Marvel never asked actor Richard Madden to dye his hair blonde or change his accent for his role in Eternities. Madden plays Ikaris, who has traditionally had blonde hair in his cartoon incarnation. Ikaris was created by Jack Kirby in 1976 and is an eternal one, created by heaven thousands of years ago, endowed with superhuman abilities to protect and guide humanity. Ikaris’ earliest appearance shows him with long-haired blonde locks, and he is equipped with a blue-and-red costume with three circular designs on the chest.
Eternities is directed by Oscar winner Chloé Zhao and stars Madden, Gemma Chan, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Lauren Ridloff, Ma Dong-seok, Bryan Tyree Henry and Barry Keoghan. The film takes place in MCU’s Phase Four series of films, which ushers in a new era for the franchise universe and introduces a host of new characters that began with last month’s Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings. Eternities will be the first realization of live-action of the characters in MCU.
Below Eternities visit in January 2020, Screen Rant and other venues were ready to talk to the filmmakers about the film, including producer Nate Moore, who provided an insight into Ikari’s appearance in the film. In live-action Eternities film, Ikaris is highlighted as a short-cut brunette and has a blue-and-gold costume that similarly replicates the cartoon uniform minus the red trim. When asked if there was ever a time when they considered getting actor Richard Madden blond for the role to look more cartoon-precise, Moore said they not only asked him to dye his hair, but they also made him keep his accent and said: “We did not ask him to be blonde. So he mainly keeps his natural hair and the Scottish accent, which he was very excited about.”
Madden previously cut teeth on projects like HBOs Game of Thrones, bodyguard, and Rocket man. Also participating in Madden in the film is a fellow Game of Thrones star Kit Harington, who played Jon Snow on the show and plays Dane Whitman in Eternities, a character who eventually becomes The Black Knight. Snow was the “half-brother” of Madden’s Robb Stark, so the two actors have a strong story together on the mega-popular show. It’s unclear if any of them will share screentime in Eternities, but it is nonetheless a reunion from a casting perspective.
Many comics for movies change the appearance of the characters, and Ikaris is just another link in that chain. In the end, blonde hair feels less consistent for character than origin, power, and performance, so it’s easy to overlook the aspect lost in translation. Jack Kirby created a massive backstory for these characters, which is far more important than getting every color and shade lifted off the page and put on screen. With such a diverse and talented cast, Eternities is already ready to make a big splash in the box office and will definitely make these longtime cartoon characters into household names, just like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor did many years ago.