there’s something going on with Eternals, Oscar winner Chloé Zhao’s debut plunge into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Perhaps it’s that this is one of the first MCU episodes to be almost fully formed, without endless teases and character introductions during previous episodes. Perhaps it’s the way the last full August trailer seemed to apologize for this in advance, explaining that Earth’s cosmic guardians hadn’t bothered to take down the villainous Thanos during the earth-shattering events of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame because they were told not to by an annoying unknown entity. But more likely… wait a minute, is that Angelina Jolie in a blonde wig and silver spandex?
Yes, the almost infinitely famous Jolie plays Thena, an elite Eternal Warrior who can form any weapon from pure cosmic energy. And why not? Because if there’s a human more suited to playing a beautiful, divine alien that’s lived for over 7,000 years (but no older), I’ve yet to meet them.
And yet Jolie is an outlier in the Marvel universe, a star so bright she doesn’t need any studio to propel her through the Hollywood cosmos. Marvel doesn’t need her either, as it has turned both strangers and fast climbers into A-listers in its 20-film journey.
Jolie, however, is more of an AAA-lister, so famous that the character can hardly be distinguished from the actor.
She’s not Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man, an actor trying to rebuild his career after disappearing from everyone’s radar for a few years. She’s not Glenn Close in Guardians of the Galaxy, a veteran who plays her fantasy role as a knowing semi-cameo, aware that everyone knows who she is, but is happy to suspend disbelief because it’s so much fun to see her chewy landscape seen as a badass in Natty blue space clothes. She’s Angelina Jolie, for God’s sake! To make her disappear into a role these days, the special effects wizzes would have to digitally disintegrate her at a subatomic level and rebuild her from pixels made from cherry blossoms. And even then we would still see Jolie on screen.
Why is she in Eternals? Did we accidentally tune in to a DC movie trailer by accident? Because Jolie would make perfect sense to show up as a magical lake titan in an upcoming Aquaman sequel, or perhaps in a Batman movie as the object of Bruce Wayne’s affection. After all, Nicole Kidman has done both, and she’s almost as illustrious on-screen presence as Jolie. But no, Eternals is definitely a Marvel movie – they named Thanos.
Could it be that despite her incredible celebrity, Jolie still needs the Disney studio? Her efforts in the high-profile Maleficent movies didn’t get much love from the critics, and she hasn’t really prospered in lower dramatic rates lately.
If this were an episode of Entourage, the classic 00s TV show about an actor trying to make it in Hollywood, starring in a Marvel movie is exactly the kind of trick that Jeremy Piven’s super agent Ari Gold would try. out to get his client. career back on track. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make it any less weird that Jolie is in this film. She has the power to blow everyone off the screen, but currently never does.
But if Marvel can adopt Jolie and boost her career to the point where in ten years we see her as one of the main players of the superhero mega-saga, this could be the most impressive stunt since Tony Stark invented time travel. using sticky-back plastic and an algebra textbook.