Salma Hayek, who stars in Chloé Zhao’s MCU film Eternals, hints that her team’s overall plan is about more than one battle with the Deviants.
Eternals‘ Salma Hayek teases her team’s overall plan to protect Earth from the Deviants. The upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film is directed and co-written by Chloé Zhao, whose Nomadland won Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards, and stars an ensemble cast of recognizable stars. After premiering later this month at the Rome Film Festival, Eternals will release wide on November 5.
Zhao’s film follows the titular, undying alien race who were created by the Celestials, mysterious and immensely powerful beings who have so far existed mostly on the MCU’s periphery, to protect Earth from their counterparts, the Deviants. Despite having the power to shape the course of human destiny, the Eternals have lived among humans in secret for centuries, instructed not to intervene in conflicts outside of their assigned task. But, according to the Eternals trailers, the restoration of the universe in Avengers: Endgame brought about the emergence of the Deviants, and the film sees the group reunite to protect humanity.
Fans have been eager to learn more about the immortal aliens’ purpose on Earth beyond this official description, and during a press visit to the Eternals set attended by SR back in January, 2020, Hayek offers Marvel audiences a nudge in the right direction. Though a Disney representative attempted to step in to prevent potential spoilers, she waved them off with an “I got this,” and proceeded to restate her team’s mission statement in what she calls “a more Mexican exaggerated style.” Her answer hints at an intended outcome beyond protecting Earth in one single fight:
We are here because we are trying to protect humanity from the Deviants and maybe give them the strength to be able to protect themselves on their own.
Hayek plays Ajak, the leader of the Eternals, who possesses the ability to heal. Elsewhere in her comments to the press, she describes her character as the only member of the group in contact with the Celestials, and what she shares with the rest of them is entirely at her discretion. Hayek also describes having approached her Eternals role from a maternal perspective, seeing the rest of the team as her children, though this is not an explicit element of the story itself. Off-screen, however, she says the progression of filming one-on-one to group scenes did help the cast feel like a family.
With Eternals releasing in the Marvel canon post-Infinity saga, a key question for fans has been why the powerful group chose not to get involved, but Hayek’s comment encourages the audience to think about the issue more broadly. The Avengers were ultimately strong enough to overcome Thanos and undo his halving of the universe, but Hayek suggests Earth’s Mightiest Heroes would not be able to fend off the Deviants, hinting at the sheer power they represent. Should the film end with humanity capable of defending themselves, the consequences of Eternals on the larger MCU could be more far-reaching than many have so far anticipated.
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