Ever since it was announced that Chloe Zhao was directing Eternals and that she basically had full creative control over the film, fans have been clamoring to see how the director, who eschews CGI, sound stages, and special effects for real-world shooting, would bring her style to the uniformity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This Eternals teaser trailer gives us our first good look at exactly that, delivering a hint of a Marvel film that both feels different visually yet retains some familiarity.
The film follows the titular Eternals, a race of extremely powerful alien beings who have made their home on Earth, guiding here and there but never interfering… not even when Thanos snapped half the population of the universe out of existence. In the comics, Thanos actually is an Eternal, but it isn’t clear if he’ll be connected in any way here. The family of aliens will be forced out of hiding and must reunite to battle humanity’s oldest enemy, the Deviants. Just how that will all be connected to the MCU is unclear, but the characters are clearly paying attention to the Avengers as the clip at the end shows, reminiscent of the credits scene from The Avengers.
This is just the Eternals teaser trailer, so we don’t get much plot played out here. But the emphasis is clearly on the characters and not the action. Yes, we get a brief look at the Bollywood dance number in the film, but there aren’t a lot of sky lasers and heroes punching each other here. Instead, the trailer focuses on Zhao’s incredible cinematography and the characters of the Eternals themselves.
As Marvel’s official description says, you have “Richard Madden as the all-powerful Ikaris, Gemma Chan as humankind-loving Sersi, Kumail Nanjiani as cosmic-powered Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as the super-fast Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as the intelligent inventor Phastos, Salma Hayek as the wise and spiritual leader Ajak, Lia McHugh as the eternally young, old-soul Sprite, Don Lee as the powerful Gilgamesh, Barry Keoghan as aloof loner Druig, and Angelina Jolie as the fierce warrior Thena.” Kit Harington is also in the film as Dane Whitman. The fact that the shot above seems to actually have all those actors standing together on an actual cliff overlooking an actual ocean should tell you all you need to know about how different this MCU film could turn out to be. This isn’t Thor and Loki meeting their father on a hilariously CGI cliff with the actors nowhere near each other.
Eternals will release in theaters on Nov. 5.