The MCU is continuing to add diversity to its roster, with The Eternals cementing the new forward-thinking vision. And adding to the movie’s incorporation of other peoples and cultures is the news that it will feature a Bollywood-style song and dance number.
This reveal comes courtesy of Kumail Nanjiani, who’s already been a talking point due to his jacked-up final form for the film. He broke the news on Deadline’s New Hollywood podcast, where he and his wife and creative partner Emily V. Gordon were discussing their Apple+ anthology series Little America that tells stories of immigrant life.
In The Eternals, Nanjiani will be playing Kingo, one of the titular alien immortals who’ve been hiding out on Earth for seven thousand years. Both the comics and film versions of the character cast him as a film star, though the former is Japanese and renowned for samurai movies, while with Nanjiani being Pakistani the character’s forte has been altered to fit his South Asian origin.
Bollywood, if you’re unfamiliar, is the part of the Indian film industry that produces Hindi-language movies and is one of the largest in the world. It’s best known for lavish musicals that feature heavily composited scenes of lovestruck characters singing their feelings to one another during elaborate dance routines. In keeping with this, Nanjiani will be seen in such a production, presumably early in the film before the Eternals reunite to battle the Deviants, which he stated required a great deal of training.
“I took months of Bollywood dance classes to prepare for that. It’s really a workout… and you know, there’s like 52 dancers, and 51 of them are professional dancers and then there’s me!”
In addition to its assorted POC actors in prominent roles, The Eternals will see also the MCU’s first LGBT hero officially declared to be such (Carol Danvers is gay and you will not convince me otherwise), taking further steps forward for representation that we can only hope will continue.