The two-minute teaser trailer for Nomadland Oscar winner Chloé Zhao’s first major Hollywood film begins with a large alien ship arriving at a small village. Salma Hayek’s Ajak then proceeds to introduce how a race of superhero beings has quietly helped humankind for centuries.
“We have watched and guided. We have helped them progress and seen them accomplish wonders. Throughout the years we have never interfered, until now,” Ajak says, as images of the rest of the heroes and some of their abilities play.
The foreboding voiceover leads into scenes of chaos as the heroes, including Richard Madden’s Ikaris and Gemma Chang’s Sersi who appear to be lovers, adapt to living on Earth and saving humans from a new threat.
The teaser then shows the whole cast come together for an impressive group shot, with Hayek, Madden, Chang and Angelina Jolie’s Thena at the front of the group, flanked by Ma Dong-seok, Lia McHugh, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Kumail Nanjiani and Barry Keoghan.
While the teaser is mostly serious, it ends with signature Marvel humor as Lia McHugh’s Sprite asks an innocent question while the Eternals enjoy a meal.
“So now that Captain Rogers and Iron Man are both gone, who do you think’s gonna lead the Avengers?” Sprite asks the group.
“I could lead them,” Madden’s Ikaris says a bit hopeful.
But that idea is quickly squashed as it earns a side-eye from Jolie’s Thena before the whole groups bursts into laughs.
In a recent Variety cover story, Hayek and Zhao talked about the importance of casting Hayek in what’s seemingly a lead role. Zhao said it was intentional to have the 54-year-old actress directly combating ageism in Hollywood.
“Ageism in Hollywood is a very concerning issue that we must stand against as artists,” Zhao told Variety. “Aging is a beautiful part of life that should be celebrated. It’s really an honor for us to have Salma to lead the ‘Eternals’ family.”
Likewise, Hayek was aware of the importance of a Mexican woman being portrayed as a superhero. That moment of awareness came when she finally put the hero suit on, and despite previously being worried about feeling claustrophobic, she felt emotional instead.
“I went to put it on, I found myself profoundly moved,” she told Variety. “It was a very strange experience because I didn’t expect it. I forgot about how does it fit? Am I going to get a claustrophobic attack? All I could see was, ‘Oh my God, here’s a Mexican female in this outfit and this is really happening. And yes, we get to be superheroes.'”