As many have expected, it appears The Eternals will end up being the first movie to take place in the current Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline. Though an exact time the movie takes place has yet to be revealed, Eternals star Kumail Nanjiani admitted at D23 the film takes place "way, way, way back," well before the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, a movie set during the early 1940s.
"It's really, really exciting," Nanjiani tells ET. "It's a lot different than the other Marvel movies we've seen. It's a lot more cosmic." Nanjiani then dives a bit into the tone of the movie, teasing a massive cosmic story Marvel is about to tell.
"It really is about the beginnings of the Marvel universe, so we're telling a story...he [Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige] says spans thousands of years," the actor continues. "Before, you know, Captain America was the oldest member we've seen and now, it's going to be way, way, way back so it really going to be the building blocks of the MCU."
Feige himself had teased a similar storyline, saying the property could lay the groundwork for some the MCU's myths and legends.
"Well, one of the cool things about that property and what Jack Kirby did with it and what's been done with it in recent years is it does tie into they're called Eternals, they've been around for a long time. You know?" Feige said. "There's this notion of all of these myths and legends that we know from ancient times, were they inspired by the Eternals? Kevin Feige: Were they Eternals? It's a very ... you know, it's an ancient aliens kind of sci-fi trope that we think would be fun to explore someday."
The sprawling cast for The Eternals includes Angelina Jolie (Thena), Richard Madden (Ikaris), Kumail Nanjiani (Kingo), Lauren Ridloff (Makkari), Brian Tyree Henry (Phastos), Salma Hayek (Ajak), Lia McHugh (Sprite), Don Lee (Gilgamesh), Kit Harington (Dane Whitman/Black Knight), Gemma Chan (Sersi), and Barry Keoghan (Druig). Chloé Zhao will direct from a script by Matthew and Ryan Firpo.
The Eternals is set to bow November 6, 2020. Other upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall of 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If…? In Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022. Other MCU properties without release dates include Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk.