When the Oscar nominated actress was asked by Total Film for her thoughts on her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Selma Hayek responded, “At 53 – finally! – I can be a superhero. I play Ajak, who is the leader of the superheroes and all of them are people you would never have imagined. Except for Angelina [Jolie]. Angelina – she was born to be a superhero!”
Salma Hayek is excited at becoming a superhero at 53 in The Eternals, Marvel’s upcoming blockbuster film to be released in early 2021
Now that her and the other main Eternals cast members have been confirmed, Salma Hayek took to social media to express her excitement at obtaining this role, with Ajak getting to be another empowering woman in this continually-expanding franchise. The actress said on Instagram, to both English and Spanish speakers:
I’m so excited to join the Marvel family as Ajak, the mother of all Eternals. It used to be the father of all Eternals, but girls… this is OUR time!!!! Estoy muy emocionada de añadirme a la familia Marvel como Ajak la madre de todos los Eternos. Antes era el padre de todos los Eternos, pero chicas… ESTE es nuestro momento!!!!
Ajak isn’t the first Marvel character to be gender-swapped for the MCU. Within the past year, we’ve seen women versions of Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp and Mar-Vell in Captain Marvel, and over in the Netflix realm, Jeri Hogarth, a retooled version of Jeryn Hogarth, was one of Jessica Jones’ main characters.
In the comics, Ajak was born in Siberia millennia ago and became an archaeologist. Along with being able to manipulate cosmic energy and control his cellular makeup like all the other Eternals can do, Ajak is also capable of communicating with the Celestials (if they’re nearby), the beings that created the Eternals and their sworn enemies, the Deviants, millions of years ago.
Joining Salma Hayek’s Ajak in The Eternals are Richard Madden’s Ikaris, Angelina Jolie’s Thena, Kumai Nanjiani’s Kingo, Bryan Tyree Henry’s Phastos, Lauren Ridloff’s Makkari, Lia McHugh’s Sprite and Don Lee’s Gilgamesh. Chloe Zhao is directing the movie, and Matthew and Ryan Firpo wrote the script.
But it wasn’t the impressive roster of actors that attracted Hayek to The Eternals. Instead, she jumped at the chance to work alongside director Chloe Zhao.
“The director is amazing. Did you see her first movie? The Rider? I was blown away. The one thing that excited me the most was the director,” emphatically declared Hayek. “She’s incredible.”
We’ll get to see what the pair create with The Eternals when the superhero epic is released on 12 February, 2021.