Kumail Nanjiani Responds To Reported Eternals Review Bomb

Kumail Nanjiani, star of Marvel Studios' upcoming film Eternals, recently tweeted a response to the reported homophobic review bombing of his new movie. Eternals is the penultimate theatrical release from Marvel in 2021, directed by Academy Award-winning director Chloé Zhao and featuring a star-studded cast including Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, and Gemma Chan. The film will follow the titular group of immortal, god-like beings, who originally made their debut within the pages of Marvel Comics in 1976. Nanjiani himself is set to play an Eternal named Kingo in the film.

Eternals has generated controversy from some comic readers who were upset at how the film updated the race, gender, and sexuality of the Eternals from their comic book counterparts. As one example, Nanjiani's own character was originally portrayed as a Japanese samurai in the comics, but has been updated for the film to be a Bollywood movie star. The most controversial change, however, pertains to the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ characters in the form of Brian Tyree Henry's Eternal, Phastos. Those agitated by the news of the MCU's first openly gay superhero have flooded Eternals IMDb page with negative reviews, criticizing the film for its LGBTQIA+ representation (despite the fact that the film has yet to release worldwide).

Related: How The MCU Has Already Changed The Eternals' Comic Origin

Reports of Eternals' coordinated review bomb recently caught Nanjiani's attention, eliciting a curt response from the actor: "Looks like we’re upsetting the right people." Nanjiani has been outspoken about his support for LGBTQIA+ representation in film, which explains his low tolerance for the supposed homophobic motives behind the review bomb. Check out the actor's full tweet below:

Click here to view the post on Twitter.

Eternals producer Nate Moore has previously explained the reasons why certain characters departed drastically from their comic book counterparts. He says that every change was informed by the desire to create "dynamics that were interesting" and "narratively made sense." Unlike some films that tokenize their marginalized characters, it seems that a great deal of consideration went into ensuring that Eternals' race/gender/sexuality updates were handled with care. These changes weren't made to simply pander; they will be integral aspects of these characters as the film's narrative unfolds onscreen.

Review embargoes for Eternals lifted last week, unveiling a very mixed reception from critics. Given the drastic range in reactions, it stands to reason that general audiences will similarly be divided over the film. However, the inclusion of gay characters shouldn't factor into these considerations. Marvel has always embraced diversity as a fundamental aspect of their comics, and Marvel Studios should be applauded for taking steps toward doing the same with their films. Phastos' arrival into the MCU will hopefully open opportunities for more LGBTQIA+ representation as the franchise moves forward.

More: Why Eternals' Early Reviews Are So Mixed

Source: Kumail Nanjiani/Twitter



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