Follow us for updates
© 2022
Read the Story →

Marvel Firsts: 'Eternals' Stars Deaf and South Asian Superheroes, a Gay Kiss

A milestone for the Marvel universe.
by Reuters
Nov 3, 2021
FILE PHOTO: Cast member Gemma Chan poses at the premiere for the film "Eternals" in Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 18, 2021.
Photo/s: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

The new action movie "Eternals" features several milestones for Walt Disney Co's blockbuster Marvel universe, from its first deaf and South Asian superheroes to the first gay kiss.

The film arrives in U.S. theaters on Friday after delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and stars actors from around the globe, including Mexico, the United States, Britain, Ireland, South Korea, Lebanon, and India.

Angelina Jolie, who plays a warrior named Thena, said she hopes the diversity "starts to normalize what should have been there in the first place."

"I hope people watch these films in years to come and we don't even think about it as being diverse, it just becomes what's normal and what's right," Jolie told Reuters at the movie's red-carpet premiere in Hollywood.

"Eternals" tells the story of 10 immortal aliens, never before seen on the big screen, who have been separated for millennia but reunite to fight monstrous creatures known as Deviants.

Continue reading below ↓

The filmmakers and cast said it made sense for the Eternals to represent many walks of life.

"These characters have been here since the dawn of civilization so of course, they should represent the breadth and beauty of humanity ... It feels very natural," said British-Asian actress Gemma Chan, who plays the central role of Sersi, an Eternal who works at a museum in London.

Among other cast members are Pakistani-American actor Kumail Nanjiani portraying Kingo, the first South Asian hero in a Marvel film, and Mexican-born Salma Hayek who stars as Ajak, the Eternals' leader.

When Brian Tyree Henry who plays Phastos, a master inventor who is gay, kisses his partner as they fear the world might end, audience members at the Hollywood premiere cheered and clapped.

"It's truly emotional and you can feel it," said Chinese-born director Chloe Zhao, who won an Oscar this year for "Nomadland." "It's not just a physical kiss. These two people have intense feelings for each other and they're not afraid to show it."

Continue reading below ↓
Recommended Videos

Lauren Ridloff who plays Makkari, the first deaf superhero in a Marvel movie, said she believes filmgoers have grown more accustomed to a diversity of characters on screen.

"We went through the Black Lives Matter movement. We started having conversations about what true representation means, what inclusivity means," she said in American Sign Language. "The timing is perfect."


What If... Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp Never Came Back?

Reportr is now on Quento. Download the app or visit the Quento website for more articles and videos from Reportr and your favorite websites.

Latest Headlines
Read Next
Recent News
Some relief from rising prices.
With the reopening of several local destinations, this app has never been more timely.
Landmark Roe vs Wade ruling of 1973 is overturned.
Its rise mirrors the rise of technology for the masses.
It cites global uncertainties for its move.
The news. So what? Subscribe to the newsletter that explains what the news means for you.
The email address you entered is invalid.
Thank you for signing up to On Three, reportr's weekly newsletter delivered to your mailbox three times a week. Only the latest, most useful and most insightful reads.
By signing up to newsletter, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.