The new Marvel Studios film, The Eternals, is marked by an extremely diverse cast with actors from all walks of life as well as characters never before seen in the MCU, such as a gay superhero and another hard of hearing.
“Why did it take so long?”, Asked Angelina Jolie about the diversity in an MCU film at the microphone of Variety at the world premiere of The Eternals. “When we got there, all together, we didn’t feel like it was new and cool. I felt like this was how it always should have been”, Continued the interpreter of the Eternal Thena.
Because yes, it took a long time for a Marvel production to include as many characters from the diversity of Chloe Zhao’s film, something that seems very natural for the comedians and co-writers of the feature film.
“It’s a universal story, it’s about immortal aliens who represent the planet they are on and to do that they had to look like the inhabitants of the planet and there are some from all over the world.”, Assured Kaz Firpo.
This is how the feature film notably features Ajak, played by Salma Hayek, a male character in the comics. “I never imagined that I would be a Mexican superheroine in my 50s“, the star told Variety.
More than a symbol
And to give more details in the Eternals press kit: “JI’m very happy to be a part of this particular Marvel movie because Chloe had a specific vision for it. It’s the most diverse cast they’ve ever assembled. She used our personalities and our diversity in a totally fluid way in the film, so that it was inclusive while welcoming this richness of origins..”
A feeling shared by Gemma Chan (Sersi) who slipped to the microphone of Variety: “When we met and started working together, we realized that there were elements of each of us in our characters, and that’s why we were chosen. The cast is diverse, but it’s not purely symbolic.”
First times at Marvel
One of the Eternals’ heroines Makkari is played by Lauren Ridloff, a deaf actress seen in The Walking Dead. This role, she sees it as an opportunity to show the public that anyone can be a superhero.
“I can’t wait for kids, and my boys, to see a character like that on the big screen. It is so important. People have an idea of what it means to be a superhero, but I think tonight when they go to see the movie, they’re going to discover different superheroes. Not just a deaf superhero but every superhero onscreen, and they’re going to feel seen and represented.”, She declared during the preview of the feature film.
Kumail Nanjiani, who plays Kingo, told us: “There hadn’t yet been a South Asian superhero in a Marvel movie or even a popular Hollywood movie so that was a hell of a push.“Then add:”And I know that just by my presence, by doing my job well, I can have a positive influence somewhere. But if I focus too much on this responsibility, it can be overwhelming.”
Countries will not broadcast the film
Along with heroes of vastly different origins, The Eternals introduces the MCU’s first gay superhero, played by Brian Tyree Henry. A character who has a husband, with whom he shares a kiss on screen, and a son. A plot that is still not to the taste of some states.
According to Deadline, “censors have called for additional cuts beyond any scene of same-sex intimacy. Disney has decided not to make these changes and therefore distribution certificates have not been issued.”. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman will therefore not broadcast the feature film.
A decision that made Angelina Jolie react in the Australian media news.com.au: “I still do not understand how we live in a world where today there are still people who do not see the family of Phastos, the beauty of this relationship and this love.”
And to conclude: “The fact that someone is angry about it, that they feel threatened by it, that they do not approve or appreciate it, it is ignorance.”
The stars of the Eternals at the premiere of the film:
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The Eternals: Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek champion diversity in Marvel movie