Eternals premieres with diverse cast, MCU’s first deaf role

LOS ANGELES – Actresses Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek brought Hollywood glamour to the world premiere of Marvel Studios’ latest comic book adapation, Eternals, on Monday.

Directed by Chloe Zhao, who won best director and best picture for the film Nomadland at the Oscars earlier this year, the superhero movie - which opens in cinemas here on Nov 4 - boasts one of the most diverse casts of any Marvel movie.

Jolie said: “I hope it just starts to normalise 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, and what’s appropriate representation of the world we live in.” 

Gemma Chan plays the lead role of Sersi, one of the Eternals, a group of aliens who have lived on Earth and secretly guided humanity for 7,000 years.

She said: “It’s got a different tone, visually it’s going to be quite different. Obviously the cast is huge and it spans 7,000 years so it’s really an epic story. 

“One of the themes of the film is connection, connection to one another, connection to earth. I hope that resonates with people in some way.” 

Eternals also features the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first deaf character in Lauren Ridloff’s Makkari.

US actress Lauren Ridloff attends the premiere of 'Eternals' at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles, California, USA, 18 October 2021. EPA

“I might be the first but I won’t be the only one for much longer,” signed Ridloff in American Sign Language.

“There’s another deaf superhero coming into the MCU very soon so this is definitely a game-changer.” - REUTERS