Kumail Nanjiani is reportedly in talks to star alongside Angelina Jolie in The Eternals, Marvel Studios’ adaptation of the comic book series of the same name, which is being directed by Beijing-born Chloé Zhao (The Rider), off a script by Matthew and Ryan Firpo. The 41-year-old Pakistani-American comedian is best known for starring in HBO’s Silicon Valley, and co-writing and starring in the Oscar-nominated, semi-autobiographical rom-com The Big Sick. There’s no word on whom Nanjiani will play in The Eternals, which forms part of Marvel’s post-Avengers: Endgame slate and is set to film this year.
The Hollywood Reporter first brought word of the new development, claiming that Marvel was circling Nanjiani for what would be his superhero debut. The studio offered no comment. THR claims that his potential co-star Jolie will likely play Sersi, who differs from other Eternals in “her desire to live amongst humans”. One part of The Eternals is said to be a love story between Ikaris and Sersi.
The Eternals were created by writer-artist Jack Kirby in 1976 as superpowered, near-immortal beings that came to life as “an offshoot of the evolutionary process that created sentient life on Earth”. They were made by the Celestials to be defenders of the planet and as result, brush up against their destructive counterparts, the Deviants. After being missing from Marvel Comics for two decades, author Neil Gaiman and artist John Romita, Jr. brought them up to speed in 2006.
Nanjiani was most recently seen in CBS All Access’ reboot of The Twilight Zone from executive producer Jordan Peele. His upcoming projects include Men in Black: International, in which he voices a character called Pawny, and action comedy Stuber, wherein he plays an Uber driver and stars alongside Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy).
The Eternals is reportedly one of two Marvel films that will go on the floors this year, in addition to Scarlett Johansson’s standalone Black Widow movie, from director Cate Shortland (Lore). Marvel has two films scheduled for 2020 and three apiece for 2021 and 2022, but it is yet to announce anything, because it’s being protective of the events in Endgame, which opens April 26, 2019 worldwide.
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