We are officially out of the D23 Expo and there is A LOT to cover. Today I wanted to get started with The (not that anticipated?) Eternals.
Since it’s announcement, and especially after the confirmation of the Disney Acquisition of Fox, the property has become very easily dismissed by fans. After all, even among comic readers the IP isn’t that strong…
To make up for it, Marvel has thrown an extremely star-studded cast that includes Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, and this weekend added Kit Harington and Gemma Chan.
When the film was announced headlines read that it would feature the MCU’s first openly gay superhero (though it was not specified who) and that the film would be first and foremost a love story… This gay comic book nerd allowed his heart to flutter just a little too much with the hope that this might be the first gay LEAD superhero film. However, this weekend seemed to confirm that Gemma Chan was not just cast the eternal Sersi, but would also be the film’s star.
In the (short-lived) comics Sersi has had a romantic relationship with Ikarus (Richard Madden). Therefore, I assumed this would be the romantic pairing for the movie. With Kit Harington’s announcement as Black Knight, an also lesser-known Avenger, it would appear they are going with the Sersi and Black Knight romantic connection from the 90’s.
The gay hero for the film is still on the table! Feige confirming he is, “married with children and it’s a part of who he is.” Alright… Well… At this point my money is on Richard Madden’s Ikarus, simply for the fact that he is an Eternals centerpiece, and if they have taken the lead love-interest role away from him in exchange for Black Knight, it may be the only choice that won’t piss off fans.
Do I still wish a gay Ikarus was front and center for this film? YES. With Gemma Chan being announced as the lead, rather than this being a full-blown ensemble, it just makes the announcement of the gay hero feel like baiting once again. I am concerned in general that the Eternals might just be “back-up singers” for the two stars, but time will tell.
Hopefully the film is well-received and there is space for the character (likely Ikarus) to be featured elsewhere in other films down the line.