Angelina Jolie Originally Thought Her Eternals Role Was Just a Cameo

Eternals producer Nate Moore has revealed that Angelina Jolie initially thought her role in the film would be nothing more than a cameo. The Oscar-winning actress is set to portray Thena in the latest offering from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Eternals is directed by Nomadland director Chloe Zhao and is set to debut in theaters on November 5.

Eternals will focus on the titular team of cosmic Marvel superheroes. They are a group of immortals who have quietly lived among humans for centuries but were told not to get involved in any conflicts unless Deviants were involved. However, the film sees them surface from hiding when The Deviants emerge and begin wreaking havoc on the world. In addition to Angelina Jolie, the film’s large ensemble includes Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani, Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden, Captain Marvel actress Gemma Chan, Atlanta actor Bryan Tyree Henry, and Frida star Salma Hayek, as well as several others.

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With the release of Eternals in November, Angelina Jolie is about to become a major part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it explores how The Eternals helped early humans. That said, during a visit to the set of Eternals, producer Nate Moore admitted that Jolie initially assumed her role in Eternals was going to boil down to a small cameo before she realized she would be part of the core ensemble. In his remarks, Moore said:

When we first talked to her, I think she thought, well, I know she thought we wanted her for a very, very small cameo. So she was sort of surprised at the size of the role, and really threw herself into Thena and creating a movement style for Thena and a fighting style for Thena that was unique.

From Moore’s recollection, it sounds like Jolie became significantly more invested in Eternals as she learned more about the scope of her character. Elsewhere in his set visit interview, Moore also noted how Jolie drew from her experiences on films like Salt and Tomb Raider to help shape the stunt work in the movie. As her character Thena is an expert combatant with the ability to materialize infinite weapons from the palms of her hands, Jolie’s extensive background in the field of stunt work likely served her well on the project.

It will be interesting to see how Eternals handles the weight of Angelina Jolie’s star power. This is largely because the film is arguably the first MCU ensemble film that’s also a complete origin story from the ground up. Thena is a central character in the film, but Gemma Chan's Sersi has been noted as the main character of the movie, so Jolie's exact amount of screentime remains to be seen. Audiences can catch Angelina Jolie in her role as Thena when Eternals debuts in theaters on November 5.

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