The Most Diverse MCU Movie Yet: Eternals

Photo+credit%3A+Wikimedia+Commons

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Makayla Monreal, Lifestyle Reporter

The premiere of the Eternals recently happened on October 18 and deep appreciation from the fans flooded the media for the immense diversity throughout the film. 

This MCU movie is one of the most diverse and developed cast in the MCU, with characters who are gender swapped from the original comic characters. It’s also a film with Black, Hispanic and Indian main characters, the first deaf main character in the Marvel universe, the use of ASL, the first openly gay character, and actors from around the globe. 

In Eternals, the first deaf superhero Makarri played by Lauren Ridloff was supposed to be played by a white male, but for the MCU adaptation the character is a deaf woman of color. Ridloff, who plays Makarri, hinted how her character’s deafness contributes to her superpowers.

 “Let’s just say Makkari would not be as fast as she is if it wasn’t for her deafness,” Ridloff told cheatsheet.com.

Ridloff continued, “I kept wanting to check in about how we would actually reveal my Deafness in the storyline, and we finally got to a point where I felt like we could actually show Makkari as having a deaf benefit or a deaf gain. That’s a word that we use within the community to show the idea that being deaf can actually be a good thing too, and we show that in the movie.”

This marks the first time a Marvel film has displayed a same sex couple and the first time a superhero film has ever labeled an LGBTQ character. This was very hard to believe for actor Haaz Sleiman, who came out as gay in 2017. He told Variety that playing the husband to one of the superheroes, Phastos (played by Byran Tyree Henry), was “beyond a dream come true, it’s life-saving.” 

He added, “I wish I had that when I was a kid to see this. My god. I wish! Can you imagine how many lives this is going to be saving — kids, young queer folk, who are being bullied, committing suicide, and not seeing themselves being represented? And now they get to see this — it’s above and beyond.” 

Salma Hayek, who is a Mexican actress, plays a gender swapped superhero named Ajak who is the leader of the eternals. Not only is she a woman and a person of color, a Mexican woman at that, but Hayek’s character is also one of the main leaders of the powerful group, the Eternals. A common theme in the MCU movies is centered around male character leads but not in this new phase 4 film.

Pakistani-American actor Kumail Ali Nanjiani plays Kingo, who pretty much has powers like everyone else, but prefers to fight the traditional samurai way. Kumali hinted that there was going to be a Bollywood dance scene expressing both excitement and anxiety about it. 

“There’s a Bollywood dance sequence, and I was like, ‘Chloé (director of Eternals), I don’t think I could do that,’” Nanjiani said in a global press conference. “She’s like, ‘Okay, we’ll make it a Bollywood action scene,’ and as soon as I got to London, she’s like, ‘It’s a dance sequence.’ I was like, ‘Give me a dance teacher right now.’” 

He also shared that it was challenging to learn to say the least, but it was also a really great experience for him.

The range in disabilities, gender, race, and sexuality truly creates a powerful and diverse movie that many fans are excited to see. As we enter phase 4 with such an amazing cast already, the potential for more variation and positive change grows within the MCU timeline.