Is Marvel About to Land This Superstar for Their Next Big Movie?

If all goes as planned, Marvel will land not one but two big stars for one of their upcoming movies. It was already reported that Angelina Jolie was in talks to join the cast of The Eternals. Now it’s looking like Salma Hayek will join her. She is reportedly in early talks to join the cast, though Marvel is keeping any details a secret for now.

While the deals have not been finalized, and Marvel Studios has not yet announced the lineup of their next phase of movies, it is generally expected that The Eternals will come out if not next year, sometime in 2020. Here’s what we can scope out, given the relatively limited information available. 

Salma Hayek
Salma Hayek could join The Eternals by Marvel | Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

What do we know about the movie? 

If Jolie and Hayek are cast, they will join Richard Madden and Kumail Nanjiani in the movie. Madden, probably best known for playing Rob Stark on Game of Thrones, can currently be seen in the Elton John biopic Rocketman, playing John Reid, who was Elton John’s manager and onetime partner. Nanjiani, known for his roles in Silicon Valley and The Big Sick, can be heard in Men In Black: International as the voice of the tiny alien Pawny. 

Hayek’s recent credits include Beatriz at Dinner and How to Be a Latin Lover. She is probably best known for her roles in Desperado and Frida, the latter of which got her an Oscar nomination. She recently finished The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. Jolie, who has been relatively inactive of late, is about to reprise the role of Maleficent in Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, scheduled for release October 18. 

The movie will be directed by Chloe Zhao, who was at first eyed to direct the Black Widow standalone movie (more on that later). She is known for the acclaimed indie movies The Rider and Songs My Brothers Taught Me.

Who are The Eternals? 

One of Marvel’s lesser-known properties was created in 1976 by legendary Marvel artist Jack Kirby, who co-created Captain America. The Eternals are near-immortal super-beings who were made to be the defenders of the Earth. Their enemies are the Deviants.

Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that one aspect to the story involves the romance between Ikaris, a man fueled by cosmic energy, and Sersi (not to be confused with the Game of Thrones character) who relishes moving amongst humans. According to IMDB, Jolie would play Sersi and Madden would play Ikaris. It is not clear yet what role Hayek might play. 

Eternals is one of many many many things that we are actively beginning to have creative discussions about to see if we believe in them enough to put them on a slate,” Marvel President Kevin Feige said last year in The Wrap, adding that the studio is considering “sequels to existing characters, new interpretation of existing characters and trying whole new swings with stuff that most people never heard of. So there are writers coming in on lots of different projects and lots of different ideas. And you’ll only start to hear more and more of it.”

When will Marvel announce their next phase? 

Marvel is expected to announce their slate soon, now that Spider-Man: Far From Home basically wraps up the current phase. Until the titles are officially announced, here is our best guess at what the roster will be over the next two years. The dates are definite, the titles are not. This includes only Disney/MCU movies. 

May 1, 2020: Black Widow: Scarlett Johansson has already been seen shooting a movie in Norway, and it’s almost certainly her character’s long-awaited standalone movie. Cate Shortland is directing, and the cast includes David Harbour and Rachel Weisz.

November 6, 2020: The Eternals probably goes here because, like Black Widow, it’s the one that has a director signed. 

February 12, 2021: Black Panther 2. Black Panther came out in February, so this seems like a good place to put the sequel. Ryan Coogler is already set to return as director.

May 7, 2021: Shang Chi, about a martial arts hero, is slated to be directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, who directed Brie Larson in Short Term 12.

November 5, 2021: Doctor Strange’s first movie came out in November 2016, so it’s a good bet his second will get the same time slot.