Director Chloé Zhao didn’t want anyone else to play Starfox in Eternals other than Harry Styles. Marvel Studios’ newest superhero film arrives in theaters and while it introduces the MCU’s Eternals, the film also debuts two other characters. The first one is Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman, who will eventually become Black Knight. And then, there’s Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) brother, Eros aka Starfox.
Styles’ introduction to the MCU took place at the very end of the blockbuster. As with most Marvel Studios films, Eternals wrapped up with two post-credits scenes. The first one sees Thena (Angelina Jolie), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), and Druig (Barry Keoghan) in search of Sersi (Gemma Chan), Sprite (Lia McHugh), and Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) who were abducted by the Celestial, Arishem, after they successfully stopped the Emergence. Suddenly, Pip the Troll (voiced by Patton Oswalt) arrives in their ship, followed by Starfox. Based on social media posts, this particular moment in Eternals was met with cheers in theaters, indicating that fans are excited about this big MCU casting.
Zhao sat down with Screen Rant for an exclusive interview where she was asked about her choice to cast Styles as Starfox. As it turns out, there was no traditional casting process for the role. When she pitched the idea of introducing Eros in Eternals, she already had the pop star-turned-actor in mind. Read her full answer below:
Starfox was not a character that we brought in like, “Oh, here is Starfox. Let’s go find the right actor to play it. When I pitched Starfox to Kevin, it was a package deal.
I loved the idea of Starfox – Eros is an Eternal in the setup. He’s just like our Eternals and comes from the same origin. So, the fact that he was on Titan all this time… What has happened that might have led to where Thanos was when we met him? I don’t have answers, but I’m curious. I thought he’s a really interesting character.
I thought about Harry since Dunkirk. I thought was very interesting what he did there, and I like casting people who are pretty much a version of that character in real life. And these two, as soon as I met Harry, I thought that he is Eros. So, that was really a package deal. If Kevin says yes, and if Harry says yes, then this is going to happen. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be having that post-credits scene.
Unlike the Mad Titan, who has a Deviant gene resulting in his purple skin, Styles’ Eros doesn’t, which is why he looks like a normal Eternal. It also makes it easier for him to blend in with human beings. Starfox has all the basic Eternals powers such as superhero strength, as well as healing and flying capabilities. But his standout capability is that he can also psionically stimulate the pleasure centers of someone’s brain. Essentially, he’s able to control someone’s emotions, making them pliable to whatever he wants. This particular skill makes him very dangerous if he wants to be. While he’s not a traditional hero in the comics as he makes some questionable decisions, he seems to be one of the good guys in the MCU — at least based on his brief appearance in Eternals. However, that could still change depending on Marvel Studios’ plan for him moving forward.
Casting has been one of the MCU’s strongest suits, and it’s not the first time that a director pitched a character with a specific actor in mind. Despite the skepticisms, Jon Favreau was convinced that Robert Downey Jr. would be great as Iron Man and he relentlessly campaigned for him to get the job. Fans have yet to see what Styles brings to the franchise since he has only appeared in Eternals, but there’s no denying that his casting poses some exciting possibilities.