‘Eternals’ Has a Bollywood Dance Sequence Featuring Kumail Nanjiani

The new Eternals trailer has piqued the interest of Marvel fans around the world. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe journeys to unexplored cosmic spaces and introduces more characters from a myriad of its comics, the scope for what can be portrayed onscreen is wider than ever. While the fans have been speculating what can be expected from the new film, what nobody anticipated was a Bollywood connection.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 02: Kumail Nanjiani attends the Warner Bros. premiere of "The Suicide Squad" at Regency Village Theatre on August 02, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
Kumail Nanjiani | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

What Bollywood connection are we talking about?

Well, the film found its Bollywood connection through Kumail Nanjiani’s character Kingo. The Eternals first came to Earth 7,000 years ago and since then have lived among humans. Many of them, have taken up work as humans do, like Sersi, played by Gemma Chan, who is a curator. Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry, has helped humans in their technological progress. But the Eternals have done all of it while keeping a low profile.

Quite opposite to that low profile is Kingo, who is a famous Bollywood actor. When Ikaris, played by Richard Madden, sets to find the Eternals, it is likely that he would find him in India on the sets of a Bollywood film.

As a superhero, Kingo is a skilled swordsman who has the ability to manipulate energy and create projectiles using it. While his superhero powers might also help him in Bollywood, his powers as a Bollywood star are acting and dancing. Hence, a Bollywood dance sequence.

The evidence is in the teaser

Toward the end of the first teaser of Eternals, the audience got a glimpse of Ikaris and Sersi in Indian attire, standing in each other’s arms with flower garlands around their neck, against a backdrop of clay candles or diyas — almost imitating a low-key Indian wedding. 

A couple of frames later we see an overhead shot of a red glorious room with women dressed in what looks like pink and blue Indian outfits dancing — quite closely resembling a grand Bollywood movie dance sequence. 

And as we jump to the next frame, our doubts are confirmed as we see Nanjiani in a navy blue outfit from what looks like an old period drama from the Hindi movie industry, dancing.

Well, does Nanjiani think he can dance?

“I am not a dancer,” Nanjiani confessed in an interview with EW.

He added that he does not have a sense of rhythm and he had to take months of classes to prepare for “a scene where Kingo performs an elaborate Bollywood dance number.”

Nanjiani who went through months of training to get in shape for his Marvel debut said that that dance sequence was “very challenging.” 

He added that he grew up watching a lot of Bollywood movies, especially the ones until the 90s. Further, to be able to pay an homage to those movies that he fondly remembers was a special experience for him. Moreover, he wanted the scene to work.

“I know that if we could pull this off and capture the joy and excitement of a Bollywood dance number in a Marvel movie, that would be special,” Nanjiani said.

From the looks of it, in an effort to appeal to its global audience, Marvel is pulling out all the stops. Though whether or not it works still remains to be seen.

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