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Eternals Star On Why The Film Will Be Special Within The MCU

The wait for Eternals feels... well, eternal. The upcoming Marvel movie, which will be the first ensemble film of Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was originally slated to be released on February 12, 2021, but the date got pushed back to November 5 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Just think, in another part of the multiverse, a week from now we'd all be piling into a movie theater to watch the biggest Marvel movie since Avengers: Endgame the way it was meant to be watched, on a big screen with great sound. Alas.

Part of why the wait for Eternals feels so interminable is because the movie is so promising. It's about a team of ancient humanoid aliens with extraordinary superpowers who quietly live on Earth among humans but come out of hiding to protect their home from their re-emerged enemies, the Deviants. The impressive ensemble cast is the most diverse slate Marvel has ever assembled and includes Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Kit Harington, and Salma Hayek. 

Those are just the basics of why Eternals is an exciting and special project. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Salma Hayek got more into the specifics of why.

Why Eternals will be different

"I think it definitely has its own DNA within the Marvel universe. It is different," Hayek said in her interview with Entertainment Tonight. Hayek is taking on the role of Ajak, the mother of the Eternals who has the ability to communicate with the Celestials, the Eternals' even more ancient, nearly all-powerful creators. Hayek said that there are two main things that differentiate it from other Marvel movies: it was directed by a woman, Nomadland's Chloé Zhao, and it was largely filmed on location instead of in a studio.

Zhao, like other notable Marvel directors including Thor: Ragnarok's Taika Waititi and Black Panther's Ryan Coogler, was picked from the indie film world to put a more personal stamp on the $200 million blockbusters. "I think what Marvel has been so incredible at — Kevin [Feige] and Nate [Moore] and the whole team — they knew from the moment I pitched the film that I really wanted the scope and scale at the same time as the intimacy, they knew I wanted both," Zhao recently said an interview with journalist Margaret Gardiner. "They have been so incredible holding my hand through the entire process of allowing me to go as far as possible and as small as possible, and how that fit into the MCU."

Additionally, much of the film was shot outside of the controlled environment of a soundstage. "They're real locations, which is unusual for Marvel," Hayek said. Eternals was filmed in Oxford and London in England, as well as the Spanish territory the Canary Islands, with in-studio filming taking place at Pinewood Studios in England. "I'm very excited about the film, it definitely has the special vibe to it that is unique," Hayek added. "I'm really excited about it and I love my character and I love the cast."