Speculation that Harry Styles had joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been circulating for some time now, but a lot has been said since the world found out the rumor ended up being true.
On Sept. 11, 2020, a tweet announced that Styles’ joining the cast of Olivia Wilde’s film Don’t Worry Darling would be his first acting role since Dunkirk. The announcement was retweeted with the caption, “Second if we’re counting the Marvel movie no one knows he’s in.” The tweet has since been deleted but not before fans could circulate screenshots of it all over social media.
All of the hype surrounding this rumor led to fans trying to figure out what character Styles would be playing and in what film. Marvel’s Eternals was later confirmed to be Styles’ superhero debut as Eros, the brother of Thanos, as critics and press that attended the Oct. 18 premiere of the film took to social media to express their reactions to Styles’ appearance in a mid-credits scene. However, the film was not set to be released in theaters until Nov. 6, so fans had to wait a little while longer to see it for themselves.
As a fan of both Marvel and Styles, I was already over the moon about getting to go see Eternals without confirmation that the latter is in it. Naturally, though, my friends and I got tickets to see it at a late night showing on Nov. 5. It’s an absolutely epic entrance into this new phase of the MCU and I lost all cool when Eros appeared as promised; it felt like the ultimate crossover of two of my favorite things.
MCU fans have not all been receptive of Styles as Eros. Take a look at the comments of any social media post and there is a lot of negativity towards his casting for several reasons. Some distrust his acting abilities because Dunkirk was his only prior film experience, despite the fact that he was deemed talented enough to be cast in Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling and Michael Grandage’s My Policeman. Others are bothered by non-MCU fans only going to see Eternals because of Styles.
The response from fans of Styles, however, has been very positive. They are proud of Styles for venturing into acting and look forward to seeing him in more films in general, not just Marvel ones.
Here’s why I think this casting works. For starters, Eternals director Chloé Zhao discussed in an interview that she was not going to introduce Eros as a new Phase Four character if Styles didn’t agree to do the part. “I like casting people who are pretty much a version of that character in real life, and as soon as I met Harry I thought that he is Eros,” Zhao said in an interview with Screen Rant Plus. “So, that was really a package deal.”
Having seen confirmations of Styles’ role as Eros on social media the day I saw him in concert and being a big fan of him in general, I can’t help but agree with Zhao. The name Eros is derived from Eros, the Greek God of love and sex and lets face it, Styles’ confidence while he dances around a stage oozes sensuality. Not to mention, his live shows promoting his album Fine Line is called Love on Tour.
Eros’ and Styles’ personalities have a similar essence to them that makes the inevitability of seeing more of this character in the future that much more promising. The additional bonus is how well known and loved Styles is. If casting him will draw more people to movie theaters and therefore boost ticket sales, why not, right?
Overall, MCU fans need to keep an eye on the line between actually providing constructive criticism of Marvel’s new projects and gatekeeping the fandom from any new fans that hop on the bandwagon of this beloved fictional universe. Zhao is an Oscar winning director and that should count for something when considering who she chose to cast in her film. Additionally, an ounce of openness would go a long way when critiquing newer actors’ projects in general.
The beauty of films is the way they can bring people together and I can say from personal experience, that is 100% true. Bringing together Marvel fans and Styles’ fans together is something that should be celebrated rather than criticized.
Tate Raub is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Tate know by tweeting her @tatertot1310.