One of the biggest pop stars in the world has joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was an impressively kept secret—until right before the film’s debut when it was well-spoiled online. In one of the two Eternals mid-credit scenes, Harry Styles saunters onto the screen. He plays Eros an iconic cosmic playboy and Thanos’s brother. So he comes to the MCU with a bit of baggage and a lot of charisma.
So, of course, finding the right actor to play Eros seems like something that would take months of scouting and auditions. But actually, for Chloé Zhao, Harry Styles was always the answer. The director, who actually pitched Eros and Pip’s inclusion in the film to Marvel, told Deadline that she’d seen Styles in Dunkirk—his acting debut—and he’d been on her radar ever since.
Here’s how it all goes down in the film: In the first of two end credit scenes, Thena, Makkari, and Druig are aboard the Domo fresh on their mission to find more Eternals. Which is immediately derailed when Arishem absconds with Sersi, Phastos, and Kingo for their role in not allowing Earth’s destruction. However, just as the trio is figuring out their next move, Eros and Pip the Troll arrive on the Domo offering their assistance. (Patton Oswalt is Pip.) It’s just a short introduction, but it has major implications moving forward.
Zhao revealed, “Harry as Eros was very much a package deal for me. I pitched the idea of Pip the Troll and Eros to Kevin [Feige] a while back, and I love the idea of exploring an Eternal who is beyond Titan and who may have influenced Thanos throughout the years the same way Eternals influenced us, earthlings.”
But Zhao made it absolutely clear that there wasn’t a casting process or even a back-up actor per se. It came down to meeting Styles and deciding he was perfect, and getting the superstar and Feige on board.
“And then, it wasn’t like I suggested Eros, and let’s go find actors,” she shared with Deadline. “I kept tabs on Harry since Dunkirk, I thought he was very interesting. After meeting him I realized he is that character—the same way I cast the rest of my cast. There’s so much of Eros in him. For me, if he says yes, and Kevin says yes, then it’s a go. And I’m very happy they both did.”
While we only saw a tiny glimpse of Styles as Eros—a.k.a. Starfox—in Eternals, it has us very excited for what’s to come for the character and the actor.