'Eternals' trailer: First look at Zain Al Rafeea in a Marvel film and four other takeaways

From our first look at the Syrian-refugee-turned-actor's character to Don Lee's American acting debut, there's a lot to look forward to in the coming superhero movie

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Marvel has unveiled its first official trailer for the highly anticipated film Eternals. The superhero flick features a star-studded cast that includes Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden and Gemma Chan and is directed by Oscar winner Chloe Zhao.

The film centres on an immortal alien race who have secretly lived on Earth for more than 7,000 years and are reunited to protect humanity from an evil threat. While the Eternals may not be as recognisable as other superheroes in the Marvel Universe, there's certainly no shortage of star power in the film.

Richard Madden and Gemma Chan in 'Eternals'. Courtesy Marvel 
Richard Madden and Gemma Chan in 'Eternals'. Courtesy Marvel 

The trailer is only two minutes long and has been viewed more than 11 million times in less than 24 hours, meaning that fans are excited. There's also a lot to unpack. So, for those who can't wait until its release on November 5, here are our five takeaways from the trailer.

Our first look at 'Capernaum' star Zain Al Rafeea

Fans have finally had their first look at Syrian refugee-turned-actor Zain Al Rafeea in the film. Al Rafeea, 16, is most known for his lead role in the 2018 Oscar-nominated Capernaum and he's certainly grown up since. He appears for just a couple of seconds in the trailer.

Zain Al Rafeea in 'Eternals'. 
Zain Al Rafeea in 'Eternals'. 

Things have been kept mum about exactly which role the young actor will be playing, but if the trailer is anything to go by, it is likely he will play a villager who comes across the Eternals as they make their way to Earth.

A diverse and inclusive superhero cast

Eternals does something that other Marvel films have failed to do: showcase a truly diverse and inclusive cast. While the MCU has made plenty of money through its many films, with the exception of Black Panther, there have not been many people of colour featured, especially in lead roles.

'Eternals' features a diverse cast line-up. 
'Eternals' features a diverse cast line-up. 

However, Eternals provides an impressive ensemble cast that also features Kumail Nanjiani, who plays Kingo, a superhero who leads a public life as a Bollywood star, and Lauren Ridloff who plays the MCU's first deaf superhero Makkari. This diversity is also best captured in a final stunning shot showing all the Eternals standing together.

Chloe Zhao’s directing touch

For anyone who has seen Nomadland, the Oscar-winning film directed by Zhao, it's clear that she's put her touch on Eternals as well. From the sweeping opening shot of the water to the emotional score playing in the background, the trailer has a different feel than past Marvel films and that's likely thanks to the Chinese director. While Marvel films tend to be on the comedic side, Eternals appears to have a far more dramatic direction in comparison.

Don Lee’s American debut

Korean-American actor Ma Dong-seok, who also goes by Don Lee, is a staple in South Korean films. He is most notable for having a breakout role in 2016's Zombie apocalypse hit Train to Busan. With 54 film credits to his name, Lee will make his American film debut with a role as Gilgamesh, a superhero who possesses superior strength and stamina and can project an exoskeleton of cosmic energy.

Ma Dong-seok aka Don Lee in 'Train to Busan'. IMDb
Ma Dong-seok aka Don Lee in 'Train to Busan'. IMDb

Who will lead the Avengers?

In continuity with the MCU timeline, towards the end of the trailer, it’s asked: “So now that Captain Rogers and Iron Man are both gone, who do you think is going to lead the Avengers?"

While Madden’s Ikaris says that he can do it, a response that elicits laughter from other Eternals, Marvel fans think this has hinted that Sam Wilson (played by Anthony Mackie) will take over the mantle.

Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastien Stan) in Marvel Studios' The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Chuck Zlotnick / Marvel Studios
Anthony Mackie as The Falcon seemed to take over the Captain America mantle at the end of 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier'. Chuck Zlotnick / Marvel Studios

As with everything Marvel, things are always connected. For those who watched the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it's known that Wilson had wanted to take over as Captain America.

Since the question is phrased using “Captain Rogers” rather than “Captain America,” fans have gotten excited that this could mean Wilson will be the one to lead the Avengers going forward.