We already know that Salma Hayek’s character in Marvel’s upcoming movie, Eternals, is going to be different from the comics. In the Marvel comics, Ajak is a man. As Salma Hayek describes her character, and the impression audiences have seen in the Eternals trailer, her character would be described as feminine and motherly, while also being stoic and powerful. She’s a healer, and she’s the bridge between the Celestials and the Eternals. Ajak will be the leader of the group but hasn’t been talked about or seen too heavily in the movie’s promotion. Now, we’ve exclusively learned her fate in the film, and it may be a surprising blow.
We’ve learned from one of our trusted and proven inside sources that Salma Hayek’s character, Ajak, is going to die early on in the Eternals movie. As the group’s leader, this is going to be a major hit for the group, both personally and on a universal scale. While our source was unable to confirm the details of her death scene, it’s a fair bet that the death taking place early on in the movie will mean that it’s the event that spurs them into further action and changes the group’s goals.
Update: This tip from our scooper confirms an earlier rumor posted on reddit, in which a user claimed to leak the entire plot of The Eternals.
The movie is reportedly 140 minutes long, which is sizable, but makes sense with how many characters are in this movie. That will give a lot of runtime for the movie to develop a new leader for the group after Salma Hayek’s death. The trailer and promo images heavily suggest that may be Angelina Jolie’s character (Thena). Perhaps that’s why she sits at the head of the table in the Eternals trailer?
Angelina Jolie had quite a few moments in the trailer with the spotlight on her, which arguably could have been because the movie’s marketing team was trying to capitalize on Angelina Jolie’s fame. However, now that we know Salma Hayek will die early on in Eternals, the spotlight on Angelina Jolie reads differently.
Look at how the diverse group stands in the below photo from the trailer for Eternals. This image has been seen in many places. It puts Salma Hayek front and center, in the lead of the group in a V formation, marking her as the leader. While Angelina Jolie’s Thena is toward the front, it does appear that Richard Madden’s character, Ikaris (the man in the blue outfit) is the closest to Salma Hayek. This suggests that Madden and Jolie are the most likely frontrunners to lead the group after Ajak dies.
When promoting Eternals, Salma Hayek has talked a lot about how this Marvel movie gets diversity right. In this image, we can see that the characters aren’t just played by actors of different ethnicities and genders, but also ages. Hayek likes to point out how awesome it’s been to be in her 50s and getting to play a superhero, working with one of her favorite directors. Because this movie naturally has a diverse cast, audiences may be watching it more carefully for how that is handled.
Salma Hayek is a Mexican-American woman. Deciding who to pass her leadership role onto must have been a very serious decision for the team behind this one. Introducing a 55-year-old Mexican-American actress as the leader for your Marvel ensemble, only to kill her off early in the movie, is naturally going to draw criticism. The movie will have to handle that carefully, both in determining who they pass her role off to, while still making Salma Hayek’s character important and not doing something terrible, like fridging her.
Killing off a group’s leader early on in the movie is a common way to move a story forward toward a major goal with big stakes, and can lead to a great movie. Hopefully, Eternals handles Salma Hayek’s death just right, making it meaningful and getting audiences inspired to see the rest of the group take on whatever’s ahead.