Kumail Nanjiani Explains How ‘The Eternals’ Is Different From Every Other Marvel Movie

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Marvel Studios is releasing two films this year, one of which is the highly anticipated, The Eternals. A handful of Marvel Comics films associated with the brand will also be released in 2020, like Sony’s Morbius and Venom 2, but only Black Widow and The Eternals officially belong in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Kumail Nanjiani is one of the stars of the upcoming team-up flick and will portray Kingo Sunen, a near-immortal who traditionally fights in the ways of the samurai. This is the first superhero role for the now bulked-up Kumail, who has recently commented on how The Eternals will stand apart from the rest of the movies in the MCU.

The actor sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss what fans can expect from the new movie, and how it’s different from its predecessors.

“It’s really, really an epic. And it’s really such a science-fiction story. It’s a superhero story, but in some ways, it’s the most sci-fi of all the Marvel movies and it’s the most epic of all the Marvel movies. And the story spans thousands of years. So it’s really not like any of the other Marvel movies.”

While some might classify comic book movies in the sci-fi genre, they traditionally are labeled as superhero films and lack a lot of the stereotypical science fiction aspects. The characters of The Eternals garnered their powers from cosmic energy, one of the first nods to science-fiction. There will be a small connection to Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel, the only films to mention the Celestials, who had a large role in the creation of the Eternals, who have existed for millennia.

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I never thought I’d be one of those people who would post a thirsty shirtless, but I’ve worked way too hard for way too long so here we are. You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel’s Eternals and decided I wanted to transform how I looked. I would not have been able to do this if I didn’t have a full year with the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world. I’m glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before. It would have been impossible without these resources and time. So big thanks to @grantrobertsfit who started working with me at the beginning of the year and made me understand true physical pain for months and months. Then, once we started shooting, a massive thanks to @davidhigginslondon and his team (@ellispartridge, @thebeardypt, @tomcheesemanfitness) for training me almost every day and making me strong, limber and injury free. I can almost touch my toes now. (And thank you for forcing me to do cheat meals David.) Matthews Street Catering for their delicious and healthy meals. And finally, the biggest thanks goes to @emilyvgordon for putting up with me complaining and talking about only working out and dieting for the last year. I promise I’ll be interesting again some day. #thirstyshirtless (Photo by @markupson.) (edit: I left off one very important person: @lancecallahan who trained me for 6 years and helped me build the foundation I could use to do this. Thank you!)

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While Kumail has made The Eternals seem like a massive event of a film by calling it an “epic,” he also noted that a lot of shooting made it seem more like an independent movie.

“But the other thing is, making this massive movie in many important ways still feels like you’re making an independent movie, in the sense that it really feels like a family and it feels like it’s really about characters and relationships and very small moments,” he added.

Kumail also noted the very diverse cast of the movie, including Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Brian Tyree Henry, and Don Lee. The actor joked that moviegoers never get to see a group of people like this together, something that has him very excited about the film.

Kumail remembered being shown a still from the film of him and the rest of the cast in their uniforms that only heightened his feelings regarding the epicness of it all. The Big Sick actor then added that he loves superhero movies, and this is exactly the type of film that he would want to see, only hyping fans further for its release.

The Eternals lands in theaters on November 6, 2020.