The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe installment, Eternals, is now in theaters but soon fans will have the opportunity to take an insider's look at the epic new film. Five original costumes from the Marvel Studios film, as well as new behind-the-scenes details of how new technologies are enhancing the ability of cinema to illustrate new futures, will debut on November 20th as part of the new Smithsonian FUTURES exhibition at the museum's historic Arts and Industries Building (AIB).
"Since comics first came to prominence in the U.S. in the 1930s, they've flourished as an exciting new form of storytelling featuring entire universes with their own languages, cultures, people, heroines, and places," Ashley Molese, curator at AIB said in a statement. "Leaping from comic page to the screen, Marvel has helped create a whole new experience of world-building and future casting. Eternals takes some radical approaches to filmmaking by playing with scale and visual effects in ways never seen before in the MCU, time-traveling through humanity's earliest civilizations to beyond the cosmos."
In the exhibition, visitors will be able to come face to face with costumes for Sersi (Gemma Chan), Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), Sprite (Lia McHugh), Druig (Barry Keoghan), and Ikaris (Richard Madden) in the exhibition's Futures that Inspire hall. The space is designed to "explore leaps of imagination". Additionally, there will be exclusive, behind-the-scenes content that looks at the evolution from the sketch on paper to visual effects to the finished film. A new cinematic augmented reality experience, also available via iOS app, will introduce a technique of immersive storytelling that invites visitors to discover new interactive movie-like worlds.
The Eternals display joins other comic and science fiction-inspired art that showcases the visual language as well as cultural power of future world-building. Also in the exhibition are a new comic concept for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Native American artist Jeffrey Veregge, Octavia Butler's typewriter, Afrofuturism-inspired artwork set in an imagined Black utopia in "Cosmic Listening" by Stacey Robinson, award-winning video game Never Alone, a painting by 1960s space art visionary Chelsey Bonestell, new promotional posters that imagine Smithsonian exhibitions during the year 2071 by artist Brian Miller, and much more.
"It's exciting to see Eternals costumes on display at the Smithsonian in this new FUTURES exhibit," Eternals producer Nate Moore said. "Imagination, storytelling, and world-building form the foundation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and these costumes are great examples of that. Immense thought and detail went into their design, created by Ryan Meinerding and his visual development team and costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ, and we hope visitors will find themselves transported to the world of Jack Kirby and the Eternals while viewing them."
FUTURES will be the first major building-wide exploration of the future on the National Mall and will temporarily reopen America's oldest museum for the first time in nearly two decades. Part exhibition, part festival, FUTURES will celebrate the Smithsonian's 175th anniversary with more than 150 objects, ideas, prototypes, and installations that fuse art, technology, design, and history to help imagine possible futures on the horizon. FUTURES will be on view from November 20, 2021, through July 2022.