayek (The Hitman's Bodyguard) as a gender-swapped Ajak, who has spent most of her time on Earth in the icy region of Siberia; and Lia McHugh (The Lodge) as Sprite, a trickster with the appearance of a ten-year old child.

Obviously, this flick is shaping up to be a Marvel adventure quite unlike any we've seen before; owing to the timeless nature of its heroes, Marvel boss Kevin Feige has said that it may very well be an epic that spans "tens of thousands of years." One thing we can say for sure, however: Kumail Nanjiani will be looking damn good while cracking wise and slashing foes to ribbons.

The Eternals hits the big screen on November 6, 2020.