Marvel Leak: Did Kit Harington Just Confirm Which Superhero He’ll Play?

Kit Harington playing a sword-wielding hero? Imagine that! Okay, fine it may not seem like much of a stretch for the Game of Thrones actor formerly known as Jon Snow to pick up a sword for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Having been part of one giant franchise known for its super-secrecy, why not join another? 

Kit Harington speaks on stage during ACE Comic Con Midwest at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.
Marvel’s Kit Harington | Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

It’s hardly a secret that Harington will be playing Dane Whitman in The Eternals, due out next November. What was not entirely clear is if he would also be playing Black Knight. It’s become a little clearer now. 

Who are The Eternals? 

Since these Marvel heroes are not as well known as The Avengers, The X-Men or The Fantastic Four, let’s lay a little groundwork first. 

The Eternals came out around the time of America’s bicentennial in 1976. Created by Marvel legend Jack Kirby, they are another group of heroes but with a very different spin.

Instead of being mutants, astronauts bombarded with cosmic rays or a collection of heroes who are famous individually. The Eternals are a race of humanoids created by the Celestials to be defenders of the earth. 

Their opposite numbers are the Deviants, which are grotesque villains. While the Eternals look human, they did not have much contact with earth-dwellers. Although an Eternal can mate with a human, the result has always been a human child, rather than a half-superhero. 

What’s the difference between Dane Whitman and the Black Knight?

The Hollywood Reporter announced Harington would be starring as Dane Whitman back in August. While that publication noted that Whitman is the Black Knight in the comics, it was not until this month that we got solid evidence there was a connection.

According to Comicbook.com, Harington himself has dropped hints he would be playing the Black Knight, who in the comics is also a member of the Avengers. 

Harington said: “Now I’m going with a Marvel movie. I’m going on to play a superhero …I’m trying to choose things as far away from Jon Snow as possible, but I’m playing a superhero and he’s got a sword.”

Many actors would be reluctant to take on a new role that was so similar to the one that had made him famous. At this rate, it might be surprising to see Harington without a sword. But let’s put it this way: If you were the actor known for swordplay, and then Kevin Feige came along and asked you to do it again for the biggest franchise in movies, wouldn’t you say yes?

Why are the Eternals important to Marvel?

Feige and company are taking something of a risk with the Eternals because this is Marvel’s big superhero group that is not a household name. However, with the iconic Avengers characters having played out their arc with Avengers: Endgame, the studio wants to keep expanding its universe. 

The studio, which has been criticized in the past for being a boys’ club, is looking to up the ante on its female representation. Captain Marvel planted that flag last year with a female co-director.

Now, both of Marvel’s 2020 movies have females calling the shots in front of and behind the camera. Black Widow, coming out in May is being directed by Cate Shortland, while The Eternals co-stars Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek and is directed by Chinese-American talent Chloe Zhao.

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 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.”