‘Eternals’: Salma Hayek On Her Marvel Character’s Gender Swap

Ajak was originally a man in the comics.

The Eternals Thor Ragnarok Marvel Studios Scanline VFX Studios Salma Hayek Don Lee Barry Keoghan Chloe Zhao Kevin Feige MCU Celestials Black Widow Sersi Ikaris Chloe Zhao Celestial Arishem

Eternals star Salma Hayek has revealed new details about her Marvel character Ajak.

Salma Hayek is set to make her debut as Ajak the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the coming year thanks to Chloe Zhao’s Eternals. One of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s slate, Eternals is set to focus on a race of immortal aliens who are sent to Earth to protect humans from Deviants, their counterparts. The film is set throughout their 7,000 years plus tenure on Earth, which should give fans an early insight into the MCU’s Earth. The film is also set to reinvent the core Eternals mythos, with one of the biggest changes being Ajak’s gender.

In the comics, Ajak, the leader of the Eternals, is a male. Salma Hayek revealed in a chat with Total Film that she and Chloe Zhao swapped Ajak’s gender for Eternals so the character could emit motherly energy to those who follow her.

“Chloé decided to tackle the concept of leadership from the perspective of motherhood… I’m not a mother. I’m an alien. I can’t have kids. However, my character used to be a man in the comics, now it’s a woman. So instead of just changing the gender, I proposed to [Zhao] to really bring something that is very specific to womanhood.”

“I need to guide them into things… we have a mission in life, in the world. A mother also needs to guide her kids. When they misbehave, she will reprimand them, but always from the perspective of motherhood… There’s an empathy to it – although I’m not allowed to have empathy, because I’m an alien. So that makes it interesting…”

Chloe Zhao has always had a strong sensibility for crafting warm, strong, and powerful women, so it’s great to see that Salma Hayek’s Ajak will embody that as the leader of the team. It’s interesting how Hayek points out that Ajak isn’t capable of having kids and it makes us wonder if she’s the only Eternals who can’t conceive a child. We’re also curious to know what other character changes Zhao and her Marvel cast have made in their adaption.

Chloe Zhao is directing Eternals from a script written by Matthew and Ryan Firpo. The cast of the Marvel Studios project includes Gemma Chan as Sersi, Kit Harington as Dane Whitman, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Angelina Jolie as Thena, and Barry Keoghan as Druig.

Eternals is set to hit theaters on November 5, 2021. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the upcoming film and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original content.

Source: Total Film