Barry Keoghan manifested his role in the upcoming Marvel film, Eternals, all the way back in 2013. Keoghan portrays Druig in Marvel’s future addition of new heroes for Phase 4 of the MCU. The film was written and directed by Chloé Zhao, who just won the Best Director Oscar in April for her film, Nomadland, which also won Best Picture.

Eternals is set after the events of Endgame, and follows the Eternals—immortal aliens created by the Celestials who have unknowingly lived on Earth for thousands of years—as they reunite to face their evil counterparts, the Deviants. The film stars a diverse ensemble cast (and features both Marvel’s first openly LGBTQ and first hearing impaired superheroes), including Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie. The film also stars Barry Keoghan as Druig, an Eternal with the powers of mind control who debates with the group about their interactions with humanity. Given this tension and Druig’s history within the comics, Keoghan’s character is also rumored to be the villain of the film, though it is not certain.

Keoghan asked Stan Lee to make him a superhero on Twitter in early 2013, years before he would go on to have a role in Eternals. Stan Lee, of course, was Marvel’s creative leader and the co-creator for plenty of Marvel’s most popular heroes such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men, and many more. Lee has made fun cameos in many of the MCU titles and received an executive producer credit for much of the MCU. Lee passed in 2018 at the age of 95. Check out Keoghan’s tweet below:

Keoghan’s major breakout role was as the chilling antagonist in Yorgos Lanthimos’s 2017 film, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which earned him many accolades, including nominations for both a British Independent Film Award and an Independent Spirit Award. Since then, Keoghan became more widely known for his work in Christopher Nolan’s hit film, Dunkirk, as well as the HBO miniseries, Chernobyl, which won the 2019 Golden Globe for Best Miniseries or Television Film. Keoghan will also appear in highly anticipated films including A24’s take on The Green Knight, starring Dev Patel, and Matt Reeves’s take on The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson.

One of the best things about the MCU is that all of the contributors to the universe, both cast and crew, are often big Marvel fans themselves, making the entire experience much more wholesome. Keoghan’s off-hand tweet to Stan Lee is not only a heartwarming marker for the growth of his career, but it’s also a testament to the power of the films within the MCU. Though not all may agree on the validity or quality of superhero films, it’s clear that they matter to large groups of people all around the world. Keoghan’s dream comes true in Eternals, which will premiere in theaters on November 5.

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